It took us quite some time and several attempts to create a satisfying vegan tofu pastrami. We tried it with tofu as a block and sliced up, different cooking times and seasoning mixes. The different methods each had their advantages: If you cut the tofu into slices and marinate them, you get more seasoning overall. However, they tend to get dry when baked, which we didn't like so much. We ended up with this version, which requires soaking the tofu in a brine, preferably overnight. It sounds a little tedious, but the result is well worth it. Together with the spice blend, this results in a salty, smoky, spicy flavor that makes a wonderful Vegan Pastrami.
1 block (250g) strongly smoked tofu 2-3 tbsp spicy mustard 1 tbsp neutral oil
For the pastrami spice mix: 2 tbsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds 1 tbsp ground coriander 1 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp smoked paprika powder 2 tsp garlic powder 2 tsp onion powder ½ tsp whole yellow mustard seeds
Put the tofu block in brine (80g salt to 1l water) so that it is completely covered with, and put it in the refrigerator for at least 4 h, better overnight.
Remove from the brine, drain well and dry with kitchen paper. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 390°F . For the spice mixture, coarsely crush the peppercorns and whole coriander in a mortar, mix with all other ingredients. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of mustard thinly on all sides of the tofu block. Turn tofu in the spice mixture so that all sides are evenly covered with spices. Lightly oil a baking sheet, place tofu on it and roast in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, turning several times until tofu is evenly browned on all sides. Remove from the oven and let cool. Then cut into thin slices with a sharp knife.
To make a sandwich, lightly toast two slices of sourdough bread, topping one slice with cheese, which should melt a bit. Spread the other slice with mustard or mayonnaise, top with a small pile of tofu pastrami and cover with the cheese bread slice. The sandwich tastes especially good with pickles or sauerkraut.