A Tofu Recipe For Tofu Haters

July 23, 2012   46 Comments

Snack Girl has a confession. She wants to like tofu, but she just can’t.

Barbecue Tofu Sandwich Recipe

My friends have tried to convince me, and I have tried a bunch of recipes for Snack Girl that are just okay (except for Tofu Scramble).

My first problem with tofu is that many recipes start with “Drain tofu and weigh it down. Let it sit for 20 minutes.” Do I look like I have 20 minutes to sit around waiting for my tofu to release water?

I am sure that tofu lovers have figured out a way to make this step less onerous. But, I just can’t get past it.

Tofu is basically soybean cheese. You can find it in the refrigerated section of the produce section of your supermarket and it costs about $2.70 for 14 ounces. It is a great way to get some protein without the saturated fat that comes from eating meat.

But, the texture is kinda like jello and it doesn’t have any taste (unlike a steak). How do you make it taste like something? My new solution is to add barbecue sauce.

The photo above is a BBQ Tofu sandwich and it was pretty good. I know I am going to get flamed for this - I used a commercial brand of BBQ sauce that I will not share with you because high fructose corn syrup is a featured ingredient (KC Masterpiece).

That’s right, I added high fructose corn syrup to tofu :) I’m nowhere near perfect and one day I am sure I will make my own BBQ sauce (just not today).

Tofu is not meat and so I would not say that this was as good as a pulled pork sandwich, BUT it was great for a fast dinner. One slice is just 62 calories and includes 3.6 grams of protein - not bad for barbecue.

How do cook tofu? Have you tried it? Please share.

BBQ Tofu Recipe

1.6 from 24 reviews

(makes 9 slices)

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¾ cup barbecue sauce
1 - 14 ounce package extra firm tofu


Heat oven to 425 F. Place a sheet of tinfoil onto a rimmed baking sheet. Drain tofu and dry with paper towels. Slice 9 - ½ inch slices, place onto baking sheet, and brush with barbecue sauce. Flip tofu over and brush on the other side.

Bake for 10 minutes or until sauce has carmelized. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

For one slice = 62 calories, 1.8 g fat, 8.3 g carbohydrates, 5.7 g sugar, 3.6 g protein, 0.5 g fiber, 238 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Yes and you deserve to get flamed! lol Seriously, have you tried a BBQ sauce that doesn't have HFCS? You know, you can buy more than one brand and/or flavor and mix them together. That counts as making your own, right?

Put a few tbs. of soy sauce in the bottom of a lasagna pan. Add a few drops of toasted sesame oil. Stir it around with a fork. Put quarter inch thick slices of tofu in (they should be about 1.5" by 2.5 " rectangles) and then flip them over, so both sides are brown. Bake for half an hour at 375 or much longer at lower or shorter at higher temp. Not very sensitive. Cook until it is the texture you like. Experiment!! Yum yum. I promise.

@Michelle - I hadn't checked the label until AFTER I made my tofu sandwich. And, then I decided to laugh. I will look for another BBQ sauce the next time I make this.

Just plan ahead. You don't have to use the tofu at the end of the twenty minutes of pressing--put it in some a storage container and store in in the refrigerator until you are ready for it.

You can also cut it into cubes for stir fry and marinate for a few hours in something you like-- I favor sesame oil, chili oil, soy sauce, powdered ginger and powdered garlic.

I don't think you sold me yet on tofu! If I serve tofu for my Husband at a BBQ I think he would divorce me. lol Your recipe does sound good though and a great way to try tofu.

I'm not convinced either. There has to be something else you can eat with the same nutritional value. I make my own BBQ sauce by using ketchup a little syrup and water. Mix until desired tartness/sweetness and VIOLA!!!

Snack Girl! Try this tofu recipe now! I swear it makes it taste like a blacken grilled chicken breast!…

I make a Tofu Parm that is pretty good...but I am the only one in the house who will eat it! Haven't found a way to sneak it into the rest of the fam's diet yet! I coat the tofu slices in panko crumbs and cook in a little olive oil before adding the tomato sauce and cheeses. Link if interested…

My favorite way to eat tofu is simple! Press and drain. Then cut into bite size cubes. Dredge the cubes in about 1 tbs (for an entire block) of cornstarch. Spray a pan with non-stick spray and then place tofu on the sheet. Spray the tops with cooking spray (I just use olive oil). Then bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes (until it's a nice golden color). This gives you a nice, firm, chewy piece of tofu that is perfect either on top of a salad or mixed with your favorite sauce (I like sezchuan or peanut) and combined with steamed rice and steamed veggies. Yum!

