Asian Barbecue Tofu Sandwich: My Vegetarian Cure for BBQ Cravings

by Melissa on August 18, 2011

Recently, Paul has been having these crazy BBQ cravings. I wish I knew why.

On those evenings when I’m just too worn out to make dinner, I will ask the dreaded question:

“So, what do you want for dinner?”

If we lived closer to the center of Atlanta, that question would be easily answered with any number of my favorite eateries in the city. However, since most of those restaurants are a good 45 minute drive from our house, we inevitably default to the small selection of non-chain restaurants near us.

It seems as if we’ve been frequently the BBQ joints more often lately…
(He even managed to drag me to a BBQ restaurant on our recent trip to Rocky Mountain National park)

Good thing we live in the South where there’s a place to get barbecue on what seems like every block. But, this week I just couldn’t stomach going to yet another BBQ restaurant. Blame it on my aversion to red meat, I just have visions of poor little piggies whenever I walk into a BBQ restaurant (so sorry to my meat-eating readers)….

I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands. This is what happened:

Have I mentioned how much I love the versatility of tofu? It can be sweet, or in this case, savory.

I think it may be that I’m just fascinated that something that starts out looking so bland, and ehhh… can turn out so tasty. When you first take the tofu out of its packaging, and drain out the liquid that it is packaged in… do you think the same thing I do?

That is, “Ewww…. block of white gooeyness, ehhh.. the (packaging) liquid is a murky white something… I’m supposed to eat this?”

But oh yes, when tofu is cooked properly and marinated/seasoned well. It takes on whatever flavors you choose to cook it in. I usually choose the extra firm variety because I like to feel like I’m biting into something. When it comes to tofu, I’m not so fond of the melt-in-your-mouth feeling.

In an attempt to make a tofu version of the pulled pork sandwich that Paul is so fond of, I cut an extra firm tofu block into small pieces, this time I went with little triangles in the place of the typical tofu cube. Sometimes it’s just more fun to make cute shapes out of food.

After marinating the tofu in a barbecue and soy sauce blend marinate for a couple hours, they were popped into the oven to bake. When the tofu is done, serve on a hamburger bun topped with simple coleslaw.


And what did the BBQ addict in our family think?

He had seconds.

Asian Barbecue Baked Tofu (4 servings)
1 block of extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons barbecue sauce (or honey barbecue sauce)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced

Let’s Cook!
1. Drain the tofu from the liquid that it is packaged in.
2. Slice the tofu into small pieces, either cubes or triangles
3. Mix the barbecue sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, vinegar, red pepper flakes and garlic in a mixing bowl.
4. Marinate the tofu in the barbecue mixture, for two to three hours.
5. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 425°F.
6. Place the arrange the tofu pieces on a pre-greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 18 to 20 minutes.
7. Turn the tofu pieces over and bake for another 6-7 minutes, or until the tofu slices are a nice golden, brown color. It may take longer (or shorter) depending on the oven, so keep an eye on the tofu.
8. When the tofu is golden, remove from the oven.
9. Serve by itself or on a burger bun and enjoy!

Asian Barbecue Sauce (4 servings)
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (or honey barbecue sauce)
1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoons maple syrup

Let’s Cook!
1. Mix the barbecue sauce, soy sauce and maple syrup in a small mixing bowl.
2. Serve on top of the Asian Barbecue Baked Tofu

Simple Coleslaw (4 servings)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
juice from 1/2 of one lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 green cabbage, chopped into fine shreds
1 carrot cut into thin strips
Half of one Vidalia onion, diced

Let’s Cook!
1. Mix together the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, sugar, salt, mayonnaise and sour cream and set aside.
2. Toss the cabbage, carrots and onion so that it is well mixed.
3. Pour dressing on top of the cabbage mixture and toss to mix thoroughly.
4. Refrigerate covered for 1 to 2 hours.
5. When ready to serve, toss coleslaw again.

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Leave a Comment

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm

That tofu looks awesome!

And I saw your post on FG yesterday about Food & Light. I saw that bowl of grapefruit and I was like wait a minute!!!! b/c it was so surreal seeing a pic that was so similar to mine, I was like…I know that bowl of fruit!

Congrats :)


2 Melissa Crane August 18, 2011 at 10:16 pm

HA! Yesterday I realized that I hadn’t submitted a photo from F&L to foodgawker yet, so I figured I might as well send one in. We were all snapping away at the same grapefruit and tomatoes I’m sure we all have a few photos that look exactly the same :D


3 Tres Delicious August 19, 2011 at 4:05 am

I never thought tofu could a great and healthy sandwich filling. An amazing alternative for beef pattys.


4 Melissa Crane August 19, 2011 at 9:41 am

Tofu really is amazing, my husband said that he “couldn’t even tell it was tofu” in the sandwich. Though I want to think that he may have been exaggerating slightly :)


5 Pam August 19, 2011 at 9:46 am

What a wonderful recipe! I happen to love tofu, but I think this recipe is such that even for others who don’t, this would be yummy. Thanks.


6 Melissa Crane August 19, 2011 at 10:06 am

Thanks Pam! It’s all in the marinade :)


7 Amy August 19, 2011 at 10:28 am


THIS IS AWESOME!!!! I love the tofu what a great idea. I have been trying to cut out meat and it works on most days so giving me a good BBQ alternative really helps!

We just started following you, cannot wait for more recipes!



8 Melissa Crane August 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Thanks Amy! So glad you found me :) I’ve found the best way to cut out meat is to do it gradually, starting a few days a week. Going cold turkey is the best way to fail – with my friends who have tried it anyways :)

Your blog is so cute! I’m already loving the Nutella post!


9 August 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm

What a great looking sandwich! I might even try it and I normally am too scared to try tofu!


10 Melissa Crane August 19, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Haha, tofu can be scary at first. But try it a few times and you just might learn to love it!


11 Dawn September 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

This looks so delicious! (Especially since I’m smelling a co-worker heating up BBQ). I tried a similar dish with tempeh but I think I would like it even better with tofu.


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