Have you ever known something for so long that you forget about it, then suddenly realize that it’s time to get back into it? That’s just how I feel right now about tofu on the grill. It seems that our time has come, because of the confluence of covid-19, meat shortages and food supply-chain disruption. Suddenly, people want to eat tofu.
And there have been tofu shortages and huge spikes in sales. Plant Based foods were up 90% in sales in the third week of March, and remain high. Tofu is suddenly safer and easier than meat, and it’s high time. All indications are that covid is most deadly for people with heart disease, inflammation, and poor health, and tofu is a great way to move into a healthier space.
I Know Tofu
Not to brag, but I’ve been cooking with tofu since forever, and have dedicated countless hours to making it more appealing to Americans. People who didn’t grow up eating it, people who tried it once or twice and found it off-putting, people who bought some once and then eventually just threw it away, those are the people I have been trying to reach.
So I’m uniquely positioned, it would seem, to jump out with some tofu ideas.
Grill Tofu in Summer
That said, I realized that there are so many people primed and ready to try tofu, and probably unaware of some of the tips and tricks that will make it appeal to a meat and potatoes kind of palate. So I made this video, probably before I had fully studied up on using my camera for video, but hey, it still gets the story told. I promise next time out, I’ll be in sharper focus. Or maybe I’ll make it soft focus on purpose, for vanity’s sake.
Thai Coconut- Lime Leaf Marinated Tofu on the Grill
- 2 14 oz blocks extra-firm tofu drained, then frozen and thawed
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup palm sugar chopped
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 6 large fresh makrut lime leaves
- 6 large dried shiitake mushrooms
- black rice
- cucumbers, garlic chives, rice vinegar
- Wrap the thawed tofu in a clean kitchen towel and press to get all the water out. Slice and place in a tub to marinate. Combine the water, tamari, palm sugar, coconut milk, lime juice, lime leaves and dried mushrooms in a small pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to a vigorous simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Pour the hot marinade over the tofu and shake the container to coat all the slices.Refrigerate the tofu overnight, shaking and turning the container to make sure the marinade coats the slices.Grill in a panini grill or on the grill, over medium heat. Serve with black rice, and a simple salad of cukes, mint, garlic chives and a splash of rice vinegar.