Crispy Pan-Seared Tofu is a re-make of last summer's Marinated Grilled Tofu. Wait - is it a re-make or is it just me, missing Dad's awesome grill skills, our family dinners outside in the warm July backyard-breeze (plus the good ol' days when I didn't have to "adult" as much as I do now, living away from home)? It's probably a little bit of both.
From what I can remember, this is also my version of Bliss Cafe's marinated tofu - a.k.a. the tofu that made me fall in love with tofu/go vegan/promise myself to always have this high-protein blessing for plant-based peeps on hand. My first few times eating tofu were grill-less. In other words, I ate the tofu raw. Why? Well, like I said, I had no grill, and I also had no real recipe/knowledge as to how to cook it. While the raw version didn't make me throw up (as it might for others, especially non-vegans), the marinated and grilled version is WAAAAAY better.
So much so that it made me fall in love. But not just me, my friends. No. My mom fell in love, too! My dad? Ehh, I wouldn't really say "fell in love" applies to his reaction, but he definitely did enjoy it more than I thought he would. He's a guy. He likes bacon more than vegetables. He's my dad, so I give him a little more wiggle room.
Anyway, I digress. It's been a year since those cherished summertime family dinners - the birthplace of that perfectly grilled tofu (thanks, Dad). I've been here, in SLO, living mostly on my own and "adult-ing" for the past two months and only a few days ago did I finally decide it's time to re-try my hand at some "grilled" tofu.
SUCCESS. Success with regards to tofu is crispy. It's salty and slightly sweet. It's caramelized, blackened edges with a moist, juicy, meaty texture. It's everything tofu should be, wants to be, and everyone else wants it to be.
It's so good I could've eaten every last bite right then and there. It's so good it might even bring my parents here, to SLO, minus the grill and summer backyard-breeze. It's SO GOOD...
... you should try it :)
Makes 4-5 servings
1 block firm tofu, sliced into 1/2" thick slabs
1 tbsp. Sriracha (or other spicy chili sauce)
1 tbsp. tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. maple syrup
Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Once the tofu is sliced, cover a plate with a paper towel and lay the tofu slabs down, then cover with another paper towel or two. Let the tofu dry out for about 30-45 minutes.
- In the meantime, whisk the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat.
- Uncover the tofu slices, and using a spoon, drizzle the marinade on. Turn each slice over and repeat until the marinade is gone.
- Grease the grill/grill pan and lay the tofu down (diagonally will make cool grill marks). Turn after about 5-6 minutes, or whenever the grill marks appear and the tofu looks more golden than white.
- Serve immediately, or store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container for 1-2 days.