It's been a long, long time since I've had corned beef, and I'm sure that this corned tofu isn't the same, texture-wise. But it's freaking delicious in this not-a-Reuben sandwich.
This sandwich is another tofu recipe in my sponsored series from EZ Tofu Press. You definitely need to press your block of tofu well before making corned tofu. You need to make room for the tofu to soak up that delicious, salty marinade! If you don't have one already, you can find the EZ Tofu Press on Amazon.
Corned beef is basically salt-cured beef. To make real corned beef, you cook up a brine and soak meat in it for a couple of weeks. It's a food preservation method. To make this corned tofu recipe, I started with Alton Brown's corned beef recipe and tinkered like crazy.
Here are the things that I changed:
- We are not preserving this tofu, so I treated the brine like a marinade.
- I quartered the recipe, since a block of tofu is normally a pound. His recipe was for 4-5 pounds of meat.
- I skipped some spices that seemed like they'd be hard to find.
The marinade came together super fast, and I think the flavors were just perfect. You can use this corned tofu in the Not-a-Reuben sandwich or anywhere else you'd use corned beef.
This corned tofu sandwich recipe was supposed to use my collard kraut as a topping, but that experiment was a pretty epic failure. BUT! I have confirmation that collard kraut is possible, and I'm going to give it another go armed with new information. I also updated my original post to reflect the advice that my fermenting friends gave me, so I won't forget and so you'll have better information if you want to experiment.
But enough about food fails. Let's make some corned tofu and stuff it into arguably the best sandwich I have ever had.
Vegan Corned Beef Sandwich Recipe
For the Corned Tofu
- 2 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika - or 1 tablespoon chili powder + 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 block extra firm tofu - pressed, then cut into 16 very thin rectangles
Make the corned tofu.
- Add all of the ingredients except for the tofu to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Arrange the tofu in a shallow dish, and pour the hot brine over it. Leave the tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but if you can wait an hour, even better!
- Bake at 350° F for 25-35 minutes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, until it reaches your preferred texture.
Make the not-a-Reuben sandwich
- Divide the mayo between your pieces of bread, and spread it on. Layer on the corned tofu, the kimchi, and the avocado. You can serve the sandwich cold or warm it up in a sandwich press.