This jerk tofu recipe is a personal favourite of mine and one that has slowly become a household staple for me. I’ve experimented with this for a few years now and I will say that this is the most authentic at home jerk flavour that you’ll find. It’s intense and smokey and pairing it with a mild, tangy coconut yogurt salad dressing really does make for an amazing dinner.
I posted a jerk tofu recipe a few years back when I first started this blog. Since then my recipe has changed quite a bit and this recently updated version freakishly imitates meat.
I’m of Jamaican heritage so I’ve grown up eating the cuisine. I can confidently say I’ve learned how to recreate that smokey jerk flavour at home really well. Nothing beats a jerk drum for sure but this is as close as it gets! I promise!
Also this recipe is vegan and filled with a bunch of healthy fats, proteins and veggies. It’s the perfect dinner and I’m excited to share it with you.
My Top Tips To Make The Best Grilled Jerk Tofu
My first tip is to use a freezer bag to season the tofu. Place the tofu squares into a bag with the seasoning and shake it well. It sounds simple but can make a big difference and your tofu will be evenly coated.
My second tip is to use a decent non-stick pan. This will allow you to limit the amount of oil that you’ll need to use. I only use a thin layer of maybe one cm of rapeseed oil. You definitely don’t need any more than that if you’re using a good frying pan or well seasoned cast iron.
Lastly! Allow the oil to heat for as long as possible (right before it begins to smoke). It can seem a bit awkward initially but the hotter the frying pan, the better the results. It contributes to that intense smokey flavour and nice crispy skin you’ll get on the tofu. The tofu will feel very hard at first but it will begin to soften after you remove it from the oil and add it to the salad.
Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off. If you don’t have all of the jerk seasoning ingredients, then substituting or removing a few won’t really affect the outcome too much. It’ll still taste just as good.
I do recommend having ground pimento, thyme and onion powder on hand. It’s really hard to get that authentic jerk flavour without these.
All in all, I hope you all enjoyed this recipe. Stay tuned for more homemade Jamaican family recipes. I have a rum cake and soup coming up very soon so you don’t want to miss it.
Jamaican Jerk Tofu Salad with Coconut Yogurt Dressing
The perfect Caribbean salad.
- 400 g | 14 oz | Firm tofu block , chopped into squares
- 3 tsp Ground pimento or allspice
- 3 tsp Dried thyme
- 1 tsp Brown sugar
- 1 tsp Chilli flakes
- 1 Spring onion or ½ tsp onion powder
- 2 Garlic cloves or ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Smoked paprika , optional
- 1/8 tsp Cinnamon powder , optional
- Sesame seed oil for frying
- 1 Avocado , sliced
- 3 handfuls of lettuce leaves
- 5 Cherry tomatoes , halved
- 1 Carrot , sliced
- ¼ Red cabbage sliced
Coconut Yogurt Dressing
- ½ Can | 200 ml | Full-fat coconut milk
- 3 tsp White wine vinegar
- ½ tsp parsley
- ¼ tsp sage
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- a pinch of paprika
Finely dice fresh garlic and spring onion if you're using those. Add all the jerk seasoning ingredients to blender or grinder for 10 seconds or so. Rub seasoning into tofu.
Add a thin layer of sesame seed oil into a non-stick frying pan and place it on a very high heat. Allow the oil to heat for a minute before adding the seasoned tofu.
Turn the tofu squares around every few minutes until all sides are crispy, pressing down as you go along to remove the excess water. This will take approximately 10 minutes.
Prep the avocado, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, carrots and red cabbage while the tofu is cooking.
Mix all of the salad ingredients together and serve
Coconut yogurt dressing
Add the coconut milk to a small bowl. If it's separated, make sure to scoop out equal parts of both the cream and liquid and whisk it gently until it is mostly smooth
Add white wine vinegar, parsley, sage, garlic powder, salt and paprika to the coconut milk and whisk again
Place leftover dressing in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- The coconut yogurt dressing does separate in the fridge. This is normal. Gently stir it with a fork before serving.