Part of my Vegan MoFo 2013 is doing blog entries dedicated to each year I've been vegan.
One of my greatest sources of pleasure and easiest meals to make at this time was a TLT- Tofu, Lettuce, and Tomato sandwich. Many of my fondest childhood memories involve my dad's disgusting, unhealthy, and positively delicious cooking: corned beef hash, tuna casserole, fried eggs and hashbrowns, and of course, BLTs. I was happy to pick up the BLT habit again when I learned how to make a quick, easy, delicious bacon analog. Here's how!
Next you'll want to marinate the tofu for at least 5 minutes on each side. If you can marinate longer, that's great, but because the slices are so thin, the flavor will absorb quickly. Fill a wide and shallow dish with soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos. I highly recommend investing in a bottle of Liquid Smoke. A few drops'll do ya- it lasts forever!
You'll want to use firm or extra-firm tofu that's been drained and pressed. With a steady hand, cut slices off the block no thicker than 1/8". Don't worry if you don't cut it perfectly or uniformly, this just creates different textures when you cook it! Plus, the more TLTs you create and eat, the more refined your cutting technique will become. Patience, grasshopper.
After marinating for at least five minutes on each side, heat up a skillet with about a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. The sesame oil is essential- somehow the magical combination of sesame and soy create a smoky, salty, umami-laden punch of flavor. When the oil is heated, drain the marinade into the sink or a container to re-use, and place the tofu slices one at a time in the sizzling sesame oil until the pan is filled.
Keep a close eye on them while they cook and adjust the heat as necessary- you'll want each side to be well crisped and even lightly charred in spots, but you also don't want to turn your kitchen into a smokehouse and set off all your fire alarms.
Add more oil sparingly as needed, especially when turning the slices. When each side is crispy and on the verge of charring, remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel on a plate to cool.
Eat with tots, salad, or whatever the hell else you want, doing whatever the hell you want to do, because BLTS are about America and America is about FREEDOM.