Seared Tofu With Date BBQ Sauce

Last week, when we drove ourselves down to the south coast i had to somehow drown out the soundtrack to "Alvin & The Chipmunks - Chipwrecked" (i know, just don't...)

So, I zoned out & i got recipe searching on my iphone (obviously i am not the driver in this situation - i'm not that idiot) and somewhere between Katy Perry & Destiny's Child I stumbled across this recipe for seared tofu with home made date BBQ sauce... Good God! AMAZING!

I knew i had to make it as soon as the sun decided to make an appearance (are we still not over the rain?) but, well you know how i'm mega impatient? I decided to make it as soon as we got home.

But thank goodness I did, as i am STILL waiting for some bloody sunshine (seriously, are we still not over the rain?)...

Anyhoo, here we go. If you're not a veggie or a vegan, don't let the tofu freak you out, it's good stuff! BBQ (inside on your cooker hob!) serve with a fresh green salad and some toasted pitta's et viola... pretty much a summer vegan heaven. Enjoy x

Recipe from Pure Vegan by Joseph Shuldiner

For 4 you will need:

For the tofu...

800g of extra-firm tofu, drained & pressed*

Spray oil for greasing your griddle pan

For the sweetest most awesome BBQ sauce ever...

1/4 tsp saffron threads

1 tbsp water

1/2 cup etxtra virgin olive oil

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked sweet paprika

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 cloves garlic - peeled & minced

1/4 cup tomato puree

720ml veggie stock

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

10 pitted dates - minced

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

And you will need to do this:

Firstly, drain & press your tofu: 

*To press your tofu, wrap each drained block in a clean tea towel & place on a rimmed baking sheet. Place another baking sheet / chopping board on the top of the wrapped tofu.

Place a heavy cook book or a large jug of water on top, centering the weight (remember you are not squashing the tofu, just pressing the water out)

Leave for at least 20 mins.

Meanwhile - it's awesome BBQ sauce time:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 250f/120c/gm 1/2

2. In a small bowl, combine your saffron threads and water & let sit pretty for about10 mins.

3. In a medium saucepan, heat up your olive oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion & sautee until soft & translucent - roughly 10 minutes.

4. Next up, add your coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, ginger, cinnamon, salt & pepper. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

5. Add your chopped garlic, and simmer for about 30 seconds.

6. Now add your tomatoe puree, veggie stock, sugar, cayenne pepper & saffron water. Turn to heat up to medium high & cook until the sauce begins to thicken. This should take about 10 minutes, and you will need to stir often.

7. Once the sauce is looking thicker, add your minced dates and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8. Once you have a lovely thick sauce, remove from the heat & stir through your lemon juice. Lipsmacking!

It's time for tofu:

1. Remove your pressed tofu from its kitchen towel / chopping board / large book situation and chop into thick slices.

2. Place a griddle pan on a medium to high heat & spray with olive oil.

3. Taking each piece of tofu in turn, dip into the bbq sauce mixture (cover generously) before adding to the hot griddle. (You can prob get 4 on at a time, depending on the size of your pan, so this is probably something you need to do in batches).

4. Cook until golden brown on each side, which should be  about 5 minutes a side.

5. When your first batch is done, place in an ovenproof dish & pop in the oven to keep warm, and continue with your second.

6. Serve the cooked tofu slices with the remaining BBQ sauce &...... enjoy!