Chargrilled tofu adobo

Chargrilled tofu adobo

Smith & Daughters
Bonnie Savage

There’s a big difference between real Mexican food and fake Mexican food. The chillies used in this recipe are the reason why these flavours are authentic. Don’t try and substitute these chillies or you’ll get the fakes. Search out the ingredients: the flavour of a true adobo sauce is worth it. This is a multi-use marinade – use it on burgers, meats, tofu, anything ... everything.


Quantity Ingredient
firm tofu, as much as you need

Adobo (see note)

Quantity Ingredient
2 red capsicums
2 jalapeños
or your favourite green chillies
1 garlic bulb, cloves separated
1 red onion, quartered
60ml olive oil
2 dried chipotles, roughly chopped
2 dried guajillo chillies, roughly chopped
2 chipotles in adobo
small handful oregano leaves
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
80ml sherry vinegar
750ml chicken stock


  1. To make the adobo, heat a chargrill pan over high heat. Add the capsicums, jalapeños, garlic and onion and cook until blackened.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the dried chillies and slowly cook off until slightly darkened.
  3. Squeeze the garlic from their skins and roughly chop the grilled vegetables. Add to the pan along with the chipotles in adobo, oregano, spices and sherry vinegar. Cover with the stock and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  5. Cut the tofu into your desired shape – for tacos, we cut it into finger-sized pieces, but you could also cut it into slabs and use as burgers!
  6. Pour enough marinade over the tofu to cover and set aside for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.
  7. Heat a chargrill pan over high heat, add the tofu and cook, basting with the marinade, until dark char marks develop on all sides.


  • This makes approximately 1 litre of sauce, which sounds like a lot but it lasts for about 2 weeks in the fridge and can be used in many, many ways. And by many, we mean marinate everything in this sauce, fold it through rice for an easy Mexican rice, stir through black beans for burritos, turn it into a dressing, make a pasta sauce with it, use it as a sandwich spread, or slather it on before and after cooking ... go hard. The more sauce the better, we say.
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