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Thai-Style Grilled Tofu 'Steaks'
with grilled eggplant and peppers / rice

Active: 40 Total: 60

An herb-packed marinade gives this dish the flavor of the beloved grilled proteins found all over Thailand.
Smarts: This recipe includes eggplant and peppers to serve on the side, but feel free to mix it up and use your favorite vegetables.
Cooking methods: This recipe includes instructions for using the grill or oven. Select your preferred method.

Tags
Proteins
Cuisines

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Sweet Thai Chili Sauce:
  • Vinegar, rice - 1/4 cup
  • Water - 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp
  • Sugar - 3 Tbsp
  • Chili garlic sauce - 2 tsp, more or less to taste
  • Cornstarch - 1/2 tsp
White or Brown Rice:
  • Rice, uncooked white or brown - 1 cup
Grilled Vegetables:
  • Bell peppers, red - 2
  • Eggplants, preferably Chinese or Japanese - 1 lb (sub Italian eggplants)
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
Thai-Style Tofu:
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, grated or chopped
  • Lemongrass (opt) - 2 stalks, grated or chopped
  • Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1/4 cup
  • Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Tofu, extra-firm - 16 oz, 1/2” / 1.3 cm 'steaks' (vacuum-packed preferable)
  • Limes - 1, wedges

Nutrition Facts

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Choose Cooking Method

Prep

  1. Make marinade - Grate the garlic and lemongrass with a microplane (or finely chop). Finely chop cilantro leaves. Whisk together garlic, lemongrass, cilantro, soy sauce, cooking oil (portion for the tofu), and sugar (portion for the tofu). (Note: You can also combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until evenly chopped.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Tofu - (If prepping right before cooking, get grill heating while tofu marinates.) If tofu is packaged in water, press out liquid first, like in this video. Then slice into 1/2” / 1.3 cm thick 'steaks'. Spread tofu out in a shallow dish and pour marinade over top. Turn tofu to coat. Marinate tofu for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 days, turning once or twice as it sits. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

  3. Rice - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Make Sweet Thai Chili Sauce - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) Combine vinegar, first part of water, sugar (portion for sauce), and chili garlic sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until sugar has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together second part of water and cornstarch. Pour water-cornstarch mixture into sauce and continue cooking for 4 to 6 minutes more until very thick. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  5. Bell peppers / Eggplants - Slice peppers and eggplants into strips (keep them a size that won’t fall through the grates of the grill). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  6. Limes - Slice into wedges. 

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Make

  1. Preheat grill to 400F / 204C degrees, keeping one section on higher heat and another section on lower heat. Clean and brush grates with some oil.

  2. Sear tofu for 2 to 3 minutes on each side and transfer to lower heat. Drizzle any remaining marinade over top and season tofu with some salt and pepper as it cooks. Leave tofu over indirect heat until golden brown and heated through, 8 to 10 minutes more. 

  3. Toss bell peppers and eggplants with oil (portion for vegetables) and some salt and pepper. Sear over direct heat until tender, moving to indirect heat if they start to blacken before they are tender.

  4. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.

  5. Serve tofu and vegetables over rice with Sweet Thai Chili sauce on the side for dipping or drizzling over top. Serve lime wedges on the side to squeeze over the dish. Enjoy!

Prep

  1. Make marinade - Grate the garlic and lemongrass with a microplane (or finely chop). Finely chop cilantro leaves. Whisk together garlic, lemongrass, cilantro, soy sauce, cooking oil (portion for the tofu), and sugar (portion for the tofu). (Note: You can also combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until evenly chopped.) (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Tofu - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating while tofu marinates.) If tofu is packaged in water, press out liquid first, like in this video. Then slice into 1/2” / 1.3 cm thick 'steaks'. Spread tofu out in a shallow dish and pour marinade over top. Turn tofu to coat. Marinate tofu for at least 20 minutes and up to 2 days, turning once or twice as it sits. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)

  3. Rice - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) For white rice, rinse until clear. Fill a saucepan or Dutch oven (or rice cooker) with rice, water (use 2:1 ratio for water to rice), and some salt. Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Once water boils, stir, lower heat to a low-medium, and cover. Check white rice after ~20 min; brown at ~45 min. Rice is done when it's absorbed all the water. If it's not done, leave the cover on until all water has been absorbed. Take cover off to release steam and fluff with a wooden spoon after 5 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Make Sweet Thai Chili Sauce - (Skip if made ahead for Monday.) Combine vinegar, first part of water, sugar (portion for sauce), and chili garlic sauce in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until sugar has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, whisk together second part of water and cornstarch. Pour water-cornstarch mixture into sauce and continue cooking for 4 to 6 minutes more until very thick. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  5. Bell peppers / Eggplants - Slice into cubes of a similar size. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  6. Limes - Slice into wedges. 

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Make

  1. Heat oven to 425F / 218C. Place one rack in the lower part of oven (for tofu) and one in the upper part (for vegetables). Brush two sheet pans with some oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Toss bell peppers and eggplants with oil (portion for vegetables) and some salt and pepper. Spread out on first sheet pan and bake on the top rack of the oven, stirring halfway through cooking, until very tender, 20 to 30 minutes (depending on size).

  3. Next, spread tofu out in a single layer on second sheet pan. Drizzle marinade from the bowl over top. Season tofu with some salt and pepper. Bake on the lower rack of the oven until tofu is cooked and golden brown on top, 18 to 22 minutes. 

  4. If rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.

  5. Serve tofu and vegetables over rice with Sweet Thai Chili sauce on the side for dipping or drizzling over top. Serve lime wedges on the side to squeeze over the dish. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Increase your nutrition smarts


Reviews

Ratings

Original (51)
Gluten-free (2)
Paleo (2)
Vegetarian (2)

23 reviews

I got a stovetop grill for my induction stove and it may be the best thing I've ever done. Meat gets nice a crisp on the outside, but still really soft and tender in the middle. Highly recommend for those that don't have grills.

By: Theresa
Posted: Sep 27, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Marinade was great!

By: Crescent
Posted: Aug 22, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This was easy and fantastic! A new favorite.

By: Alice
Posted: Aug 19, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

The marinade on this chicken was fantastic. I think the fish sauce really gave it depth of flavor and those yummy umami notes!! We were also lucky to find Japanese eggplants at a local farm after we had bought Italian eggplant at the store. We cooked both and it was fun to explore the different textures! Love CookSmarts for opening us up to new flavor profiles.

By: Clifford
Posted: Aug 16, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Chicken is amazing. Vegetables need more seasoning.

By: Kate
Posted: Aug 03, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I need easy and something my 11 year old will eat also. This was great! I substituted carrots for the eggplant.

By: Lara
Posted: Aug 02, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful