I have a hard time with grilling. This is mainly due to being a vegetarian. I know, I know, you can cook just about anything on the grill, but most vegetarian foods have their own unique challenges. Veggie burgers fall apart, veggie dogs just aren't that good, and tofu sticks to the grill like crazy.
So I haven't done a whole lot of grilling at home. Then last year I visited a restaurant where they served tofu on a cedar plank. I never even thought to grill my tofu on a cedar plank! I've only ever seen recipes for cedar plank grilled fish, but why should fish have an exclusive license to cedar plank grilling?
I went home and tried making my own cedar plank grilled tofu, and it turned out awesome. This is actually a pretty ideal way to cook tofu, not just because it prevents it from sticking to the grill, but it also gives the tofu some fantastic flavor and texture. The plank gives the tofu a hint of woodsy taste, which is delicious. It's also a gentler of a cooking method than putting the tofu right on the grill, so the tofu gets cooked nice and evenly. Marinating the tofu infuses it with flavor, and then brushing some of the marinade over the tofu while cooking packs in even more flavor.
Pretty much any kind of sweet fruit salsa would be delicious on top of these grilled tofu slabs. I went with cherry salsa, because (1) I'm taking every opportunity to eat as many summer cherries as possible while they're in season, and (2) cherries are a particularly sweet and juicy fruit, which is perfect in contrast to the smoky grilled tofu.
You can find the cedar planks you need for this recipe in most supermarkets, usually where they stock seasonal items like grilling charcoal. I've also found they're great for grilling veggies, so stock up and consider grilling your whole dinner on some planks.
For the cedar plank grilled tofu:
- 1 large cedar plank about 12 x 6 inches, you could also use a couple of smaller planks
- 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed at least 20 minutes.
For the cherry salsa:
- 2 cups fresh cherries your favorite variety, pitted and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ⅓ cup chopped red onion
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt to taste
Make the cedar plank grilled tofu:
- Fill a large shallow dish with water and place the cedar plank in to soak. Allow to soak for 1 to 2 hours.
- While the plank soaks, marinate the tofu. Stir the soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, olive oil, paprika, and garlic together in a shallow dish. Cut the tofu in half, width-wise, then cut each half in half, thickness-wise, so you have 4 rectangular slabs. Place the slabs into the dish with the soy sauce mixture and allow to marinate while the planks soak, spooning to redistribute some of the marinade over the tofu every so often.
- Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to medium-high and place the plank directly on the grill to preheat. Allow the plank to heat up for a minute or two, then use tongs to arrange the tofu slabs on the plank. Cover and grill for about 20 to 25 minutes, lifting the lid to brush the tofu with excess marinade once or twice during cooking. The tofu should be browned all around with dark edges when it's finished cooking.
Make the cherry salsa:
- While the tofu cooks, stir all ingredients for the cherry salsa together in a medium bowl.
- Divide the tofu onto plates and spoon the cherry salsa over top. Serve.