Summertime is my favorite time of year for Barbequing and entertaining. Luckily, our kids come over often to chill and grill and eat my food of course. Sometimes I think they like the food more than the company, so it motivates me to grill up their favorites, like tofu skewers. My kids, who are also plant-based, love when we BBQ, and tofu skewers are on top of the request list.
For this particular recipe, I use one of my favorite “steak” marinades, from back in the day. If I remember correctly, it is one of my dad’s go-to steak marinades he soaked the meat in when we were kids, Obviously, I removed all the oil, as well as other non-vegan ingredients. The seasonings, vinegar, and other ingredients pack in the flavors, and the tofu absorbs it like a sponge. Then, add a few of my favorite veggies, and everyone is grabbing at the tofu skewers, which is my plan all along.
Although I’m the one in charge of food prep and recipe execution, my husband is the grill master. Even though I enjoy grilling, I hand the grill tools to Paul, because he is, after all, the best for the job.
WHAT IS IN THE TOFU SKEWER MARINADE? HOW LONG TO MARINATE
As with all my tofu recipes, the magic is in the preparation and tofu marinade. For people who think tofu is gross, my advice is to give it a try. When prepared correctly, tofu opens up a whole new vegan world of possibilities. But, first, you have to know how to prepare it.
Every tofu recipe, for example, has its own unique purpose, which results in a unique marinade.
- Soy sauce or Tamari
- Fresh lemon juice
- Vegan Worchestershire sauce (I used Annie’s)
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
For optimal results, I suggest marinating tofu overnight, but a few hours suffice in a pinch.
HOW TO KNOW WHAT TOFU TO BUY FOR WHAT RECIPE…
Since then, of course, I have learned a thing or two. First, and foremost, the type of tofu you buy is extremely important. For instance, soft tofu is used for dressing, dips, and sauces.
Extra-firm tofu, the other hand, is made for entrees and can be baked, air-fried, grilled, or sauteed. As a general rule, I always buy the firmest tofu I can find.
Additionally, sprouted tofu is the firmest tofu, and it does not require pressing. To be honest, this one is my favorite tofu, simply because I don’t have to press it. I just use a paper towel to dry it off, and it’s ready to go.
But, somtimes, sprouted tofu is difficult to find, so my back up is always extra firm tofu.
For years I avoided eating tofu. Every time I made tofu, I ended up moving it to the side of the plate, because it was either fried or mushy. Most restaurants fry it, which doesn’t interest me, and those who bake and grill it seemed to have the same issues I did; soft tasteless tofu.
Then, I figured it out with the help of my EZ Tofu Press. I bought it on Amazon, and in the beginning, I made the same mistakes. I didn’t follow the directions ( a problem I have haha); I was in a hurry as I usually am, and I got the same results….tasteless tofu I didn’t like.
I have many friends who share the same frustration, and although I have posted recipes with similar instructions, this post is literally all about the proper pressing and cooking, so you can enjoy tofu as much as I do.
HOW TO PRESS TOFU FOR TOFU SKEWERS FOR CHILLIN’ AND GRILLIN’
First, carefully remove the tofu from the package, discarding the fluid from the package.
Then, place the tofu in the middle of the press and turn both knobs equally about four turns. I usually place the tofu press in the sink on its side, but for this visual post, I placed it on a plate to drain.
- Turn the knobs every two minutes, equally until you have the end result (the last picture).
- Most people stop here…NOT YET. Keep turning until the knobs are screwed as far as they can to almost touch the end like this:
- Although I have never tried this, I decided this time, I would measure the amount of water I got from the bottom of the plate at the end.
- The amount was 3/4 cup fluid
- Now, remove the press from the plate, and I give it another press with some paper towel for excess fluid removal.
Next, choosing what vegetables to thread with the tofu should complement the flavors. For instance, I chose red bell peppers, red onions, and mushrooms. Feel free, however, to choose your favorite vegetables. One suggestion, though, is to make sure the vegetables you choose are cut in similar size to the tofu cubes. This way, the tofu, and vegetables will cook at the same rate.
I love my stainless steel flexible BBQ kabob threads for grilling, but any BBQ skewers will work. Another helpful hint, when using woods skewers, always soak them in water for at least an hour to prevent food from sticking to the skewers.
Once marinated overnight, I thread my tofu through the centers of the cubes, alternating with vegetables. Then, reserve the marinade to use after grilling.
CHILLIN’ AND GRILLING THE TOFU SKEWERS IS QUICK AND EASY
- Preheat the grill to medium temperature (400 degrees)
- Place a grill mat on the grill (you can also use a grill pan, or if you are careful, you can place the tofu directly on the grill.
- Cook for about 8 minutes on each side, rotating every 4 minutes
- Remove from the grill and place back in the marinade until ready to use.
- Then, I always remove the tofu and vegetables in a large family-sized bowl and pour the leftover marinade over the top.
Sometimes I serve with a large family-sized bowl of rice, or this time I made my Asparagus Salad and my Vegan Potato Salad. Let’s just say today’s BBQ with the kids went well because there wasn’t a leftover in the house.