Marinated Tofu

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 30 minutes, plus time to marinate

You can grill, broil, or pan-cook marinated tofu, and you can use pretty much any marinade you can think of as a base, from Japanese style to Italian style to barbecue sauce.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons minced or grated onion or shallot

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

11/2 to 2 pounds firm to extra-firm tofu, prepared by any of the methods in Pressed or Extra-Firm Tofu or simply blotted dry, cut into 12 to 16 slices and squeezed lightly

Chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish (optional)

Lemon wedges

Combine the oil, lemon juice, onion, garlic, and some salt and pepper in a shallow bowl broad enough to hold the tofu in one layer. Add the tofu and marinate, turning occasionally, for 30 minutes or longer (24 hours is okay; refrigerate if it will be longer than an hour or two).

To broil: Put the tofu on a rack set about 4 inches from the heat source. Broil until lightly browned, then turn and broil the other side. Total time will be 10 minutes or less.

To grill: Grill over medium to low heat, about 4 inches from the heat source. Grill until lightly browned, then turn and grill the other side. Total time will be 10 minutes or less.

To panfry: Add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil to a nonstick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, sear on both sides, for a total of about 5 minutes.

Garnish with parsley if you like and serve with lemon wedges.

Variations

Marinated Tofu with Japanese Flavors. Marinate in 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil, 1 tablespoon mirin or corn syrup, 1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger, and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar. Grill or broil, or panfry in neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, or in dark sesame oil. Garnish with parsley or shiso and serve with lemon wedges.

Marinated Tofu with Spanish Flavors. Add about 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (pimentГіn) to the mix.

Marinated Tofu with Barbecue Sauce. Marinate in barbecue sauce (to make your own, see Fast, Down-Home Barbecue Sauce). Best to broil or grill rather than panfry.

Crisp Marinated Tofu. For ultra-crisp and crunchy slices. This technique works for the main recipe or any of the variations: Slice the tofu even more thinly, say into 18 to 24 slices, broiling, grilling, or panfrying until the slices are very crisp and dry. (You may have to work in 2 batches.)