When you’re not eating meat, some barbecues can be quite grim. The saddest offerings from the grill are often blackened faux burgers and sausages. But there are so many more delicious options for a vegetarian barbecue.
For tofu fans, try this simple marinade for skewers or a burger. If you’re not keen on tofu, scroll down for more vegan options.
Recipe: Barbecued tofu skewers
1 block firm tofu
4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin or sake
optional extras: finely chopped chilli, garlic, and or root ginger
If using wooden skewers – soak them for an hour before use, to prevent them burning.
Drain the tofu and wrap the block in a clean tea towel. Place on a board or plate, with another board or plate on top weighted with a book or can, to apply some gentle pressure. Leave for about 20 minutes to remove excess water. The pressed tofu will take on the flavour of the marinade better.
To make the marinade, simply mix together the tamari, mirin and any optional extras that you like.
Once the tofu is drained – cut the block into even sized squares (about 3 cm). Carefully pour the marinade into a clean plastic bag and add the tofu cubes. Make sure all the tofu is covered in the fluid. Tie the bag tightly so there’s as little air as possible, and refrigerate. Tofu only needs 30 – 60 minutes to marinate before cooking.
Before barbecuing, gently thread tofu onto skewers.
Grill on a medium to hot barbecue, a couple of minutes for each side. I don’t usually add any oil when barbecuing marinated tofu on it’s own. If the grill is hot enough it won’t stick.
- If you’d like to add some vegetables; cut zucchini, onion, capsicum or other medium density vegetables into a similar diameter as your marinated tofu cubes. Thread your skewers, alternating tofu and vegetables. Brush with a little vegetable oil before cooking on a medium to hot barbecue.
- If you can’t eat tofu – make vegetable-only skewers more flavoursome by serving with some quick nut sauce. (This no cook sauce tastes great on tofu as well)
- Tofu steak: cut tofu into thick slabs, marinate and grill directly on the barbecue. This is handy if you have no skewers or would like a simple burger substitute in a bun with lots of salad.
While the barbecue is fired up, don’t forget to add some vegetables to the grill. These make welcome additions to your plate for meat eaters and vegans alike.
- Whole corn on the cob. Use an unpeeled ear of corn and you don’t need to soak. Takes about 15 – 20 minutes over medium heat. Turn often.
- Slices of eggplant or zucchini, brushed with oil.
- Large flat mushrooms, as is or soaked in the marinade. Cook quickly on either side.
- Half-baked potatoes or sweet potatoes in their skins, sliced thickly and tossed in olive oil and rosemary (“barbecue chips”!)
Update: Fruit is amazing on the barbecue as well. Grilled peaches anyone?