It’s barbecue season (yay!) and a few nights ago we decided to fire up our Woki-Wok.
(The Woki-Wok is our super-cool barbecue that can also be used as a wok, grill, steamer, smoker, griddle, etc etc. It came with an ENORMOUS cast iron wok which is now an indispensible part of the Thrifty kitchen. Though the Woki-Wok retails for around £150, we got ours last summer for a bargain £50 from eBay. Check it out if you are in the market for a new barbecue.)
I had a hankering for a big slab o’ tofu on the barbie. When I’ve baked or barbecued tofu in the past, I’ve always been a bit disappointed at how it’s turned out. The marinade/sauce never seemed to be committed to becoming one with the tofu, if you know what I mean.
Then I discovered the secrets to happy conjugal tofu-marinade relations.
You have to first press, and then gently pan-fry the tofu before you marinate it. The marinade should also have a bit of body to it, so that when you barbecue the tofu, it forms a delicious crust. The idea for the technique came from Out of the Frying Pan.
I adapted the marinade recipe from here.
Be warned, it is a VERY salty marinade. You wouldn’t want to use it as a sauce. But because tofu is completely bland, it doesn’t taste too salty with this marinade.
Teriyaki tofu burgers
|oil for frying|
|Teriyaki marinade (recipe below)|
1. Cut the tofu into burger-sized slabs. The tofu I buy comes in a block that is about 10cm (4″) square, by 2.5cm (1″) thick. I slice it through the thickness so that I end up with two pieces that are 10cm square by 1.2cm thick (4″ square by 1/2″ thick).
2. Next, press some of the moisture out of the tofu to make it firmer. (If you are using tofu that is already very firm, you can probably omit this step.) Lay a kitchen towel, folded in half, onto a baking tray. Lay the tofu, in a single layer, on top of the towel, then fold the other half of the towel over the tofu. You will now have a double layer of towel both underneath and on top of the tofu. Lay another tray on top of the tofu, then put something heavy on the tray (I use a couple of 5 litre (160 oz) tins of olive oil). Leave for 1/2 hour to one hour.
3. When tofu has finished being pressed, heat a bit of oil (I used groundnut/peanut) in a heavy skillet. Gently saute the tofu until it is a light golden colour, then flip and saute the other side. Remove from skillet and place in a single layer in a shallow dish or plate.
4. Spread a thin layer of marinade over the tofu, then flip it over in the dish and spread more on top. Let it sit for 1/2 hour.
5. Cook on a barbecue until the coating has caramelised onto the tofu, about 20 minutes (this will depend on how hot the barbecue is). Watch it closely to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Makes two servings.
|165ml||mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)||1/3 cup|
|125ml||Japanese soy sauce||1/2 cup|
|2 teaspoons||rice vinegar||2 teaspoons|
|1/2 teaspoon||sesame oil||1/2 teaspoon|
|2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons||sugar||2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons|
|3 cloves||garlic, minced||3 cloves|
|1/2 tablespoon||minced fresh ginger||1/2 tablespoon|
|dash||red pepper flakes||dash|
|to taste||freshly ground pepper||to taste|
|1 teaspoon||cornflour (cornstarch)||1 teaspoon|
1. Simmer mirin in a pan for 8-10 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and pepper, and simmer another 5 minutes.
2. Mix cornflour (cornstarch) with a teaspoon or two of water. Add it to the simmering marinade, whisking constantly, until thickened.
This is more than you will need for two servings of tofu; store extra marinade in a glass jar in the fridge.