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Barbecued Tofu with Hoisin Sauce

Chinese Vegan Kitchen

  • "Even Tofu naysayers typically enjoy these tasty grilled morsels," says recipe creater Donna Klein. Meredith Lee/The HSUS

Makes 4 servings

1 pound extra-firm tofu
Chopped scallion greens (optional)

Hoisin sauce
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup mashed, cooked sweet potato or canned pumpkin purée
1/4 cup black bean sauce with garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons molasses
1 to 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted (dark) sesame oil
1 teaspoon Chinese chili paste (or to taste)
1 to 2 tablespoons water, or as needed (optional)

Press the tofu
To drain the tofu, place the tofu on a deep-sided plate or in a shallow bowl. Top with a second plate and weight with a heavy can.

Let the tofu stand for a minimum of 15 minutes (preferably one hour).

While the tofu is draining, prepare the hoisin sauce by placing all the ingredients (except the water) into a food processor and blending until smooth.

If needed, thin the sauce with small amounts of water, to reach desired consistency.

Marinate the tofu
Drain off the excess water, and slice the tofu lengthwise into 6 slices (about 1/2 inch thick). Then cut in half crosswise, for a total of 12 pieces. Transfer to a shallow dish large enough to hold the tofu slices in a single layer. Brush the tops with half the hoisin sauce. Turn and brush the bottom halves with the remaining sauce. Cover and marinate the tofu at room temperature for 1 hour (or overnight in the refrigerator).

Grill the tofu
Prepare a medium-hot charcoal or gas grill, or preheat a broiler. Position an oiled grill rack or oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. If broiling, lightly oil a large baking sheet and set aside.

Grill or broil the tofu slices until nicely browned (3 to 4 minutes per side). Transfer the slices to a serving plate and sprinkle with the scallion greens (if using) and serve warm or at room temperature, with additional hoisin sauce drizzled over the top.


  • For a sweeter version, add additional molasses or brown sugar.
  • For a milder version, use less chili paste, or omit altogether.
  • You can also use prepared hoisin sauce in a jar from the grocery store.
  • You can also cook the tofu on the stovetop, using a nonstick stovetop grilling pan with grids over medium-high heat.

Recipe from "Chinese Vegan Kitchen" by Donna Klein.


All figures are per serving (assumes 4 servings).

Calories: 139
Fat: 7 g 
Carbs: 11 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 11 g
Sodium: 705 mg

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