Monday, 7 November 2011

Asian Marinade for Grilled Tofu

Hippies rejoice! This is an uber-healthy recipe, and it is delicious!

There are many ways to cook tofu, which is one of the things I love about it. You can fry, bake, stew, scramble it... But grilling it is one of the most simple and quick ways to cook it. I love the chewy texture of grilled tofu, and if you use a grilling pan, it will look so cool with the little charred marks!

Marinating it is also the easiest way to infuse your tofu with flavor. I'll concede it; in and of itself, tofu doesn't taste of anything. But once drained and pressed, it will do a great job of absorbing the flavors of a marinade, or anything you cook it with. Another reason to make friends with tofu if you haven't already; the possibilities are endless!

Maybe it's a vague patriotic fiber, but my favorite brand of extra-firm tofu is Liberté. The plain or fine herbs varieties are both great, and the texture makes it really easy to prepare. Check the expiry date when you buy them, but they usually keep almost a month in the fridge, and tofu can be frozen. Just pop it in the freezer, still in it's package. You can keep it there for a few months. Defrost the package at room temperature until completely thawed, drain and press, and cook!

I whipped this marinade up one night, out of what I had left kicking around the pantry; it's basically my favorite Asian-y flavors all blended together. Sesame, ginger (of course!), lime and soy sauce make for a juicy, salty and zangy tofu.

1 (1 pound) block extra-firm tofu, pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 limes, juiced
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
Sesame seeds, to sprinkle

Cut the tofu widthwise into 4 equal pieces and place the pieces in a Pyrex dish. Mix the marinade ingredients together well, and pour over the tofu. Let it marinate for 1 to 4 hours, flipping it every half hour.

Preheat a grilling pan on medium-high heat, then spray with nonstick cooking spray. Use tongs to place to tofu pieces in the pan, and use them to gently press them down on the ridges. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, then flip and cook for another 3 minutes.

Flip again, and turn the tofu pieces 90 degrees to get a lovely crosshatched pattern. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and place them on a cutting board. Cut each piece diagonally across in 2 triangles or in long strips. Serve drizzled with the marinade, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

It's perfect with some jasmine rice or vermicelli, and steamed veggies, especially broccoli. Don't forget to leave the soy sauce and some Sri Racha on the table!

This dish is an extremely easy complete meal, and once the marinating is done, it takes 10 minutes to get on the table, and will leave you stuffed and utterly happy with life.

If you get home from work or school starving and don't want to wait the hour to press the tofu, then the hour to marinate it, here's what you do: when you get up in the morning, press your tofu while you are going through your morning routine. Pour the marinade over the tofu, and put the Pyrex dish in the fridge. Then shoo, go about your business. The tofu can sit there all day, absorbing flavor. You don't get to flip it, but it'll be just as good once it lands on your plate.


  1. Greets from a CT Yankee in Japan . Home alone tonight so looked on the net for a marinade to use for the YAKI TOFU my wife bought ( at my request ) yesterday . Just finished putting it into the marinade and will cook in about 90 minutes . Get back to you later ...: ) Arigato !

  2. Cool! Keep me posted on the results! :-)

  3. It was terrific ! I didn't have limes so substituted lemon juice . Domo arigato !

  4. So glad you enjoyed it! Thanks again for reading :-)

  5. Greets again from Japan ! Home alone tonight so will use same marinade w/ some leftover , small pieces of chicken breast ...Now in fridge ! :-)