Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Grilled Tofu and Vegetables... And Sandwiches

I actually really enjoy tofu.  Truly.  I like it so much that I will eat cubes of it cold, straight from the package when I am cooking.  You may not believe me, but after perusing my other recipes, I think it will become quickly obvious that I am not trying to impress anyone with my healthy eating habits.  Sometimes, it’s nice to marinate some tofu and vegetables (bell peppers, zucchini, and cremini mushrooms), and get them on the grill.  They don’t require much time to marinate or grill, and they make for a virtuous, complete dinner when paired with some brown rice.  I let all grilled items take a 10-minute dip in a flavorful Asian marinade with soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, and fresh limejuice to avoid any boring vegetable qualities. 
The key is to use a medium low heat, and spray the grill liberally with non-stick cooking spray (this will also lead to a delightful flare-up, which I’m sure is dangerous).  The bell peppers and the mushrooms take the longest to grill, so start there.  However, the tofu poses the greatest danger of sticking.  Grill the stout planks of tofu for about 3 minutes on one side, flip, and repeat.  When flipping them or removing them from the grill, give them a very gentle side-to-side shimmy until they release.  If they stick a little, don’t panic.  Simply proceed as planned, but then remove any pieces that stick and be sure to eat them.  They have sort of a bacony quality.
The best part of this meal was the leftovers.  And, to be honest, I designed this meal with the leftovers in mind.  For anyone out there who claims they dislike leftovers, I say you’re simply not putting enough thought into the use your leftovers.  Not everyone enjoys forkfuls of cold, sauced pasta; I’ll acknowledge that.  However, with a little thought put into your cooking, your leftovers can be a delicious wonder in their own right.  Case in point: grilled tofu and vegetable sandwiches.  I spiked some mayonnaise with limejuice and sriracha.  I then layered the leftover zucchini, grilled peppers, and tofu on some rosemary sourdough bread with some of my spicy, tart sauce, and enjoyed a very flavorful and satisfying sandwich.
Grilled Tofu and Vegetables

Juice of 1 lime
2 teaspoons honey
1 garlic clove, grated
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablepsoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sriracha
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil (or other light colored oil)
1-2 zucchini, sliced in long planks
2 red bell peppers, sliced into “cheeks”
8-10 cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed
1 block of extra firm tofu

-       Cut tofu into 6 pieces.  Line a shallow, wide dish with a clean cloth napkin.  Lay tofu pieces in napkin and wrap the napkin over the tofu.  Place a heavy bottomed pot over the napkin and allow tofu to drain for 15-20 minutes.
-       Whisk together the first 9 ingredients for marinade, and prepare vegetable. In one or two wide dishes, lay all ingredients down and pour 3/4 of marinade over them.  Gently flip tofu and vegetables in marinade.
-       Preheat grill to medium, and then reduce heat to medium low just before adding food to the grill.
-       Cook bell peppers and mushrooms for 8-10 minutes total, or until tender.
-       Cook tofu and zucchini for 4-5 minutes total.
-       Serve with brown rice and drizzle with remaining marinade.


  1. the only part that is crazy is the tofu = bacony quality

  2. Everyone knows that tofu is just like bacon. They are both packed with umami!