I came to tofu late in life. When I was growing up, I can’t recall a block of tofu ever making it into my house, let alone crossing my lips. I was a carb loving meat eater who like most children that grew up in the 80s and 90s, ate a lot of microwaved broccoli with cheez whiz. Fast forward 20 years, and I have a vegetarian wife and three vegetarian kids. I have found all sorts of ways to cook broccoli that don’t involve a microwave or cheez whiz, and a bunch of ways to cook tofu that take it way past tolerable into delicious territory. This simplest grilled tofu recipe is something you can crank out in a few minutes without a recipe once you make it a couple of times.
If you have been avoiding tofu because you would rather just eat chicken, fear not. I have made this for decidedly carnivore friends, and they all love it. The tofu gets really flavorful and firm when you use this method. I promise it’s not like eating a flavorless sponge or anything.
This is one of those ways, and it is so painfully simple, you’ll feel like you won’t want to tell your friends how you did it because they will think you some kind of kitchen cheat or corner cutter. Don’t even worry about that for a second. Making great dishes with just a couple of ingredients brings out the flavors of your ingredients.
This dish is really a building block to either include in other dishes, or to serve alongside a couple of things to round out a meal. You could try this awesome grilled bok choy. My girls love it with some broccoli and rice on the side.
To make this gluten free:
You don’t have to change much to make this dish gluten free. Fist, use a gluten free brand of tofu. Next, substitute tamari for the soy sauce and you are all set.
Serves 2 slices
An absurdly simple way to marinate and grill tofu.
10 minPrep Time
8 minCook Time
18 minTotal Time
- 2 lbs extra firm tofu
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tsp sesame oil
- Cut the tofu into six pieces each block, cutting the short way across the blocks. Don’t make them too thin or they may fall apart when you flip them on the grill. Lay out a paper towel or a dish towel and place as many tofu pieces as will fit onto the towel. Cover with another towel and press down to remove as much moisture as possible. Repeat for all of the tofu
- on a large rimmed baking sheet, mix the soy sauce and sesame oil with a fork until well mixed
- Place the tofu in the soy mixture. Flip the tofu over to coat all sides.
- Preheat your grill to medium high heat. If you are going to broil instead of grill, preheat your broiler to high. If the tofu has absorbed most of the liquid on the baking sheet, there is no need to even transfer the tofu to another sheet to broil.
- While the grill heats, flip the tofu a couple more times to absorb as much of the marinade as possible
- Spray the grill with some canola, or other neutral oil. If you don’t have an oil sprayer, you can put some oil in a small dish and fold a paper towel. Then soak the towel in the oil. Using tongs, gently rub the paper towel on the grill grates.
- Cook the tofu for 4 minutes per side. Flip carefully using tongs or a spatula. Pro tip: I've found that sliding the tofu a tiny bit to the side with tongs before you pick it up helps keep it from sticking to the grill.
- Remove to a serving dish and enjoy