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Broiled tofu and asparagus with hoisin, rice wine, and sesame

Broiled tofu with asparagus, also great on the grill.

When it comes to revisiting old recipes, things don't always work out the way I plan. A post from 2008 needed updating with  new photographs -- easy enough -- but when it came time to make the recipe, I realized that this was another case of how my cooking style and tastes have changed.

Perfect for the broiler or grill and ideal for Meatless Mondays (and vegan friends), this tofu and asparagus dish with a rich, salty hoisin and sesame sauce bears slight resemblance to the original. I've simplified the number of ingredients, and eliminated the noodles, which I seldom eat these days. The grill lends a slightly smoky taste to the tofu, which is lovely but not entirely necessary if, like me, you don't have your grill set up yet, and you can add any vegetables you like -- red bell pepper, snow peas, zucchini -- to the mix. Leaving the tofu in larger slices makes it taste more steak-like. The lesson here is not to abandon older recipes that no longer work for you. Tinker, tinker, tinker!

Broiled tofu with asparagus, a great #vegan main dish.

Broiled tofu and asparagus with hoisin, rice wine, and sesame {vegan}

From the pantry, you'll need: tofu, hoisin sauce, rice wine, reduced sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sesame seeds.

Updated from this recipe for Grilled tofu with soba noodles, published in May 2008. Serves 4; can be multiplied.


1 lb extra firm tofu

For the marinade:
3/4 cup hoisin sauce, drained
1/4 cup rice wine or sake
3 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp finely minced garlic
1 Tbsp granulated sugar, or less, to taste
1 tsp sesame oil

1 lb thin asparagus spears, root ends trimmed
1 yellow or red pepper, or several mini peppers, halved
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)


Place drained tofu on a rimmed plate or shallow bowl, and weight down with another plate. Let it sit for 30 minutes, to release excess water in the tofu. Pour off the excess, then cut tofu into 1-inch slices and place in a bowl. Add 2/3 of marinade to the tofu, tossing gently to coat. Let sit for an hour at room temperature.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, and set aside.

Preheat broiler, with the upper rack 5-6 inches from the heat, or prepare your grill and preheat. You might want to brush the grill with some canola or peanut oil, or spray with canola spray (do this before you heat the grill.)

Add remaining marinade to a bowl, and toss all of the vegetables in it until well coated.

Place the tofu in a single layer on the baking sheet. Set the vegetables on the same baking sheet, next to the tofu.

Broil for 3-4 minutes, until the top of the tofu is nicely browned. Remove the pan from the oven, and remove the vegetables, which will likely be cooked and a bit charred. Carefully turn the tofu with a spatula, and return to the oven for an additional 3 minutes.

Set the tofu and vegetables on individual serving plates (you can chop the tofu if you wish), and top with crushed (or whole) sesame seeds. Serve hot.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More tofu ideas:
Grilled tofu wraps with avocado, pepper and onions, from The Perfect Pantry
Teriyaki tofu wraps, from The Perfect Pantry
Cumin grilled tofu with papaya salsa, from FatFree Vegan Kitchen
Grilled tofu spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce, from A Cozy Kitchen

Broil or grill this amazing tofu and asparagus (or any vegetables you like). #vegan

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Everything about this sounds delicious! And I love those sweet mini peppers and hadn't though of cooking them on the grill.

Kalyn, any vegetables will work with this grilled tofu. The little peppers are delicious on the grill!

Dinner last night: this sauce with only 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, sweet potato slices and split baby bok choy for vegetables. It took longer, and I had the bok choy in a dish covered with foil, then under the broiler at the end. Love the flavors! Bok choy should be stir fried with the same sauce?
Any way it was a good start, and an inspiration for more what's in the fridge nights.
There plenty of tofu left, which shall become good sandwiches, starting with the wrap you posted recently.
Overall, a winner!

Susan, next time try the bok choy on the grill -- a totally different flavor. And it sounds like you'll have wonderful sandwiches for lunch today! Thanks, as always, for giving my recipe ideas a new spin!

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