Traditional Ashkenazi Shabbat dinner frequently involves chicken as the main course. This makes sense in a historical context – meat was expensive, and likely families could only afford it once a week, so they saved it for the most important meal of the week. Similar traditions arose in other cultures, like the British Sunday roast. Eating meat is not a religious requirement; rather, the requirement is to enjoy your meal. If you’re a vegan, I think you’re going to enjoy this Shabbat tofu a lot more! (Probably, so will the chickens.)
I wanted to keep the idea of a traditional Shabbat chicken dish but translate it into a vegan option. This sweet apricot sauce is very reminiscent of the Shabbat dinners I used to eat as a child. It’s got a thick sauce that would go nicely over some rice or roasted potatoes. I made some tzimmes with it – expect that recipe later in the week. It’s not a light meal, despite being tofu. Just so you know, this is not really the dinner you’re going to want to eat when it’s over 100 degrees outside. All in service of my readers. See what I do for you guys? 😉
I thought this was maybe a bit salty, but my husband said it was fine. I’m inclined to trust him as I’m currently having a bit of salt aversion. But if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t care for salty, maybe use only 1/4 cup of broth and dilute with water to the full 1/2 cup. I wouldn’t omit the soy sauce as it adds a necessary dark, rich note to balance out the sweetness of the apricot.
I baked the tofu whole, but feel free to slice it instead. My daughter happens to like her tofu plain, so it’s easier to please everyone if I bake the tofu whole and can give her a slice with minimal sauce. If you slice it, you’ll get slightly better flavor distribution. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of sauce left to spoon over your tofu if you are a sauce lover.
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 small onion, sliced
- ½ c vegan chicken-style broth
- ½ c apricot butter or jam
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp dried sage
- Drain and press tofu.
- Mix together the sauce ingredients and set aside. Once tofu is drained, pour the sauce over the tofu. Marinate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Put the tofu in a small baking pan, reserving marinade. Top with onion slices. Add the corn starch to the marinade and mix well, then pour the marinade over the tofu. Cover the baking dish with tinfoil.
- Bake for 15 minutes, covered, then remove the cover. Bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thickened.