HFCS and MSG give me migraines. My favorite BBQ sauce is Bull's-Eye Brown Sugar and Hickory. Not completely clean, but the "naughty ingredients" are in the 2% or less category.

I love tofu with veggies, but not as a sandwich. I eat only 1 slice of bread for breakfast either with an egg or cheese.

I love the fact you are normal! I have never been in love with tofu...but I've been reading that baked tofu will convert just about that is what I plan on trying next :-)

Sounds like great recipe but be sure to try trader joes pulles bbq tofu! Its a fav!

I have had a delicious tempeh reuben - a form of fermented tofu - at a local restaurant, but cooking it at home is something else. I just don't have the skill, or the patience, or maybe the desire. Tofu and bbq sauce makes me ill to contemplate. But keep trying; I want to like it. I just don't.

Poor tofu! I love that you persevere. Where I live you can get pre-marinated, fairly dry tofu that's a great starting point for tofu newbies.

I love it, but I don't have time to dry it wither (duh, I want my lunch now). I tend to stew it with vegetables in a stack of spices. Yum!

I'm vegetarian, so I eat a LOT of tofu. I never remember to press it (sometimes I manage to wrap it in paper towels and squeeze it a bit) and it's fine. I throw it in a stir fry - it gets crispy, soaks up the sauce around it, and absolutely does not taste like (ew!) gelatin. On the other hand, if you do want to plan ahead, freezing water-packed tofu and then thawing it makes it take on a meatier texture. Also, coating it with cornstarch at any point before frying adds an extra yummy crunch to it. But the bottom line, I guess, is that if you don't like a food, you don't like it! :)

Oh yuck. I've tried tofu every which way and I'm still grossed out by it. I give you credit for trying to like it by pouring bbq sauce over it. That's totally something I would do. LOL.

I really like tofu - it's like a savory marshmallow! But you definitely have to put some flavor on it (like BBQ sauce) because it doesn't have much of its own! I usually use soy sauce, garlic powder, bbq sauce, something like that. I'll just eat it plain or cubed and in pasta or veggies.

But....I never press it for 20 minutes. I just put extra-firm tofu to begin with!

Tofu is a highly processed food... better to go with real, grass-fed meat and get the good fats.

I don't eat tofu as I am grossed out by GMO foods. Are there any brands that are non-GMO? None in our local store.

I've been a vegetarian for almost 30 years and tofu has been a staple of my diet. The extra firm is all I buy and it doesn't fall apart when cooking and the consistency is better than the softer varieties. We can get tofu here for under $2 a package, which i appreciate. I use mine mostly in stir frys-browning it in olive oil first and then removing it and adding my favorite veggies topped off with a really good plum sauce or sweet chili sauce. Even my carnivore husband even eats it that way!

From my research, I've found that all soy and corn products are highly processed GMO's and no good for human consumption:( I'm with Cristina and Sandy, choosing healthy proteins like organic chicken, grass-fed beef, etc. is better. If you find an organic tofu I'd love it.

my macrobiotic daughter just reminded me about ''THE BRIDGE TOFU'' located in CT., lots of retail stores in the Northeast, and its ORGANIC; I'm getting some today and whipping up an asian marinade for tonight's dinner! Here's the site for complete info on this company

1) All Nasoya brand tofu is Non-GMO.

2) Tofu is NOT a highly processed food. Faux-meat products made from soy are, but tofu is as simple is it gets.

3) Snack girl, try roasted tofu:

X-tra firm, drained (pressed if you have time) and cubed. Marinate in soy sauce about 5 min, then spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Roast at 375, stirring occasionally until browned and crispy edged, about 20-30 min.

I add this to stir fry or just snack on as is, it's delicious.

Barb, I have bought organic tofu-I think Whole Foods and Trader Joes sells it.

Thank you Mary and DKG! I try when possible to stick with organic which is supposed to signify non-GMO too but not vice-versa. I have Foodworks health grocery store out my way that carries The Bridge and Nasoya tofu. The Bridge always gave free tofu to my daughter for cooking classes she held in her kitchen; they are a great company I had forgotten about. Thank you SG for the inspiration!

Wow - I'm going to print all the comments for the great ways to prepare tofu! I like mine with Asian chili-garlic sauce, soy sauce, green onions, random veges and rice noodles. My take on the classic Ants on a Tree recipe.

