When I learned the secret to cooking tofu, a whole new world opened up in my kitchen. Tofu, in my opinion, is the perfect addition to any meal regardless of the cuisine. In fact, I recently had a teriyaki tofu bowl while out to lunch with the girls, and I thought I can make teriyaki tofu better and with way less sugar.
I was surprised to learn how much sugar is in Teriyaki sauce. In fact, most recipes and bottled versions are more than 50% sugar. No wonder it tastes so good 🙂 So, in an attempt to make an incredible teriyaki tofu recipe, I created a teriyaki sauce that is truly a keeper. During what I call “accidental” recipes, I sometimes find a gem to keep in my permanent recipe box, and this is one such sauce.
As you are aware from previous posts, if you read them, I love grilled tofu! For me, it’s all about preparing tofu so it will absorb whatever marinades and flavors I throw at it. And I adore the grilled, crispy outside and those lovely grill marks.
Yesterday, I played in the kitchen and came up with an incredible tofu teriyaki bowl with a great sauce I plan to use for a variety of recipes.
HOW TO CHOOSE WHAT GOES INSIDE YOUR TERIYAKI TOFU, GRAIN AND VEGGIE BOWL
Since I was craving teriyaki sauce, and challenging myself to make a better bowl than I ate at the restaurant, I wanted to pick a variety of colors and textures. Red quinoa, for instance, is one of my favorite grains.
Actually a seed, quinoa is full of protein, gluten-free, and simply delicious. By all means, my favorite quinoas are red, black and tri-colored, because of their bold and nutty flavor.
Although you can use white quinoa, I prefer the colored ones not only for the flavor but also for the incredible colors it brings to the bowl.
For that reason, I chose a red quinoa. In a recent post, I suggested a perfect way to cook quinoa each and every time, so if you need helpful hints, click the link How to Cook Quinoa.
Then, I picked a variety of raw vegetables such as organic baby spinach, avocado, Simple Rosemary Infused Pickled Red Onions, and pineapple to go with my teriyaki tofu recipe. Because I want my bowl colorful and full of flavor, I picked simple but robust flavors.
Even though I chose pickled onions for their tangy flavor, raw onions would work just as well.
However, the pineapple, adds a sweetness to the bowl and is highlighted in the teriyaki sauce I made to marinate the tofu and drizzle on the bowl before serving.
Sometimes, depending on how I am feeling, I combine raw and cooked foods not only for nutritional value but also for pure convenience. This Teriyaki tofu recipe, for instance, is quick and easy, and everything can be made ahead of time.
So, it can be eaten hot, cold, or a combination of both.
For example, if you prefer your spinach cooked instead of raw, it works just as well cooked. Avocado, though raw in this bowl, could also be grilled, as could the pineapple, and onions.
HOW TO PRESS, MARINATE THE TOFU FOR TERIYAKI TOFU BOWL
The secret to great tofu is a simple process, which when done correctly, creates an incredible protein source that can literally be cooked in several ways and absorb any flavors.
First, I recommend using extra-firm tofu when using it as a topping for salads, stirfries, or an entree. conversely, soft tofu is used for baking, sauces, and dressing. Firm and extra-firm tofu require pressing, however, sprouted tofu does not. Sometimes, though, sprouted tofu is difficult to find, so my go-to tofu is always extra firm tofu.
Although you do not need a tofu press to press tofu, I prefer to use a cheap press I found on Amazon. Despite the many expensive tofu presses available, the cheap one works great, or you can always use a heavy book and paper towels. Either way, the trick is to press slowly and be patient. Pressing tofu too quickly, for instance, makes it crack on the sides, making it difficult to cut and cook.
After slowly pressing the tofu, the goal is to make it as thin as possible without cracking the sides and making it about an inch or an inch and a half thick.
Then, for the teriyaki tofu recipe, I cut the tofu slab into 4 equal slabs, because I plan to grill my tofu.
For specific directions on how to press and different options of cooking tofu, click this link Pressed Tofu for Grilling, Baking, Air-frying or Cooking in a Skillet.
Once all the ingredients are added to a small bowl or measuring cup, simply marinate the tofu in a sealed container for a minimum of 6 hours. I, though, prefer to marinate at minimal overnight or 24 hours if possible. The longer the tofu marinates, the more profound the flavors. Then, I layer place half the marinade in the bottom of the container, add half the tofu, and repeat.
GRILLING THE TOFU FOR TERIYAKI TOFU RECIPE
As a rule, my favorite method of cooking tofu is using the grill. Without a doubt, I love the grill lines and the deep flavors of grilled tofu.
In order to grill the perfect tofu on the grill, first, pre-heat the grill to medium or 400 degrees. Then, arrange the tofu directly on the grill for a total of 20 minutes, flipping four times to get the pretty grill marks. Next, I return the tofu to the container to soak up more marinade. At this point, you have two choices; cut it in strips now and use it, or put it in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
THERE ARE MANY ALTERNATIVE WAYS TO COOK TERIYAKI TOFU
Despite grilling being my favorite way to cook teriyaki tofu, sometimes it’s just easier to use a skillet, the oven, or an air-fryer.
SAUTEING TOFU IN A SKILLET
- Using a large non-stick skillet, on medium-low, add tofu
- I use a little veggie broth to prevent any sticking
- Then, cook 4 minutes on each side, flipping 4 times
- If you are using cubes instead of strips or slabs of tofu, simply toss in the pan until all sides are browned.
BAKING TOFU IS JUST AS EASY
- Simply follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Then, preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Place cut or uncut tofu on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper
- Cook for 15 minutes
- Remove from oven and flip tofu over; cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Simply follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Set air fryer temperature at 375 degrees
- Cook 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket a couple of times through the cooking process
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE TERIYAKI MARINADE FOR THE TERIYAKI TOFU RECIPE
For this dish, the teriyaki tofu is the rock star! As a highlight to the dish, the crispy, grilled tofu adds a flavor boost that works well with the dressing. Because the marinade and the dressing are the same, both are made ahead of time. As a general rule, I always suggest marinating the tofu as long as possible.
Personally, I prefer overnight, but 6 hours will suffice. Instead of using sugar or maple syrup, I decided to use the fresh pineapple as my sweet component. That, combined with the other few ingredients maks a perfect teriyaki sauce and marinade.
Then, I put the remainder of the dressing/marinade in a squeeze bottle to use on the bowl when serving. And the black sesame seeds are just pretty 🙂