Caramelized Garlic Tofu Mayo



1 hr


1 pint

Chris, a cook I used to work with, introduced this blended tofu concept to me. At the time, we were smoking firm tofu for a vegan caesar-like dressing. I’ve since adapted the recipe to something more neutral that can be used as an ingredient, just as you would mayo. Using soft tofu yields a creamy result and blanching it removes some of the green notes you would get if eaten raw (I learned this from Chinese Cooking Demystified’s Mapo Tofu recipe). You could skip the garlic and oil step to make a plain Tofu Mayo for slaws, sandwiches, pasta salads, creamy dressings, or any other place you would use mayo. Or just use this garlicky version for those same things as well.


from your CSA Club Share

  • Garlic – ½ head (3-4 large cloves)

from your pantry

You’ll need

  • Neutral Oil – ⅓ c
    • Our everyday oil is sunflower oil from Century Sun Oil. Based in Wisconsin, Century Sun cold presses Illinois-grown sunflower seeds to make this oil. They’re a little more challenging to source besides purchasing from their website. Reach out if you’re interested in trying it though.
  • Soft Tofu – ½ block (~245 g)
    • We love Phoenix Bean since they source all their non-gmo soy from Illinois farms. Find them at a number of asian and specialty grocery stores.
  • Mustard – ½ t
    • Any type would work, but we use a grainy yellow mustard.
  • White Vinegar – 3 t
  • Sugar – 3 t
  • Salt – 1.5 t
  • Hot sauce – 1 splash
    • Any type would work. A touch of cayenne powder would also work.

larder items

Nothing for this recipe!


  • Food processor or blender



  1. In a small pot over medium heat, combine the oil and garlic. Allow to come up to temperature until bubbles start to stream out from the garlic, then reduce the heat to medium low and allow to cook until the garlic is a very lightly golden, ~30-45 mins. The bubbles should be constant, but not vigorous. The bubbles will begin to slow once the garlic is close to being done. Be sure to remove from the heat before the  bubbles completely stop, otherwise it will likely burn.
  2. In the meantime, bring a pot of well-salted water to a slight simmer.
    1. Cut up the tofu into ~½” cubes and place into the water once simmering. Simmer 2-3 mins. Remove from heat and allow to soak until ready to use.
  3. Once the garlic is a light brown color, remove the oil from the heat and allow to cool to a comfortable temperature.


  1. In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu, mustard, vinegar, sugar, salt, and hot sauce. Once the garlic and oil has cooled, remove the cloves and add them to the blender as well and blend until smooth, ~1 min.
  2. Scrape down the sides and add in the oil. Blend ~ 1-2 mins, until the mixture is smoother and light. Taste and adjust and seasoning if needed. Empty into a deli or other container and store refrigerated for up to two weeks.


Use broccoli, carrots, crispy potatoes, steak, or any other locally-sourced food as a vehicle for your tasty mayo