Spicy Tofu Skewers with Five minute Jerk BBQ Sauce, Light Coconut Lemon Rice and Grapefruit Cilantro Reduction
This simple marinde made some of the best tofu I ever had and remember I do not like tofu but I made a promise to myself this year to take on some challenges and this one paid off.
Imagine Tofu marinating in a bath of orange juice, smoke, jerk seasoning and other goodies, then blackened slightly and dressed with a spicy sweet jerk bbq sauce in just 5 minutes.
Sounds too good to be true but it is true. The tofu can be marinated minimum 3 hours and maximum overnight. Do not be restricted to making these for kebabs you can slice thinly and marinate for less time and use the tofu as a sandwich filling.
Jerk Seasoning is paste like and made from green onions, onions, scotch bonnets, allspice, garlic and more….. I keep hearing people speaking about store bought jerk sauce. I do not know what that is and it will not be suitable to use in this recipe as it is not an authentic product. I see also the use of dried jerk seasoning which is use in Jamaica but not exclusively. I saw the dried seasoning in the past use as a rub on a piece of meat but in general the seasoning we use in the Caribbean is wet and the pepper is Scotch Bonnet and not red chilli flakes used in the commerical brands found in the USA. There is a recipe for jerk seasoning in Caribbean Vegan which is mild but one can increase the heat level by adding more peppers. You can also find jerk seasoning recipes online and if it does not have in those 5 things I have listed in bold it is not jerk.
Is is a must have for me and most people that make Caribbean food. It is found overseas in any well stocked liquor store. To save myself the trouble of writing out info here is the direct link to the the site of the makers. Click here.
You can also buy bitters online even on Amazon if you do not live near any complete liquor store.
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 heaping tablespoon jerk seasoning or any green seasoning that is peppery
2 teaspoons Angostura bitters
3 cloves garlic crushed
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 orange juiced
½ teaspoon orange zest, optional
1 teaspoon liquid smoke or 2 teaspoons of BBQ sauce
1 leaf of broadleaf thyme chopped finely
1 tsp pepper sauce, optional
¾ pound Tofu (firm or extra firm)
3-4 tablespoons neutral oil for frying tofu
Pimentos or Bell Peppers
Four 6- 8 inch wooden skewers
Five Minute Jerk BBQ Sauce
Leftover marinade from tofu
2 heaping tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (see Taymer’s Tip)
1 teaspoon molasses
2 teaspoons onion powder
Add all the ingredients for the marinade into a shallow dish and mix well
Cut tofu into 1x 1 ½ inch cubes.
Place the tofu in the marinade and marinate for 3 hours or overnight. Remember the longer it marinates the more flavour it has.
Heat oil in a frying pan and remove tofu from marinade. Remember to save marinade for the barbeque sauce. Assemble your tofu kebabs using some of the suggested vegetables. Fry tofu skewers evenly on all 4 sides until the sides are dark brown. Remove the tofu skewers from the frying pan and drain on absorbent paper.
Alternatively you can fry tofu cubes and drain and assemble skewers afterwards if you are making these ahead and when you re heat them the vegetables would be more crisp.
To make Jerk BBQ sauce
Add the leftover marinade, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, molasses and onion powder to a small saucepan and boil over high heat until the sauce starts to become thick. Remove from heat and serve over the tofu skewers or serve aside as a dipping sauce.
Lemon Coconut Rice
1 cup basmati rice washed and drained
1 small onion minced
1/2 cup rich coconut milk
2 cups water
2 heaping teaspoons Adobo
1/2 tsp garlic salt, optional
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 lemon juice
1 to 2 cloves crushed garlic
3 tbs finely grated coconut, optional
Add rice and onions to a hot pan and cook for 3 minutes or until onion starts to turn translucent
Add coconut milk,water, adobo, and thyme and cook on medium heat for 13 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and let rice cook until all the water has evaporated. The rice should be dry and not soggy and there is no need to add extra water.
Turn off heat when the rice is finished and quicky stir in lemon juice, crushed garlic and coconut. If you want you can lightly toast the coconut before stirring in with a fork.
Most commercial brands of Worcestershire sauce contain anchovy paste which is not vegan. There are a few brands made in the Caribbean that are vegan. Remember to read the label. You can freeze and squeeze a firm block of tofu for this recipe as well instead of using the tofu directly out of the package. Want to make this tofu dish for sandwiches instead? To do this, slice tofu into thin slices and marinate and pan fry in minimal oil.