Recipe: In this vegetarian version of Sloppy Joes, simmer tofu in the classic sweet-tomato sauce

Makes 8 sandwiches

Perfect for Meatless Mondays or vegetarians, these Sloppy Joes get a similar treatment to the original — a sweet, salty, tomato-based sauce simmered with crumbled tofu and spooned into soft buns. Cut a firm or extra-firm tofu block into two planks and dry them both thoroughly with paper towels. Sear them in a hot skillet to help develop the flavor base. When they’re cool, chop the blocks roughly so that they crumble easily later on. Create a veg-heavy sauce with onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Then add paprika, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, ketchup, and tomatoes for the classic Sloppy Joes taste. Simmer them with the tofu and spoon hearty helpings onto warm or toasted buns. They’re true to their name, so serve forks and knives with these sandwiches to gather up whatever tasty bits fall onto the plates.

1 package (14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
3 s canola oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
½ Bell pepper, cored seeded and coarsely chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 challenge sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 say soy sauce
1 counter cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup water
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
8 brioche or potato buns, warmed or toasted
½ pickle slices

1. Slice the tofu horizontally into 2 rectangular planks. Dry both squares thoroughly with paper towels.

2. In a large flameproof casserole that will hold all the ingredients later, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over high heat. Carefully place the plans into the pan and cook for 4 minutes on a side, or until lightly golden brown. Transfer the tofu to a cutting board. When it is cool, chop it roughly.

3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until softened.

4. Add the garlic, paprika, and ground mustard to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

5. Stir in the soy sauce, cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, ketchup, and water. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is thoroughly blended.

6. Return the tofu to the pan with the diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring and breaking up the tofu and tomatoes with the side of a kitchen spoon. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.

7. Set the bottom buns on plates. Spoon the Sloppy Joe sauce onto the bottoms. Add pickle slices and set the top buns in place.

Karoline Boehm Goodnick

Makes 8 sandwiches

Perfect for Meatless Mondays or vegetarians, these Sloppy Joes get a similar treatment to the original — a sweet, salty, tomato-based sauce simmered with crumbled tofu and spooned into soft buns. Cut a firm or extra-firm tofu block into two planks and dry them both thoroughly with paper towels. Sear them in a hot skillet to help develop the flavor base. When they’re cool, chop the blocks roughly so that they crumble easily later on. Create a veg-heavy sauce with onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper. Then add paprika, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, ketchup, and tomatoes for the classic Sloppy Joes taste. Simmer them with the tofu and spoon hearty helpings onto warm or toasted buns. They’re true to their name, so serve forks and knives with these sandwiches to gather up whatever tasty bits fall onto the plates.

1 package (14 ounces) firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
3 s canola oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 carrot, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
½ Bell pepper, cored seeded and coarsely chopped
Salt and black pepper, to taste
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 challenge sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 say soy sauce
1 counter cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup water
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
8 brioche or potato buns, warmed or toasted
½ pickle slices

1. Slice the tofu horizontally into 2 rectangular planks. Dry both squares thoroughly with paper towels.

2. In a large flameproof casserole that will hold all the ingredients later, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil over high heat. Carefully place the plans into the pan and cook for 4 minutes on a side, or until lightly golden brown. Transfer the tofu to a cutting board. When it is cool, chop it roughly.

3. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, and a generous pinch each of salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until softened.

4. Add the garlic, paprika, and ground mustard to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

5. Stir in the soy sauce, cider vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste, ketchup, and water. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sauce is thoroughly blended.

6. Return the tofu to the pan with the diced tomatoes. Bring to a boil, stirring and breaking up the tofu and tomatoes with the side of a kitchen spoon. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens slightly.

7. Set the bottom buns on plates. Spoon the Sloppy Joe sauce onto the bottoms. Add pickle slices and set the top buns in place.Karoline Boehm Goodnick

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