Basically, tofu and Jack Daniel’s is all you need. A little maple syrup, a little spice, and no one’s lookin’ for veggies, salads, starches or condiments.  No matter what style or brand of tofu we use – soft, firm, extra-firm, superfirm, organic, non-GMO, water-packed, silken style, hand-crafted – this is how we eat it!

Serves 2


1/3 c. Jack Daniel’s Original No. 7 Recipe – barbecue sauce (is gluten-free in the USA)

1/3 c. water

1 T. Grade A maple syrup

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in small bowl till evenly incorporated. Set aside.

Pan-fried Tofu:

12 oz. pkg. extra firm, water-packed tofu, rinsed and wrapped in several layers of paper towels, and gently pressed with hands to absorb excess liquid (I used organic, gluten-free, non-GMO House Foods brand)

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 t. salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 T. Grade A maple syrup

light sprinkling of onion powder, paprika, turmeric

Cut tofu into 16 pieces (sm. rectangular blocks).

In large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt olive oil. Sprinkle melted oil with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place tofu blocks in skillet without touching each other. Cook till golden on the bottom.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon maple syrup in bottom of skillet around tofu blocks, then swirl pan around to move tofu into the syrup.

Sprinkle tops of tofu lightly with onion powder, paprika and turmeric, making sure each block gets sprinkled on. Flip tofu, then fry till golden brown on that side.

Get a cover ready. Pour sauce all at once into skillet and immediately cover with lid. Hold for about 1 minute, shaking the skillet a little like you do when making homemade popcorn.

Remove cover, swirl pan to move tofu around, spoon sauce over tops of tofu, flip, coat – all gently and quickly. When the sauce has thickened through evaporation, turn heat off and immediately remove from burner if you have an electric stove.

This all takes a very short time. Don’t leave the stove. (It’s like short-order cooking – you don’t leave the eggs, you don’t leave the tofu).

Plate and serve.

Notes: Although generally I make my own barbecue sauce, every now and then I like to buy a bottled variety.

When you pour the sauce into the skillet, you’re going to create a big cloud of steam. The goal is to trap it immediately, before the cloud releases into the kitchen. One hand holding the lid, the other hand pouring the sauce. Pour, cover.

A cast iron skillet works best here. They’re the best and cheapest skillet on the market and they never break or wear down.


Published by Sharon Lee Davies-Tight, artist, writer/author, animal-free chef, activist

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