Friday, July 04, 2014

Perfect Grilled Tofu



If I hadn’t started making copycat Mai Tais from Mac’s Shack in Wellfleet, and if they hadn’t turned out to be the best thing ever, this tofu would be my most-requested recipe of the summer.


I have been making it all the time, for groups both vast and small, and it is tangy, smoky, and perfect. Always good and always loved by all. Plus, easy-peasy. I cannot recommend it enough.

Happy fourth, my lovies. Stay cool (Ponyboy). xo























Perfect Grilled Tofu
This recipe is very easy to double, and you don’t really need to quite double the marinade: about 1 ½ times the recipe is perfect for 4 packages of tofu.

2 (12-ounce) packages extra-firm tofu
½ cup sherry vinegar (This is not the same as cooking sherry. I want to say, "Or a different kind of vinegar," but cannot bring myself to. However, if you try it with a different kind, please report back. I'm sure it will be great.)
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 cloves garlic, pressed)
½ teaspoon kosher salt (or ½ as much table salt)
½ teaspoon cayenne (or not, if you don’t want or have)
½ teaspoon dried marjoram or thyme (or not, if you don’t want or have)
Black pepper

Begin by pressing out the extra moisture from the tofu: remove each slab from its aquarium, wrap them in a clean dish towel, and put something heavy on them. I like to use a baking sheet with a full tea kettle on it. Leave it like this for, oh, 5 to 45 minutes. Longer is better, but shorter is totally fine.

Meanwhile, mix together the remaining ingredients.

Cut each piece of tofu into 6 slabs, and put it all in a dish or Ziplock bag for marinating. Pour the marinade over the tofu, cover it, refrigerate it, and leave it to marinate for 30 minutes to 48 hours, turning it occasionally to get all the surfaces saturated. Longer is better, but shorter is totally fine; I probably average around 4 hours, but when I’ve done it for 24, it was amazing.

Oil your grill, preheat it at high, and then turn it down to medium (or do whatever the equivalent is, if you’re using charcoal or a fire-breathing dragon). Put the tofu on the grill (reserve the marinade) and cook it, turning, until it’s well browned, but before the grill marks get black (10-15 minutes total). This from Michael: “There’s a time when it goes from white to beige, but it’s still not done, even though it has grill marks. It needs to get really dark brown before it seems cooked.” (What? I don’t know.)

Now put the tofu back in the dish, and pour the reserved marinade back over it, and eat hot, warm, room-temperature, or cold. Sometimes, and I know this is annoyingly vague, I reduce the marinade a little by boiling it in a small pot, but sometimes I think that’s just so I have something to do while Michael’s cooking it. It is great either way.

27 comments:

  1. Allyson6:12 PM

    This looks soooo good. Do you think it would work under a broiler or in a cast iron skillet? Our grill is not currently functional. (sigh)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that either would work great, Allyson! xo

      Delete
  2. Great! Perfect to add to noodle salads! But, do you know what would make those salads even better than this tofu??? That copy-cat Mai Tai recipe... ;) (please?)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jaime4:11 PM

    So....will you also share the mai tai recipe? :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Rebecca B9:43 AM

    Indeed...+1 will you share the perfect Mai Tai recipe?

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's just mean to mention a Mai Tai recipe and not share it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. So no brown sugar or maple syrup in the marinade? Do you think it would caramelize too quickly? And yes, Mai Tai recipe, please!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erin, it's more that I don't like sweet so much. But actually, I do think it would be a little inclined to burn on the grill. . .

      Delete
  7. Where's the mai tai recipe?!?!? :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Francine9:29 PM

    The grilled tofu was great, thanks for another memorable recipe! We ate the leftovers in sandwiches for lunch. Both kids (can we really still call them kids...) loved it. Have a very nice summer!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold. The tofu is gorgeous. How about the Mai Tais. Please? :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. This looks amazing. It may well become our summer version of your soy-glazed tofu, which has been a total go-to for us for years now. Perhaps it will help me pass the days until we get to Mac's Shack in August (our annual Wellfleet trip!)

    ReplyDelete
  11. maxanyamom10:38 PM

    Thank you for a tofu recipe so fabulous that my 11 yo actually ate leftovers for lunch the next day!! He is a carnivore at heart and has always been suspicious of tofu. He has only recently and reluctantly agreed that your maple lemon glazed tofu, the version that my daughter & I adore, is OK. I'll be making this one several times this month!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Caitlin9:59 PM

    Tofu looks great. But now I really have a hankering for a Mai Tai. And I've never even had one!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. You Wellfleet people do know about PB, right? Of course you do. French pastries by Lecount Hollow Road? YUM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish we didn't, Anna. I always say (and mean it) that it's the best French bakery outside of France. I swear.

      Delete
  14. linda4:09 PM

    Thank you Catherine for this recipe! It made me feel like a rock star when my husband's French foreign-exchange-student-host-family came to visit. I found myself hosting them and another vegan-gluten-free family for dinner (with little kids). What to make that would suit everyone and be impressive enough for out-of-country guests? I got many, many compliments on the tofu and everyone had seconds!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow! I'm seriously salivating over that. I love tofu in all its forms and recipe variants, but yours is just truly divine. I'm going to the grocery after this and grill my own version. Thank you so much for sharing that amazing recipe! All the best to you!

    Bob Andrews @ Chili House

    ReplyDelete