Last year was my first Thanksgiving abroad, and although there are a handful of Americans living in Berlin, I wrongly assumed that there would be some Tofurkey roasts at the Veganz grocery store. So the afternoon of Thanksgiving, I headed on the S-Bahn from German class in Neukölln out to Prenzlauer Berg to get my fixings. Only problem? There weren’t any.
However, what was initially bad luck turned out to be a good thing, because it forced me to be innovative… it forced me to make my own tofurkey.
I don’t know if someone recommended it or I just came across the recipe, but I ended up using one from Chef in You. And even though I only had a few hours to make it work, it did. So naturally, I decided to use it again this year, particularly since I had two Thanksgivings I had to make tofurkey for. And this time around, I did it right, giving myself plenty of time by starting the prep work overnight.
The one thing I did differently is skip the stuffing, as I opted for another recipe that I preferred. I still did things in the same order, but didn’t follow the preparation instructions on the original. My suggestion is to use whatever stuffing you prefer, but if you don’t have a favourite or traditional family recipe, the one in this recipe probably works just fine.
Now with everything said and done, and two Thanksgivings this year without a hitch, I can officially say I am over tofurkey… at least until next Thanksgiving.
-Combine 5 14-ounce packages of extra firm tofu. Squeeze out the excess water and process them until smooth.
-Place them in a large bowl and mix in 2 teaspoons ground dried thyme, 2 teaspoons sage, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon orange zest, and salt and pepper to taste.
-Wet a cheesecloth and line a colander with it, before scooping all the tofu mixture in. Place on a plate or in a pan, cover the top with the cloth, place a plate on top, and use a weight to press down. Leave in the fridge overnight to set and allow flavour to absorb into the tofu.
-Prepare stuffing accordingly.
-Mix 1/3 cups tamari or soy sauce, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons orange juice, and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.
-Take colander off the plate and scoop out the center, leaving at least 1-2 inches of tofu on the sides and bottom. Then fill the hole with the stuffing, sealing it in with the tofu that was scooped out and smoothing the surface so that it’s even.
-Cover the colander with a pie plate or baking sheet large enough to cover it all, and slowly turn it upside-down so that the tofu transfers from the colander to the flat surface, and remove the cheesecloth.
-Brush the marinade on the tofu, “basting” the “turkey.”
-Bake for 15 minutes at 375 F (~ 190 C).
-Remove the tofurkey and baste again, before placing it back in the oven. Turn the heat down to 350 F (~ 175 C) and bake for 1 hour, taking it out to baste occasionally. Then when it’s done, eat your tofurkey!