Tofu adobo may not be classic Mexican fare but it does have classic Mexican flare thanks to an authentic made-from-scratch sauce.
Adobo—that tangy, smoky, spicy sauce made with dried chiles, earthy spices, and garlic galore—can be harnessed as a marinade for virtually anything. And yes, it’s the same adobo sauce that bathes chipotle chile peppers in those little cans containing chipotle en adobo. If you’re not already familiar with the sorta-but-not-too-fiery sauce known as adobo, trust us, you’re going to want to slather it on everything. Even tofu. Although if tofu isn’t your thing, rest assured, the sauce can be used to marinate or sauce virtually anything—pork, chicken, steak, shrimp, you get the idea. Serve it as a taco filling or spoon it on top of rice, tortilla chips, even a Southwestern-style salad. Versatile, right? No time to marinate? Spoon the adobo sauce on rice, black beans, burritos, enchiladas, eggs, or just about anything. And then kindly let us know in a comment below how you chose to use it.–Monica L. Helton
Tofu Adobo Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 1 H
- 4 H
- Serves 4
- For the adobo sauce
- 2 red bell peppers (16 ounces or 450 g)
- 2 jalapeños* (2 ounces or 57 g)
- 1 garlic head (2 ounces or 57 g), cloves separated
- 1 red onion (7 ounces or 200 g), quartered
- 1/4 cup olive oil (2 ounces or 60 ml)
- 2 dried chipotle peppers* (1/4 ounce or 7 g), roughly chopped
- 2 dried guajillo peppers* (1/4 ounce or 7 g) , roughly chopped
- 2 canned chipotles in adobo (3/8 ounce or 48 g)
- Small handful fresh oregano (1 1/2 ounces or 42 g) or 1 teaspoon dried oregano (1 g)
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika (6 g)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (2 g)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (2 g)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (1 g)
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds (8 g)
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar (2 1/2 ounces or 80 ml)
- 3 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock (25 1/2 ounces/750 ml)
- Salt to taste
- For the chargrilled adobo tofu
- 16 ounces extra-firm tofu (455 g), patted dry with paper towels and pressed to remove excess water
- Oil such as vegetable oil, to coat the grill pan
- Make the adobo sauce
- 1. Grab a grill pan and brush it with neutral oil. Put it on the stove on medium-high heat. After the grill pan is hot, add the red peppers, jalapeños, garlic, and onion and cook, turning occasionally, until blackened, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- 2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and dried chipotle and guajillo chiles. Cook until slightly darkened, about 5 minutes.
- 3. Squeeze the garlic from their skins. Roughly chop the blackened vegetables. To the saucepan, add the grilled vegetables and garlic, as well as the chipotles in adobo, oregano, spices, sherry vinegar, and chicken stock. Cover and gently simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
- 4. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the mixture cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring it to a blender and processing until smooth. (We know it’s tempting to reach for your immersion blender, but don’t. It won’t create as smooth a purée as your countertop blender.) Taste and add more seasoning and salt if needed. You should have about 5 cups adobo sauce. Although this recipe makes more adobo sauce than you’ll need for the tofu, it lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
- Make the chargrilled tofu adobo
- 5. Slice the tofu into short strips about 1/2-inch thick.
- 6. In a bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine the tofu and just enough adobo sauce to coat all the surfaces of the tofu. (Save the remaining adobo sauce for other uses—of which there are so, so many. If you’re lacking ideas, look at the note above the recipe for inspiration.)
- 7. Use a paper towel to remove any remaining roasted vegetable bits from the grill pan. Again, brush the grill pan with neutral oil and put it on the stove on medium-high heat. When hot, add the marinated tofu, and cook, basting with leftover adobo sauce, until dark char marks develop on all sides, about 10 minutes. You may find that the tofu crumbles a bit, but the flavor remains spectacular and actually the crumbles work particularly well for tacos, as pictured here. The tofu adobo is also adept at being served in any number of ways, including atop rice or tossed in a southwestern salad or wrapped in a burrito or…well, you tell us.