Tofu Holiday "Ham"

One of my most missed foods from my meat eating days is the holiday roasted ham that my mother would make for Christmas, Easter, and sometimes Thanksgiving. This colorful dish was the perfect mix of sweet and savory with pineapple and cherries. My recipe is a little different than my mothers, but it still retains the cheerful holiday spirit and the smoky flavor. If you are doubling or tripling this recipe, be sure to put the tofu into individual containers. Please read the important final note at the end.

Prep Time: 5 minutes + 2 days

Cook Time: 30-45 minutes

Servings: 4


  • 1 orange
  • 1 onion
  • 1tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1tsp black pepper
  • 20-30 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • fresh parsley (for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke (optional)


  1. Mix together garlic powder, water, soy sauce, maple syrup, basil, tarragon, cumin, oregano, and black pepper in a non-leak bowl with a lid and set aside. Use a bowl that fits the tofu as snugly as possible! Taste the marinade to make sure its not too salty because the tofu will taste EXACTLY like the marinade (I made this recipe a little saltier to mimic the saltiness of ham).
  2. Drain the liquid from the tofu.
  3. Try to remove as much of the liquid from the tofu without breaking the shape.
  4. Cut off the top edges of the tofu to give it a more rounded ham shape. ***If you dont care about the ham shape, cut into 1/2 inch slices skip to step 8
  5. Make 4 vertical cuts 1 inch into the bottom of the tofu to vent it and so the marinade can soak through.
  6. Crosshatch the top of the tofu with several cuts that are about a 1/2 inch deep. Make sure these do not go too deep or come in contact with the bottom cuts. You want as much flavor to penetrate the tofu as possible but still be able to make gorgeous slices of tofu as you would a ham.
  7. At each crosshatch intersection, add 1 whole clove to look like a quilted pattern. *** Just place them in the bowl if you dont want the ham shape
  8. Place the tofu in the bowl.
  9. Strategically arrange the onion and orange slices to keep the tofu from shifting or losing shape. Add the parsley on top.
  10. Let the tofu rest in this mixture for 24-48 hours. If the liquid does not completely cover the tofu, turn the container upside down after 12 or 24 hours.
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Remove the tofu from the marinade container into an oven-safe dish.
  3. Drizzle the top of the tofu with honey and oil.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes with the marinade, then drain and bake again for 15-25 minutes until golden brown. I choose to bake it with the orange and onion as they make a nice garnish when serving. I also toss in the pieces that I shaved off to make the ham shape after draining the broth. Those can be used for sandwiches later or a light snack if you cant wait for dinner ;)


The cloves have a very sharp and unpleasant taste that you and your guests will not enjoy so please remove them before consuming.

This recipe is a hit and I enjoy it year round. It is really great for sandwiches and once sliced the pieces can be reheated or even fried! Much like a real ham, the possibilities are endless. Comment below any new recipes that you would like to see and send me any photos if you decide to give it a try!

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