Grilled tofu, when done well, is truly a flavorful treat. This recipe has a simple marinade and a tofu prep method that will allow your tofu to soak up the delicious flavors and be grilled to perfection.
You can make this dish in advance and bring the marinated tofu to potlucks and parties, ready for the grill.
This recipe serves 4 people.
- 1 package of firm or extra-firm tofu (10 to 14 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons tamari, low-sodium soy sauce, or liquid aminos
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or neutral vegetable oil like canola or sunflower oil)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Zest and juice of 1 large lemon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 heaped teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Oil for the grill
- Take your tofu out of its package and drain off the water. Press it to get any excess moisture out. Pressing tofu is a crucial step since tofu is like a sponge: the less moisture it has inside, the better it will absorb the flavors of your marinade. You can either use a tofu press (it will take about 5 minutes), or a clean towel and a colander. Wrap your tofu in a clean towel. Place it in the colander and put some heavyweights on tops, such as filled jars or cans. Leave your tofu to drain (it will take about 20 minutes).
- Once your tofu is drained, pat it dry with another clean towel, and slice it into 1/2 inch thick slices.
- Combine all of the rest of the ingredients (except for the oil for the grill) in a mixing jug. Mix everything together, using a blender or a whisk. This is your marinade.
- Place your strips of tofu in a shallow baking pan or glass dish. Pour your marinade over the tofu and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer your tofu marinates, the more flavorful it will be. You can let it marinate for as long as 2 days. Note: if you leave it for longer than an hour or so, cover it and put it in the fridge.
- When you’re ready to cook, fire up your grill to medium heat (if you are using a grill pan, heat it to medium-high). Remove your tofu from the marinade, reserving it to drizzle over the tofu later. You may wish to precook your tofu by searing it in a pan till golden brown and then adding it to the grill for it to caramelize.
- Oil your grill generously so that your tofu doesn’t stick. Place your tofu on the grill at a diagonal so that you get attractive grill marks along each side. Grill for 1-2 minutes per side.
- Serve your grilled tofu with additional marinade poured over the top.
Note: You can reuse any leftover marinade. Keep it in a glass jar (no need to refrigerate), and it will last for 2 weeks, if not longer. You could also make a thicker sauce by putting your marinade in a saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Let it boil for a few minutes. A thicker marinade is delicious over rice or pasta (see tips below).
Grilled Tofu Recipe FAQs
What can I serve with grilled tofu?
Grilled tofu is good with just about any food. Try serving it in any of these tasty ways:
- As the base for a veggie burger with a bun, lettuce, avocado, sauerkraut, etc.
- On top of a green salad or tomato salad
- As a filling in a wrap with hummus, pickles, sliced red onion, and fresh tomatoes
- On a bed of rice or pasta with some additional marinade poured over the top
- Along with grilled vegetables such as asparagus, eggplant slices, or grilled tomatoes
- As a filling for tacos (substitute Italian spices for a taco seasoning mix)
- To top a grain or macro bowl
What other types of marinade can I use?
There are a lot of different marinades for tofu. Try some of these variations:
- A satay-style sauce (peanut or tahini-based)
- A barbecue sauce
- A honey mustard sauce
- A sweet chili sauce
What if I don’t have a grill?
You can pan fry your tofu – oil your saucepan and cook on medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side. Flip the tofu when the underside is golden brown.
If you have a broiler, put a rack about 6 to 8 inches underneath the broiler element. Preheat the broiler to low. Put the tofu under the broiler and cook, flipping halfway through – it should take about 10 minutes per side.
Remember to add some more marinade after cooking for maximum flavor.