Spring in Japan means hanami, or sakura viewing parties, and hanami means FOOD. There are a few staples at almost every hanami party: beer, dango, yakitori, and sweets (like my cherry blossom cupcakes!!). Being a vegetarian, I can’t eat yakitori (it’s basically skewered chicken), so I wanted to make something similar (but vegetarian) to take along.
My initial plan was to make something much more involved; something involving handmade faux meats and lots of time. However, as it got closer and closer to the party, I realized I was running out of time. I needed something quick and easy, so I came up with this easy recipe for tofu skewers.
Pressed and cubed tofu make up the base. Honestly, it couldn’t be easier! You can freeze the tofu if you want to add a meatier texture, but it’s fine without it. The marinade also comes together really easily. It’s flexible, so you can trade out ingredients without having to worry too much. No miso? Try peanut butter! Don’t want to use soy? Swap it out for braggs. As long as you stick to the general measurements, your tofu skewers should be fine.
“No miso? Try peanut butter! Don’t want to use soy? Swap it out for braggs.”
The tofu can marinate for as little as one hour (if you’re pressed for time) or for as long as overnight if you want to prepare the day before. Just be sure to flip it a few times to make sure it gets covered on all sides. To prevent burning, don’t skewer your tofu skewers until AFTER you’ve already baked them.
You can serve it up hot, or eat it cold the next day (I think it tastes better that way). Give it a try at your next picnic and let me know what you think!
How to Make Miso Tofu Skewers
1 block of firm tofu, pressed to remove water and diced into cubes
1 tablespoon red miso
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger powder or minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
chili flakes or shichimi to taste
Mix all ingredients except for tofu in a bowl until incorporated. Next, line up the tofu cubes in a container and pour the sauce mixture over it. Marinate tofu for at least one hour (preferably overnight), flipping occasionally to ensure all sides are covered. Transfer the tofu to a nonstick oven-safe tray (line with foil if you want to save yourself some painful cleanup later), and pour the remaining mixture over the top of the tofu. Bake at 350F or 180C for 30 minutes. Next, flip the tofu and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven. You can allow the tofu to cool completely before skewering if preparing in advance (it tastes great cold). If not, skewer and serve hot.
Let me know if you try out this recipe by tagging me on instagram or twitter with the hashtag #heytaylorb. I always love seeing your takes on my recipes, so please let me know how you like it!