Once I started making this dish, I thought, wait, this is just tofu with barbeque sauce poured on top! But, oh no, it isn’t! Well, it IS, but it’s delicious! I couldn’t find Korean barbeque sauce, so I just picked one that sounded good. I pressed my tofu overnight to get most of the water out. And don’t leave off the pineapple and mango- they really make this special! PS: Sorry, tablet pic again.
Korean Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango
1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, optional and to taste (I omitted this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup Korean barbeque sauce (or your favorite bbq sauce)
1/4 cup finely diced pineapple
1/4 cup finely diced mango
Drain the tofu and press it with a tofu press for at least one hour, or overnight. If you do not have a tofu press, wrap the tofu in paper towels, double or triple layer them, wrapping around the tofu many times. Lay tofu on a cutting board or flat surface. Put cookbooks, a heavy metal frying pan, or something with substantial weight on top of the tofu and allow it to be pressed for at least 1 hour, gently pressing down with your hands from time to time, to encourage the water to release. After at least one hour, unwrap the tofu and slice it into 16 thin strips, about 1/8-inch wide.
Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with aluminum foil (do not skip this step), carefully transfer the tofu to the pan and place all slices in the pan, making sure the edges do not touch each other. If you want to season it with optional spices, do so.
Drizzle with olive oil. Carefully pour the barbeque sauce over the tofu. It will look like a lot, that’s okay. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least one hour, or all day. You can leave it at room temperature or in the refrigerator based on preference (I usually put my tofu in the tofu press before bed and refrigerate it, and the next morning, I slice it and put it in the pan with the olive oil and maridnade, where I let it marinate for half a day or all day until I am going to cook it and I don’t refrigerate it but that’s my comfort level).
Note: When ready to actully cook the tofu, make sure you have 15 minutes where you can be attentive, not multi-tasking or distracted, and not having to run in out of the kitchen. This method of cooking tofu can cause it to burn on a moment’s notice so you really need to watch it and be present and attentive.
Preheat oven to the broiler setting. Place the tofu under the broiler and cook for 10 minutes. Remove it, flip all pieces over, and broil for 4 to 5 more minutes. Remove it and sprinkle with the pineapple and mango and broil for 1 more minute. Tips: Do not be alarmed if the marinade on the edges of the pan starts turning black. Pay attention to what’s happening with the tofu pieces and look at the edges and corners. They should have a sear, and have just a hint of blackening, or cook until desired level. All broiling times are approximate based on how much sauce or marinade you have in the bottom of the pan and its consistency and moisture content (the more excess you have, the longer it needs to cook); the moisture content and width of your tofu and how well it was pressed and how well-done you like your tofu; your oven temperature. This is why you cannot leave the kitchen and must be attentive. My advice is to allow it to get to the edge of looking burned before pulling it so it has that seared and crispy edge with a soft middle texture.
Allow tofu to cool for a few minutes and serve, scooping up any extra marinade from the bottom of the pan if desired. Leftover tofu will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.