My daughter was super picky when she started eating meat, so we gave her tofu. She LOVED it and only recently (she's almost 3) started preferring meat to it. I always bought organic (is this non-GMO?). But now I am concerned with the amount of tofu she ate due to the soy/hormone connection. Ugh! There is always something to worry about. Anyway, I definitely prefer baked tofu, and this looks delicious with BBQ sauce (try Naturally Delicious brand with no HFCS), but my daughter would never eat it. She prefers her tofu plain (and cold). Kids!

Tofu is the blank canvas of the food world. It tastes like nothing on its own, so you add things to make it tasty. I make a scrambled tofu that is sublimely divine.

@SnackGirl - Perhaps you're not adding the correct ingredients to your tofu. Here's the only recipe I've ever made with tofu. Yummy!…

I dice it and add it to stir fries, one I use is a spicy stir fry that normally uses chicken, peanuts, veggies. Easy-peasy. I can provide the recipe, but later-gator!

I've been on a tofu kick lately! Will have to try!

The Tofu Xpress is a great kitchen gadget that presses the water out of the tofu. I love to saute Nasoya organic super firm cubed tofu with mushrooms and drizzle it with a lemon vinaigrette----so, so good. We've also blended silken tofu with seasonings to make a pretty good egg-less quiche, and we've used silken tofu as part of a chocolate ganache over peanut butter bars. We're omnivores and huge foodies--we like experimenting with different/non-traditional foods!

I'm sorry Lisa, but I LIKE tofu and that just looks gross. There are plenty of great ways to fix tofu. My favorite is a recipe from The Grit restuarant in Athens, GA. Did you ever try their Golden Bowl? They have a cook book that my hubby uses to make this at home.

Whether tofu is better than steak depends on your reasons for choosing one over the other. I won't lie. Steak usually tastes better to me. But I am a vegetariaan because of the huge environmental effects of growing cows and other meat (among other reasons). In that sense, tofu definitely wins.

I love tofu, and almost never press the water out! Have not tried this Tofu Parm. yet, but it looks promising, gets pretty high ratings, & this site has a TON of tofu recipes!

House Foods is non-GMO. They also make an organic tofu. AND if you decide you like tofu, get a Tofu Xpress. It's a press with a spring that drains your tofu (and you can put it in your fridge so it's ready when you want to use it the next day or a few hours later...

We eat tofu fairly often, and I just reviewed a GREAT tool that presses it really well - it does take about 15-20 minutes, but it makes the texture much firmer and b/c so much of the water's squeezed out, it takes up marinades and fries up so much more effectively.…. As for the woman who wants to avoid GMOs, organic tofu is non-GMO.

Sorry, Snack Girl, but you lost me on this one. I love your site, but your creativity is totally lacking here. I beg you to try again and really work it - I know you can do better than this! Infuse your tofu with flavor, don't just cover it up. Looking forward to more great posts from you...

Any good BBQ works great, I prefer to Use the EZ Tofu Press to get the water out and then pan fry. The trick is to use extra firm tofu and press the water out. I also suggest not using foil when cooking tofu in the can absorb the aluminum taste!

This is the only way i've ever used or eaten tofu, besides in my hot and sour soup i get when i go eat chinese food (which i love.) These are pretty tasty and make a big batch and freeze well.

I'm Indian so we make a curry out of it

I add TONS of cilantro to the end product for extra flavor, but this curry goes very quickly at our place.

Use the super firm pre-cubed and pan fry until crispy with whatever seasoning you like. Pre-cube cuts the prep time and you can use it in almost anything. I put it in pasta sauce or use it as a crouton substitute on salad.

I know you've heard this before, but freezing makes a huge difference. I throw it in the freezer in it's store packaging with my other frozen foods when I get home from the grocery store. I take it out the next time I notice it and let it sit in the fridge for days or weeks until I'm ready to use it. Open it up, pour off the water, give it a quick squeeze and it's ready to use. It is a completely different texture. Still no flavor, but that's what spices are for!

Never tried Tofu - Honestly was a bit scared of it. Ha, I better give it a try..

Tofu is actually quite delicious, it's just how you cook it.

If you are using it to try and replace meat, you should buy FIRM tofu- no waiting, and it's firm enough for you to cut easily without it falling apart on you (it's firmness can be compared to if you were to cut into a ball of mozarella cheese).

I like to season my tofu with EVOO and montreal steak spice for chicken (no salt added version), and salt and pepper to taste. Then I grill it on the George Foreman. It cooks in a good amount of time, and tastes great! You should give this a try, perhaps you might like it a bit better !

Tofu problems? Nothing a little peanut sauce can't fix. YUM!

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