Vegan Jerk Tofu Wrapped in Collard Leaves

Vegan Jerk Tofu Wrapped in Collard Leaves

Seared tofu-stuffed collard pouches served with cilantro sauce and crushed peanuts make for an impressive dinner.

Serves: 4

This recipe from the Vegetable Kingdom cookbook highlights the slightly bitter-earthy taste and chewy texture of collard leaves, along with the tofu soaked in a peppery Jamaican-inspired marinade. 

What you need:

For the jerk marinade:
1 cup diced yellow onion
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 habanero chiles, stemmed, seeded, and minced
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
6 tablespoons shoyu
¼ cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
¼ teaspoon salt

For the garlic chips:
¾ cup olive oil
16 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

For the cilantro sauce:
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
1 cup tightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ jalapeño

For the tofu:
2 (16-ounce) blocks extra-firm tofu, pressed and patted dry
2 cups Jerk marinade
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons salt, plus more as needed
16 large collard leaves, tough part of the stem removed
1 cup arrowroot powder
Peanut oil, for frying

For serving:
¼ cup garlic chips
Cilantro sauce
¼ cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
¼ cup crushed peanuts, for garnish

What you do:

  1. For the jerk marinade, combine all ingredients in a food processor, add ¼ cup water, and purée until combined. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator until ready to use, up to 1 week.
  2. For the garlic chips, in a medium skillet over low heat, warm oil. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy and golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Strain oil through fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, reserving garlic chips. Use immediately or store in separate airtight containers in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  3. For the cilantro sauce, in a small skillet over medium heat, add garlic, oil, coriander, and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook just until garlic is fragrant, about 1½ minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to blender. Add cilantro, lemon juice, jalapeño, and ¼ cup water and blend until smooth. Use immediately or store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  4. For the tofu, on a cutting board, place one block. Cut in half horizontally, then cut vertically down center to yield four pieces. Repeat with second block of tofu. Into a large baking dish, pour jerk marinade, adding just enough water to ensure that it is runny, if necessary. Place tofu in marinade in one even layer. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight, flipping tofu every 30 minutes for first 2 hours. Remove tofu from marinade, removing any excess, and transfer to a large plate. Strain marinade through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside.
  5. In a large pot over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Blanch collard leaves, one at a time, for 30 seconds each, then lay flat on clean kitchen towels to dry. 
  6. On a large plate, combine arrowroot powder and remaining 2 teaspoons salt. Mix well. Coat each side of tofu pieces with arrowroot, shaking off any excess arrowroot, and transfer to a second large plate. 
  7. Lightly coat the bottom of a large cast-iron skillet with peanut oil and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of tofu and fry until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently flip each piece and fry until golden-brown on second side. Lightly sprinkle both sides of tofu with salt and transfer to a rack. Repeat to fry remaining tofu. Wipe skillet clean for next step.
  8. On a clean work surface, arrange two collard leaves lengthwise, overlapping each other by an inch, and place one piece of tofu in center of leaves. Smear 2 heaping tablespoons of reserved marinade on top of tofu, sprinkle a heaping teaspoon of garlic chips on top of tofu, then fold leaves around tofu to create a packet. Repeat with remaining collard leaves and tofu. 
  9. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons peanut oil, tilting pan to coat evenly. Place packets in skillet, folded-side up, and cook for about 1 minute. Gently flip each packet, cover skillet with a lid, and cook for 5 minutes to warm through. 
  10. To serve, spread 2 tablespoons cilantro sauce each onto four plates and place two tofu packets on each plate. Garnish with cilantro leaves and peanuts and serve.

JUST LAUNCHED! Get our 10 Easy Vegan Summer Meals recipe book as a FREE instant download.

Get the Guide