Jenné Claiborne's Cajun Blackened Tofu Sandwich

My mom is the blackened-seasoning queen! She's not a big fan of cooking, but she knows a few shortcuts to make a superquick meal taste good. Rule 1: use a flavorful spice blend. Blackened seasoning is a staple of Cajun cuisine and is most often used on fish. The technique entails pan-frying the spice- coated food, in this case tofu, until the spices char and create a crispy and flavorful coating. This recipe does require you to marinate the tofu overnight in a beer- based sauce, but that takes  just  a couple of minutes to throw together before you go to bed. Even my mom can appreciate this easy recipe! —Jenné ClaiborneFrom the Book: SWEET POTATO SOUL by Jenné Claiborne, Copyright © 2018 by Jenné Claiborne. Published by arrangement with Harmony Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

Jenne Claiborne's Blackened Tofu Sandwich
Photo: Sidney Bensimon
4 serves


Tofu Marinade

  • 1 cup beer (I prefer a golden ale but use whatever vegan beer you like)

  • 1 tablespoon dulse seaweed flakes

  • ¼ cup tamari soy sauce

  • 1 (12-ounce) block of extra-firm tofu, drained and sliced 1/2 inch thick (you should have around 6 slices)

  • 1 tablespoon coconut, canola, or grapeseed oil

  • ¼ - ½ cup Creole Seasoning or store-bought salt-free Cajun blackened seasoning

For Serving

  • 4 vegan soft burger buns or whole wheat bread

  • ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise

  • 1 cup Spicy Peach-Tomatillo Salsa

  • 1 cup microgreens (optional)


  1. Make the marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together the beer, dulse, and tamari.

  2. Place the tofu slices in a storage container or quart- size plastic zip bag and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, or at least 6 hours.

  3. In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Remove the tofu slices from the refrigerator, place on a plate, and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of blackened seasoning on all sides of each tofu slice. Working in batches if necessary, place the seasoned tofu slices in the hot skillet and pan-fry for about 3 minutes each side until the seasoning has blackened and seeped into the tofu.

  4. Toast the burger buns on both sides. To serve, spread 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise on the bottom half of each bun. Carefully remove the blackened tofu from the skillet and place a slice on top of each bottom bun half. Top each piece of tofu with ¼ cup salsa and microgreens (if using), then the top bun half, and serve.

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