Tofu is a great shapeshifter ingredient. The flavor profile of this recipe is Mediterranean, which shows the adaptability of tofu outside of the usual Asian-inspired recipes.

Spices and herbs are a great way to add phytonutrients to the diet and use less salt, while increasing flavor and supporting a healthy immune system. Cumin is rich in vitamins A and C, which make it a potent antioxidant that helps support optimal immune function and helps prevent cancer progression. Cilantro is a rich source of vitamin K and also anti-inflammatory thanks to its high phytonutrient content. Read more about phytonutrients on our blog.

4 servings

12 ingredients

30 min prep


For the marinade:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅔ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup
  • 1 (14 ounce) block extra-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch slices

For cooking and serving:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cilantro and mint, chopped for garnish

  1. Add all marinade ingredients and sliced tofu to a resealable plastic bag. Marinate tofu for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
  2. Preheat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When oil starts to ripple, add tofu to pan, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, which can steam instead of fry the tofu. If tofu doesn’t sizzle immediately when adding to the pan, remove it and wait another minute.
  3. Cook tofu on both sides until golden, about four minutes on each side. Right before removing tofu from pan, pour in extra marinade from the bag and cook down until it’s slightly thickened. Transfer cooked tofu to a plate with sauce and garnished with more fresh herbs. Serve immediately with a crisp salad, roasted vegetables, and/or brown rice.

Chef Tips

For crunchier results, prep the tofu by wrapping it in a paper towel and setting a heavy plate on top to press out more water for at least 30 minutes before adding to the marinade.

This marinade recipe can also be used for chicken or fish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories: 229; Fat: 19g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 11g; Carbohydrates: 9g; Sugar: 4g; Fiber: 2g; Protein: 10g; Sodium: 20mg

Registered Dietitian Approved

Your recipes, articles, videos, and more content are reviewed by our Registered Dietitian Kate Ueland, MS, RD, CSO, a board-certified specialist in oncology nutrition, to ensure that each is backed with scientific evidence and follows the guidelines set by the Oncology Nutrition for Clinical Practice, 2nd Ed., published by the Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group, a professional interest group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American Institute for Cancer Research and the American Cancer Society.

This recipe was originally published on Cook for Your Life. It is used by permission.

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