What The Dickens Do I Do With Tofu?! - Part One
That's right. Part one means there will be a second and third way I show you how to make tofu into something delicious, that proudly can be served as a main dish.
My husband has been a vegetarian for many years now. This is after I decided we were going on a whole foods cleanse with advice from the Oprah show, and he realized his body was meant to be vegetarian, and I realized my body needed Korean Short Ribs STAT.
I grew up eating tofu, but never thought about making it a main dish. In desperation to make something for the vegetarian hubby other than a salad, I starting experimenting with different options. This is perfect for a summer barbeque where hot dogs are usually king.
Tofu is the perfect vehicle for any flavor you add to it. The ingredients for this recipe are powerful and simple: Firm tofu, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, coarse black pepper, and lime.
Cut the tofu into cubes, about 1/2 an inch. You just want them large enough so they don't fall into the grill grates. Cutting them into pieces instead of marinating the whole block gives way more flavor to each individual bite.
One of the tricks to getting this chocked full of tastiness is not just the lime juice, but the zest. Be careful of getting the white pith just below the peel. It's bitter.
Toss all the seasonings and lime into a plastic bag to marinate overnight, or for at least 2 hours. The marinade wont break down the firm tofu, so it's ok to even leave it for a couple days (I have!)
I like to use plastic bags for marinades because when you take most of the air out of the bag, it will cover all of what you're trying to marinade. If you don't have a plastic bag, no worries! Just make sure to flip the tofu in whatever you put it in so it's getting the flavor goodness on both sides.
24 hours later.
The tofu is now ready for the grill. Go ahead and sneak a taste. The taste and aroma will be wonderful, and you can do a comparison of how the texture changes once it's grilled.
Pat the tofu dry so the marinade isn't splattering onto the coals, sending flames up. You could set aside some of the marinade and add some more lime juice for a dipping sauce. Hold off on using it for another batch of tofu, because you wont get the same amount of flavor.
Get those coals ready! It's always fun to start the show with a big flame. If you don't want to grill the tofu, that's totally fine! Pan fry these bad boys with a little vegetable oil in a pan, and you will still love this recipe. Grilling the tofu just adds a layer of summer taste, and firms up the tofu even more.
When the coals start turning a light gray, make a two-zone grill in order to get great sear markings with the hot zone, and cook the tofu a little longer without burning in the cool zone. Here are some tips from Weber about this very thing.
Sear the tofu. I love that sizzle sound.
Flip the tofu pieces after 3 minutes and bask in their golden glory. Just like your kitchen appliances, the more you use the grill, the more characteristics you'll figure out. For example, our grill is also a fire pit, so our coals are REALLY close the the grate. I actually flipped these after about a minute. Best advice here is sear to your liking, and if you're nervous about burning them, test 1 piece first.
These are now moved to the cooler zone to finish cooking (firm up in texture). Put the lid on for 5 minutes. You can see that some pieces did burn a bit too much, but lucky me, my hubby actually prefers some with burnt pieces ... at least that's what he tells me ...
Take the lid off and remove the tofu pieces onto your serving platter. I threw on some corn and green tomatoes to add to our vegetarian barbeque feast.
Voila! Isn't it beautiful?! Yum.
You can serve these right away, or even at room temperature.
And there you have it. They will be delicious (and filling!) with grilled veggies, fresh cucumber kimchi on the side and a light beer. Heck, any beer you like would be good. Enjoy!
Makes 1.75 pounds of tofu
2 (14 - ounce) packages of firm tofu
Zest and juice of 2 Limes
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons sesame seed oil
1 Tablespoon coarse black pepper
1. Cut tofu into rectangle pieces, about 1/2 inches.
2. Put tofu pieces in plastic bag to marinade.
3. Zest and juice limes.
4. Put the lime zest and juice, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and pepper in the plastic bag with the tofu.
5. Get most of the air out of the bag and close it, then lightly massage the marinade on the tofu.
6. Marinate overnight or at least for two hours.
7. Make a two zone grill.
8. Sear the tofu to get grill marks, 3 minutes on each side.
9. Move the pieces to the cooler zone for 5 minutes, with the lid on.
10. Take off grill and serve.