Food · Vegan

Blackened Tofu & Spicy Cilantro “Ranch” Dressing


I may be slightly obsessed with anything smoky, crispy, and/or charred. There’s just something about these flavors that is so hearty and satisfying. Like my tempeh bacon, this blackened tofu is another one of my favorite recipes to fulfill this craving.

I enjoy this tofu thinly sliced over an arugula* and avocado salad. The peppery, cooling arugula and creamy avocado balance the spiciness of the smoky rub and the kick of the hot sauce in the dressing. And, the rest of the tofu also makes an amazing sandwich, hot or cold.

*Arugula is hands down my favorite green. It is full of folic acid, vitamins A, C, and K, iron, and copper. And did you know it’s considered an aphrodisiac! Because of its stimulating effects, Romans deduced that those who regularly consumed arugula were more sexually energized. 

Blackened Tofu

  • 1 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika20160131_154123(0)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 block of firm or extra firm organic tofu
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil


In a small bowl mix together all spices. Cut the block of tofu into fourths and let wrap in a towel. To remove the excess moisture, I find it helpful to set a bowl or cutting board on the tofu. For this recipe you don’t want the tofu to fall apart, so be mindful of how much pressure you apply. Let the tofu sit for 10+ minutes, the longer it sits the more moisture will come out.


Then, slice each small block of tofu as thinly as possible. I usually use a sharp knife to cut horizontally through blocks and get 4-5 pieces from each. Rub the spice mix onto both sides of every piece of tofu.


Add the coconut oil to a large pan over medium heat, when melted add the tofu in one layer. Cook 6-7 minutes on each side, or until browned and most of the moisture is cooked out. Remove from heat.


Spicy Cilantro “Ranch” Dressing

  • 1/2 cup organic Vegenaise
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp water

Mix all ingredients together well, if needed add additional water to achieve dressing consistency.


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