Savory Lapsang Souchong Tofu
I’ll never forget the first time I encountered the unique, sweet pine-smoked aroma of lapsang souchong tea. I had recently begun my work with Arogya. I walked in on a cold winter day and contently went to pour myself a cup of tea. I noticed a beautiful, warm, and smoky scent drifting up from one of the teapots. As I soon learned, this was lapsang souchong, a traditional black tea from the Wuyi mountain region of Fujian Province.
Lapsang souchong is most likely the world’s oldest black tea. As legend has it, about 400 years ago, a large number of Qing dynasty armies traveled through the Wuyi Mountains shortly before the annual tea drying process was complete. In an effort to satisfy the subsequent demand for tea, local tea producers tried speeding up the drying process by roasting leaves over fires fueled by pine. The result was a delicious, robust, and smoky brew.
We’ve found that infusing the flavor of lapsang souchong with tofu is a delightful way to dress up vegetarian protein. As always, we invite you to be creative in the kitchen. This simple recipe can be elaborated upon by adding a little maple syrup, scallion, or garlic.
Baked Lapsang Souchong Tofu
- 1 1/2 heaping tablespoons Lapsang Souchong Tea
- 2-3 teaspoons Tamari or Soy Sauce
- 2 cups Boiled Water
- 1 pound Firm or Extra Firm Organic Tofu
- Place the tealeaves in a liquid measuring cup or mason jar. Pour the boiling water over the leaves and let steep for at least 8-10 minutes to create a delicious bold and smoky brew.
- Cube the tofu into ½” to ¾” pieces. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Next, use a mesh sieve to strain the tea into the bowl with the tofu.
- Add the tamari or soy sauce and gently give everything a stir. Cover and place in the refrigerator. Let the tofu marinate for at least 1 hour.
- When you’re ready to bake it, preheat the oven to 400ºF. Lightly brush a baking sheet with organic vegetable or olive oil (Don’t forget this step or the tofu will stick to the pan!). Bake for 25-30 minutes, using a spatula to turn the tofu cubes halfway through.
- Enjoy hot or cold! Eat along side brown rice and fresh steamed veggies, toss it with some soba noodles, add it to a salad or miso soup, or simply munch on it as a healthy, protein rich snack.
Recipe and photos by Sophie Slater