This post is a guest post from Ben Smith, a former semi-pro cyclist and a big eater. Now he is just a big eater. He writes about barbecue (mostly) for lazy chefs at The Online Grill.
Being vegan at a barbecue can be testing. Beyond salads and sometimes dull veggie burgers, it can be difficult to think up meat-free options that are both filling and fun. Enter these tofu BBQ skewers. Not only are they meat-free, but they’re delicious and filling. They are a great alternative to their chicken counterparts. Now before you click away, I know what you’re thinking: “Tofu? Really?”. But hear me out. I think tofu gets a bad rap, and unfairly. A lot of people think it’s a wet, mushy, bland mess. But the truth is there are a whole variety of ways to prepare it, all with their own distinct tastes and textures.
If you think of tofu as a bland blob, then I’d wager that you haven’t had it prepared properly. And hopefully this recipe today will be the one to change your mind. If you can get the preparation right, then you’re well on your way to making a legitimate, delicious meat substitute.
For me, tofu is at its best when it achieves a meat-like texture and shape. Sometimes you can get this on top of sushi to replace fish, or even as tofu bites that you then dip in a sauce. Today though, I want to achieve this meat-like feel with these tofu skewers, paired with a beautiful peanut dipping sauce. Tofu is quite an absorbent food, arguably more so than meat, so you can give it a very quick marinate before searing it. It’ll lock in the flavor of your marinade while also having a crisp surface and crunch to it.
I tend to have this recipe as either an appetizer or snack with some drink. However if you do want to to have it as meal then I recommend trying it with some flavored rice or with hummus.
If you enjoy these skewers and are looking for other gluten-free, vegan BBQ ideas then check out my roundup of vegan, gluten-free BBQ recipe ideas here. Anyway, enough talking – let’s get into it!
BBQ Tofu Skewers
- 1 block firm tofu
- 1/2 inch ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce/tamari
- 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sriracha sauce
- 2 tbsp oil for frying
For the sauce
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce/tamari
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup water
Start by making the marinade. Do this by combining the soy sauce, sriracha, sesame seeds, garlic and sesame oil in a small bowl. Once combined, transfer to a ziploc or freezer bag
Cut your tofu into 12 evenly sized pieces. Put the pieces in the ziploc/freezer bag. Zip or close it tightly and put to one side
Now onto the sauce. In a small saucepan, add the peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, water and sesame oil. Put over a low heat while stirring, and bring to a simmer. Keep stirring until combined thoroughly. Remove from heat
Now onto the fun stuff. Heat up a frying pan with a little bit of oil over a high heat. Remove the tofu from the ziploc/freezer bags and add to pan. Sear on both sides and remove from heat
Pierce 2-3 pieces of tofu on each skewer. Serve up with your choice of sesame seeds, onions, lettuce, or even rice
About the Author:
Ben is a former semi-pro cyclist and a big eater. Now he is just a big eater. He writes about barbecue (mostly) for lazy chefs at The Online Grill.