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Mushroom Marinated Tofu

This Mushroom Marinated Tofu packs a flavorful umami punch thanks to the mushroom marinade. It’s got a satisfying meaty bite — without the meat! Serve with rice or noodles and stir-fried veggies for a quick and tasty meal.

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Make Ahead Mushroom Marinated Tofu

Prep this Mushroom Marinated Tofu ahead of time with a few easy steps. First, I recommend pressing the tofu. To do so, you can rely on a DIY method of a towels and heavy objects. The video below shows a quick and simple method, along with some reasons why you should press your tofu.

If you’re like me and eat A LOT of tofu, it’s worth it to consider investing in a tofu press. This one from Tofuture is effective, reliable and stylish in the kitchen. Simply add your block of tofu to the green base, add the lid and secure the bands to provide tension.

Now that your tofu is pressed, let’s focus on prepping the mushroom marinade! You can do this in one or more steps. First, we’ll need to sauté the onions, mushrooms and garlic. You can do this step, and then later combine to make the marinade, or do it all at once.

Here’s an overview of how to prep Mushroom Marinated Tofu in advance, and approximately how long each step will take:

  1. Press the tofu — Minimum of one hour; up to one day
  2. Sauté mushrooms, onion and garlic — 15-20 minutes
  3. Make the marinade — 5-10 minutes (will stay fresh 3 days in the fridge)
  4. Marinate the tofu — Minimum of one hour; up to one day

An easy way to prep would be to make the marinade one day, up to 3 days in advance of cooking, then press and marinate to tofu one day before cooking.

A plate of air fried tofu - before adding the mushroom marinade in Mushroom Marinated Tofu
Air Fried Tofu – Undressed

Pan Fry vs. Air Fry Marinated Tofu

Air Frying may be a trend — but right now it looks like it’s one that’s here to stay! I was skeptical of the value of air frying, until I tried air fryer tofu. It gives the outside an incredible crust that’s often hard to achieve with tofu, and keeps the inside soft and creamy.

If you don’t own an air fryer that’s okay! You can make this recipe in a frying pan on the stove as well. The tofu may not be as crispy, but it will still be equally delicious. I’ve included both methods in the recipe below.

Mushroom Marinade poured over the pressed tofu. Not the prettiest – but tasty!

Why marinate the tofu?

In the air fryer method, we remove the tofu from the marinade, getting rid of the excess, and toss the sliced tofu in cornstarch. The question is: why? What’s the point of marinading the tofu if you’re going to remove it anyway?

I’m glad you asked! Marinading the tofu is a great way to infuse all the bold flavors of the marinade before cooking. So even though it doesn’t get air fried in the marinade, it still picks up those flavors from it’s time in the pool of umami-mushroom delight. The rest of the marinade is used as a sauce later in the recipe, so nothing goes to waste!

Alternatively, if you don’t have the time to marinate the tofu, you can use the mushroom marinade as a sauce instead. This recipe is completely customizable to your needs!

A completed plate of mushroom marinated tofu.
Mushroom Marinated Tofu

Mushroom Marinade Key Ingredients

Besides the heavy hitters in this Mushroom Marinated Tofu — mushrooms, onions and garlic — there are some key ingredients that radically influence the flavor of this dish.

1. Nutmeg

Nutmeg is a warming spice, commonly used in baking and apple cider. In this dish, it lends a level of depth, warmth and spice that’s difficult to replicate with another ingredient. Use it ground, or use whole nutmeg and grate it yourself for peak freshness.

Whole nutmeg – one of my favorite spices!

2. Miso

Miso, fermented soy bean paste, provides the base of the umami flavor in the Mushroom Marinade. It’s got a great saltiness and depth that penetrates the otherwise bland tofu. I recommend using White Miso Paste for this dish. Add it to your pantry staples and you’ll find yourself using it more often then you’d think!

3. Smoked Sea Salt

In a lot of vegan dishes you may see the use of “liquid smoke” which is intended to impart the smoky flavor that’s common in so many meats without actually smoking anything. While this works for some people, I don’t enjoy the fake flavor of liquid smoke, and often find it overpowering in the dish. That’s why I use Smoked Sea Salt as an alternative. It’s all natural and cold-smoked, so you get the smoky flavor for real, without any imitation. For best quality I recommend this Smoked Sea Salt from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Cold=smoked sea salt – this gives the dish it’s smoky flavor

4. Tamari

Tamari is soy sauce’s close cousin. However, instead of using wheat grains like in soy sauce, tamari uses twice the amount of soybeans, resulting in a richer sauce. Soy sauce is not gluten free, where tamari is, enabling those with gluten sensitivities to enjoy the flavor of soy sauce freely. You can certainly substitute soy sauce for tamari in this recipe, though I prefer the depth of tamari.

How to serve it

Serve this Mushroom Marinated Tofu over some rice or rice noodles. Add chopped peanuts and stir-fried veggies for an easy weeknight meal. Utilize the leftover Mushroom Marinade as a sauce to make some meat-free Baked Beans, or freeze and save it for the next time you get a craving for some meaty tofu!

Mushroom Marinated Tofu

Mushrooms, garlic and pantry staples come together to create an umami bomb marinade for some air fryer tofu you're going to love!
Course: dinner, entree, lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: American, Asian
Keyword: air fryer, easy tofu recipe, marinated tofu, mushroom, tofu, umami tofu
Servings: 2
Author: Lauren Harvey

Equipment

  • Air Fryer optional
  • Tofu Press optional

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 2 cups white mushrooms, chopped (6-7 mushrooms)
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp white miso paste
  • ½ cup water add more as needed
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp smoked salt
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • corn starch for Air Frying

Instructions

Prep Marinade

  • In a frying pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by the mushrooms, onions and garlic.
  • Sautee until brown and shrunken in size, about 15 minutes. Add a splash of water halfway through cooking to help deglaze the pan.
  • Add mushroom, onion and garlic mixture to a blender or food processor with tamari, miso, water and all seasonings (salt, mustard, nutmeg, onion powder, thyme).
  • Blend until smooth, adding more water as needed to achieve desired consistency (should be thick but fluid enough to run off a spoon).

Prep Tofu

  • Press your tofu using your desired method. I prefer using a tofu press, but paper towels and a heavy plate works great too!
  • Once your tofu is pressed, drain water and move to a clean container. Pour marinade over tofu and let sit for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight.

Cook Tofu – Air Fryer

  • Remove tofu from marinade and scrape excess back into container. We'll use this later, so save it!
  • Cut the block of tofu into small squares. I like to first cut it down the middle to create two thinner blocks, then cut those into squares.
  • In a clean bowl, add 1/4 cup or so of cornstarch. Toss the cubes of tofu in corn starch until coated. Tap off excess. The corn starch helps the tofu achieve a crispy outer layer, without changing its flavor.
  • Place in Air Fryer at 400°F for 10 minutes.

Cook Tofu – Pan Fry

  • Remove tofu from marinade and scrape excess back into container. We'll use this later, so save it!
  • Cut tofu into slices.
  • In a pan over medium heat, add tofu and cook until slightly browned.

Assemble

  • Serve with rice and stir fried veggies. Add tofu to plate and spoon remaining marinade over. Alternatively, add tofu to a bowl and toss with marinade before plating.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Lauren Harvey
Lauren Harvey

Sugar-free, dairy-free, creative writer, home cook, rescue pit owner and wife always making, learning and finding new adventures. Living by grace. Prone to wander.

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