If you’ve never tried vegetarian jerky then you’re in for a treat. But while you are making your own vegan jerky there are a couple of really good prepared ones that you can buy and try.
I like both Primal Strips meatless jerky and Stonewall’s Jerquee equally. But you might like one or the other better. Though they’re cheap I’d recommend buying a couple of each and seeing which ones you like best. Plus they’re kind on the animals too and healthy for your heart.
But we can make our very own best tasting vegan jerky that is more delicious than the dried animal flesh that passes for jerky nowadays.
Let’s get to it.
Vegan – no meat no turkey – jerky
Here’s what you will need to make your very own super tasty kind and compassionate vegan jerky. This vegan jerky recipe will make about one serving of jerky… or a pound of jerky, so maybe this is really a 6 person serving of soy jerky. You be the judge.
For me, it is a single serving snack of vegetarian beef jerky that works those cheek muscles. You won’t be able to eat another thing for the rest of the day. I joke, I joke!
1 pound of extra firm tofu
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of liquid smoke – I like mesquite but hickory is good too
1/4 cup of vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/8 cup or a good splash of water
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp maple syrup
Take the pound of tofu and drain it. I also like to wrap it in paper towel and squeeze it as much as I can without breaking it or deforming it. I’m trying to get it as dry as possible so it can soak up all the good soy beef jerky flavourings. Don’t be anal about this though.
Now cut the tofu in strips along it’s shortest width. The strips will seem fat, but they will shrink to about half their size. The strips should be about a quarter of an inch or 5mm in thickness.
Set the strips of tofu down in a single layer on a large baking pan. You might need 2 or 3 of them for this vegan jerky recipe.
In a bowl mix up all the other ingredients i.e. soy sauce, liquid smoke, vegan Worcestershire sauce, water, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper and maple syrup.
Pour the vegan jerky marinade over the sliced tofu and it should just cover it. If not, add more in the ratio above. You can also cheat by adding a little bit more water, but I wouldn’t add more than a third of a cup of water otherwise you dilute the flavour too much.
Cover and let the tofu marinade over night. The next morning, use your dehydrator or an oven and set the temperature at around 200.
Drain the marinade off the tofu and set that aside for later use for more tofu jerky or even stir fries and such.
Keep the tofu in the pan(s) if using an oven or on the drying racks if using a dehydrator and let dry for anywhere between 4 hours and all day. You should do this on a day you are at home as you’ll want to flip the tofu every hour so it dries evenly.
Test the soy jerky after 3 to 4 hours. You are done when the tofu is firm and chewy. Don’t let it get crispy though… that’s where you’ve almost made vegan bacon.
TIPS: Play around with the spices and herbs. Basil, oregano, sage are good options. More pepper is great too if you want a spicier vegan jerky. I also like to add a favourite hot sauce too for a piquante vegetarian jerky. I add about a teaspoon or more for some bite. Play around with it.