Out of all the holiday recipes, ham is definitely a staple. Unfortunately, pork is one of the worst types of meat for the planet, right above beef and lamb, generating 12.1 kilos of CO2 per kilo consumed. One way to reduce your carbon footprint is making a plant-based version instead, and the secret ingredient behind this realistic-looking option? Tofu.
Remy Park, the food blogger behind Veggiekins, recently shared the idea of making a glazed vegan ham with tofu. While transforming a block of tofu into a meaty roast sounds nearly impossible, she proves that it’s totally doable—and much easier than you think.
“A lot of holiday dishes revolve around meat,” she says. “This is one of my favorite plant-based takes on a ham.”
So, how do you go about making vegan ham? Here’s everything you need to know, from cutting the tofu to resemble ham to making the perfect smoky marinade.
How to Make Vegan Ham
Park says to begin your vegan ham journey by wrapping the block of tofu in a clean towel to get rid of excess moisture. Then, press it by setting a heavy object on top, like a pan. Just be sure it’s not so heavy that it’s squishing it.
While you’re pressing the tofu, make your marinade. This is what’s going to give the tofu a ham-like taste. Park recommends combining a handful of simple ingredients you likely already have on hand: tamari, garlic powder, liquid smoke, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast (a great source of vegan protein!), and lime juice.
Before putting your block of tofu in the marinade, score it with a knife. Aside from giving the tofu a ham-like appearance, it also allows it to better soak up the meaty marinade. Allow the tofu to marinate overnight.
In the morning, remove the tofu from the marinade and set it aside. But don’t toss the extra marinade! Stir some coconut sugar into it and melt it down. Then, brush it onto both sides of the vegan ham before putting it in the oven to bake. “We’re going to bake, brush, and repeat with our tofu 2 to 3 times,” Park says.
Sure, this dish might not taste exactly like ham. But if you want to try a fun plant-based swap that gives the planet a boost, this is a great place to start. Head over to Veggiekins’ blog for the full instructions.
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