Smoky BBQ Street Style Tofu

smoky bbq tofu

People are always asking for “protein” foods. Well, here ya go. This smoky baked tofu is easy to make, super satisfying, and packed with protein. It’s got a melty, cheesy top crust and a crisp, savory bottom crust. Serve it with garlicky green beans and chips, mashed potatoes, rice, or Asian style noodles. We don’t call it protein. We just call it delicious.

Ingredients

  • 2 blocks medium-firm tofu (10.5 oz/300 g each)
  • 2 Tbsp veg oil
  • 3 Tbsp Wicked Kitchen Hot & Spicy BBQ Rub (see note)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pack (12 oz/340 g) trimmed green beans
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 Tbsp Wicked Bac-No-Naise vegan mayo, plus some for garnish (see note)
  • 4 Tbsp panko or breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tbsp shredded smoked vegan cheese
  • 3 green onions

Secret Creamy Spicy BBQ Condiment

  • 3 parts BBQ sauce (Wicked Kitchen or your favorite)
  • 1 part vegan mayo
  • 1 part Sriracha

Notes:

  • Tofu tubs range in size and weight. If yours is 14 oz/400 g instead of 10 oz/300 g, use it all anyway.
  • You can replace the Wicked Kitchen BBQ rub with 1 Tbsp smoked paprika, 1 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 Tbsp onion granules, 1 Tbsp garlic granules, 1 Tsp cayenne pepper or chili flakes
  • You can replace the Wicked Bac-No-Naise with vegan mayo mixed with some smoked paprika and a touch of agave syrup.
  • Panko is a super light and airy type of Japanese breadcrumbs. It’s what makes tempura so crispy. You could use plain dried breadcrumbs instead.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC. Get a kettle of water boiling.
  2. Drain and press the tofu. I just press it gently by hand over the sink for a minute or so.
  3. Coat the tofu all over with some of the oil (maybe 2 tsp), season it with a little salt and pepper, then coat all over with the BBQ rub. Get the sides too.
  4. Heat a heavy ovenproof skillet like cast iron over medium-high heat. Drizzle some oil (maybe 1 Tbsp) into the pan to coat the bottom, then add the tofu. Be gentle so the tofu blocks don’t break. Save the tofu bowl with any leftover seasoning in it. That’ll flavor the green beans later.
  5. Cook the tofu until the bottom starts to char a bit, 3 or 4 minutes. Then flip over the tofu and transfer the whole pan to the oven. Bake the tofu for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, put the green beans in a medium heatproof bowl. Slice the garlic and add it to the bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover the green beans, and let sit for 5-7 minutes. This is a simple way to blanch vegetables. One less pot on the stove! When they’re done soaking, pour into a sieve to drain. Then, transfer the drained beans and garlic to your reserved tofu bowl with the BBQ seasoning in it. Drizzle in about 1 Tbsp oil and season with a little salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
  7. To mix up a crust for the tofu, combine the mayo, panko, and cheese in a small bowl. Chop the green onions and add 2 of them to the bowl (reserve the rest for garnish). Season with a little salt and pepper then mix it all up real good. The panko should bind it together so it’s not runny.
  8. Retrieve the tofu and flip the blocks over again. Careful – that pan will be hot! Spread the crust mixture evenly over the top of each tofu block. Pop the pan back into the oven and bake until the crust melts and browns all over the tofu, 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Use a spatula to transfer the baked tofu to a plate. Then put the hot tofu pan on the stovetop.
  10. Here’s the magic: Add the seasoned green beans to the tofu pan and hit it with a splash of white wine or water (maybe 2 Tbsp). You get the seasoning from the tofu and all that flavor from the pan and use it to cook the green beans! Cook over medium-high heat for a minute or so, then shake the beans into an even layer and transfer the tofu back over the beans. Pop the whole shebang back in the oven for 5 minutes to finish cooking those green beans.
  11. Plate it up, putting the tofu next to the green beans. To garnish, mix up the secret condiment and spoon it into a squeeze bottle. I keep this stuff in the fridge at all times. Cuz it’s amazing! Squirt a few stripes of mayo over the tofu, then a few stripes of the secret BBQ condiment. Top with chopped green onions and dig in!
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