Monday, June 15, 2009

Grilled Tofu & Asparagus with Nori Dressing

I often make grilled tofu especially in the warmer months. The key to grilling tofu is using extra firm tofu and lightly oiling the grill or a grill pan prior to cooking as tofu blocks tend to stick . I usually marinate tofu with an array of dressing for a few hours prior to grilling to ensure a flavourful dish as tofu in itself is rather bland.

Miso paste is fermented soy bean paste that is rich in nutrients and is widely used in Japanese cooking ( there are also rice and barley varieties of miso). Miso can be used for soups, stocks and grilling. Common varieties are Shiromiso ( white) and Akamiso ( red miso).

I have used blue agave syrup for this recipe. I have been experimenting with different sweeteners and have been using this in different recipes ( you could use honey instead).

Grilled Tofu & Asparagus with Nori Dressing - adapted from Food & Wine Magazine
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tb miso paste
2 tb soy sauce
1 tb tahini paste
1 tb agave syrup
2 tsp mirin
1/8 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
1 lb extra from tofu, cut into 4 blocks
vegetable oil
3 sheets of nori
1/2 cup water
2 tb agave syrup
1 tb fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp chilli paste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 scallion - thinly sliced

1 lb asparagus
1 tsp sesame oil
a pinch of salt

Cut tofu block in 4 blocks . Mix 2 tb rice vinegar, 2 tb miso paste, 1 1/2 tb soy sauce, tahini paste, agave 1 tb agave syrup, mirin and Chinese 5 spice powder until well combined. Pour over tofu and marinate for at least one hour before grilling.

Using a blender, puree nori sheets ( crumbled), 1/4 cup vegetable oil, water, 1 tb agave syrup, lemon juice, chilli paste, 2 tb rice vinegar, 1 tb miso paste and 1 tb soy sauce. Adjust seasonings with salt and ground black pepper. Place in the fridge until ready to use.

Toss asparagus with sesame oil, salt and pepper and set aside.

Brush grill with vegetable oil and preheat. When grill is hot enough ( after heating it for around 10 minutes) -remove tofu from marinade and place on grill. Do the same with the asparagus. Turn tofu once while grilling. Grill asparagus and tofu for 7 minutes.

Serve tofu with grilled asparagus with drizzled nori dressing. Scatter toasted sesame seeds and cilantro over salad. Serves 4.


Poornima Nair said...

Looks delicious...

maybelle's mom said...

agave nectar is really a great sweetener.

Marta said...

I love tofu so much! I love everything about it and I hate that it has a bad rep.
this looks a lot like my lunch today. No, actually, it looks much better. I'll dress up my grilled tofu for tomorrow according to your suggestions :)

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, this sounds wonderful! Love the marinade and dressing!

Christina Kim said...

Tofu is a staple for me, and I'm always looking for new ways to use it. This dressing sounds reallllyyyy tasty!

Maya said...

Poornima- Thanks!

maybelle's mom - I am with you on that one. I stumbled on it as I was browsing the isles of Trader Joe's.

Marta - You are too sweet :) I'll take tofu any way it is made!

pigpigscorner - The marinade is really wonderful, this is the first time I have use nori in dressing.

Christina Kim - Let me know how it turns out!

Deeba @Passionate About Baking said...

I like the way you dressed the tofu up...must have tasted fab!

Renuka said...

Nice presentation..looks delicious...

thecookieshopinenglish said...

Just found your blog - how gorgeous your photos are!

Debbie said...

I love tofu but unfortunately don't seem to eat much of it. Your dish looks great and so tasty!

Dimah said...

This looks really tasty and interesting!

miss v said...

oooo, i love the nori dressing idea!! i haven't tried anything like before... yum!

Marta said...

I tried this Maya! It came out great!
I decided to go to Japan in August, so the nori came in great for my Japanese-obsession right now.

Cynthia said...

I honestly have not had a lot of tofu but if you offered me this dish, I would enjoy it.

Juliana said...

This tofu with miso looks tofu and will definitely try this one. Great pictures!

Food For Tots said...

Sounds so healthy and delicious! I luv your excellent food presentation. ;)

miss v said...

the nori dressing sounds interesting in yummy. i just bought some extra nori sheets recently - i'd love to give this a shot!

Jo said...

Looks great and declious. Love the grilled flavour and pairing with nori dressing. Yum!

cookie said...

looks delish! what kindof miso paste do you use?