Grilled Tofu, a New Vegetarian Delight
Ever had grilled tofu? Try it -- it's surprisingly good.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
If nothing else, the reality of grilled tofu proves one thing: that people will try to barbecue anything that will stand still long enough. Not that this is a bad thing. Grilling is, after all, kind of like chocolate, in the sense that people love it so much they'll try it with just about anything.
If you've ever had chocolate-covered seafood or a chocolate and bacon candy bar, then you know what I mean. And fear not: there are many things you can do on the grill that also involve chocolate. But more on that in a later article. We're getting off-topic here!
If you've never heard of it, tofu is a kind of Asian gelatin made from mashed soybeans. It's usually off-white in color, and has a bland flavor. However, as with potatoes, that bland flavor allows you to jazz it up in all kinds of ways, and it can end up tasting pretty darn good.
Seeing as how the term "vegan barbecue" is practically a contradiction in terms, it's nice to see something grillable that our vegetarian friends can add to their barbecue experience, along with veggie burgers and roast corn. And it's low-fat, too, which makes it good for everyone.
The Firmer, the Better
Fortunately, tofu can be pretty solid in its extra-firm varieties, as barbecued tofu wouldn't be possible otherwise. So buy the firmest tofu you can. That said, I recommend that you press it somewhat before you start to prepare it. Here's a link that shows you how to press tofu to make it firmer:
Here's a Recipe!
I like this formula for sweet, spicy BBQ tofu, and I think you will, too. Here's what you need to get it done:
Two pounds of extra firm tofu
1-1/2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
1-1/2 cups of brown sugar
1-1/2 cups of orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon of chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the tofu into rectangles about three-quarters of an inch thick and set them aside. Next, mix all the other ingredients together in a large saucepan and whisk the mixture steadily over a medium low heat for about three minutes.
Pour the mix into a wide, flat dish, and then allow the tofu slices to marinade in it for 2-3 hours at room temperature. Make sure you completely cover the slices with the sauce mix.
Before you grill the tofu (which you should do over a relatively low heat), spray the grill with a non-stick spray, as tofu does have a tendency to stick. Then grill the marinated slices 4-5 minutes per side, et viola! Flavor your grilled tofu with salt and pepper, and enjoy the heck out of it.