When I think back to a year ago, the thought of willingly eating tofu would have never crossed my mind. It looked weird. It scared me. The whole idea of it was just strange to me. Then I became a vegetarian. After transitioning to a vegetarian diet in January of 2012 (wow, it has almost been a year!), I still avoided tofu for many months. One day I decided that I might as well give it a shot. What was the worst that could happen? I could hate the taste of it and never eat it again. That was not the case, however. I think that the first dish that I made with tofu was sweet and sour tofu over brown rice. It was good and it turned me on to the idea of replacing meat in traditional recipes with tofu. Over the past year I have gotten better at preparing and cooking tofu, and have begun utilizing it in more and more recipes.
Several weeks ago I was really craving a BBQ pork sandwich (which, by the way is very strange since I never loved these when I ate meat). I pondered how I could get the taste of barbecued pork on a sandwich without using animal products. And so…the idea for the BBQ Tofu Sandwich was born!
BBQ Tofu Sandwich
Serves 5-6 (depending on how thick your tofu slices are)*
*I actually only prepared 3 slices and froze the remainder of my tofu
1 14 to 15 oz block of extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
yellow corn meal
black pepper, to taste
EVOO cooking spray
1/2 small yellow onion, sliced
barbecue sauce of your choice (I used about 1/4 of an 18 oz bottle of hickory brown sugar BBQ sauce for my 3 slices)
100% whole wheat bread, buns, or thin buns
toppings of your choice
1. First, press your tofu and cut it into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch thick slices. I was super excited for this part because I got to try out my new tofu press that my boyfriend bought me for Christmas. It was awesome. I used to have to put a cutting board over the tofu and then weigh it down with books. This was so much easier!
2. Place some yellow corn meal and black pepper into a resealable plastic bag. Place each piece of tofu (one at a time) into the bag and shake it to coat it with the corn meal and pepper mixture.
3. Spray a large skillet with EVOO cooking spray and heat it over medium heat.
4. Once the skillet is heated, place the tofu pieces into the pan, along with the sliced onions.
5. Cook the tofu for about 8-10 minutes on each side (resist the urge to turn it a lot), or until it gets crispy and golden brown. Add additional cooking spray, as needed.
6. Add the BBQ sauce, turn the heat down to medium-low, and continue cooking until the BBQ sauce is warm.
7. Serve each piece of tofu on your choice of whole wheat bread or buns and top with any additional desired toppings. I used 100% whole wheat thin buns.
I served my BBQ Tofu Sandwich with roasted green beans and a dill pickle spear.
This sandwich was good and absolutely satisfied my craving.
Looking to try something new for the new year? Try tofu!