Even though I’m a recovering vegetarian, I’ve never been a huge fan of tofu. I often find it bland and mushy, although every now and then I encounter a version I like that is savoury and chewy. I’ve never really known how to make tofu like that myself, until now.
We’re working on introducing Miles to solids these days, and we’re using an approach called “baby-led weaning”. Basically that means we let him be in charge of what goes in his mouth, instead of playing games to spoon feed him. I guess that’s a discussion for a Miles-centric post, so I’ll leave it at that for now. The relevance to this post is that at this age he needs to get some iron from his food, so we thought we’d try him on tofu. That left me with the majority of a block to deal with, and no ideas of how to make it delicious. I looked in a few of my more hippie recipe books, and found inspiration in the Rebar book. The end result was better than I had hoped, and is definitely going to be on the menu again this week.
According to the Rebar cookbook, the key to getting good flavour with tofu is to press out the water before marinating it. I put my tofu on a cutting board that has a groove around the edge, put a plate on top of it, and balanced a big can of tomatoes on top of that. I left it for about an hour and was amazed at the amount of liquid that came out. Definitely don’t skip that step!
- 1 block of tofu (350-450 grams)
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp minced ginger
- 1.5 tsp sambal (Use more or less to taste. This amount makes it fairly spicy.)
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 1 lime (or a good squeeze of bottled lemon juice, if like me, you’ve got lime zest in the freezer from a previous lime)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
Press tofu as described above, and then slice into pieces no more than 1cm thick. Combine all marinade ingredients in a shallow dish, and let tofu marinate for at least 4 hours. Turn tofu once or more to ensure all sides get marinated.
Pre-heat BBQ on high heat. Remove tofu from marinade, keeping marinade handy to baste tofu while grilling. Grill tofu for 3-4 minutes on the first side, flip and spoon some marinade on the top side. Grill another 3-4 minutes. Tofu should have nice grill marks and be feeling fairly firm. You can flip and baste once more if you like.
Serve warm with a salad and crusty bread. Any leftovers make fabulous sandwich fixings for the next day with avocado, mixed green and tomato.