I’m no Bobby Flay. I had, in fact, never turned on a grill independently until this week. BUT I’ve made it an ultimate goal of mine to become a grill master (more likely a pretty okay griller) before the summer ends.
Cooking and baking are learn-as-you-go adventures where I’m constantly practicing and improving. To me, that’s more than half the fun. If you’re always sticking to what you know, things start to get boring. So when I decided to take on the grill, I was super excited to make one of my favorite appetizers: kabobs.
Kabobs are perfect to throw on the grill for any get together, especially when there are picky eaters and those with dietary restrictions, which is more than likely nowadays. With a mix of fresh prepped vegetables, fruits, and proteins, you can easily customize each skewer with to everyone’s preference without any fuss.
I am a huge fan of salty sweet food combinations, (guilty to loving pineapple on pizza, don’t hate me) so I added some pineapple on my skewers to pair with an Asian-inspired sweet soy chili marinade. Then I chopped up some of my all-time favorite vegetables like broccoli, mushroom, and bell peppers and the combination was absolutely amazing.
Before preparing the sweet soy chili marinade, make sure you press your tofu and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes. You can do this by gently pressing the tofu block between two kitchen towels with a medium sized pan. This allows the excess moisture to be squeezed out and results in a beautifully charred, crispy outside.
The very best part of these tofu skewers is the marinated tofu with sweet soy chili marinade. When grilled, the soy mixture coats the tofu with a delicious caramelized glaze with a salty-sweet bite and a hit of spice from the pepper. To prep the marinade, whisk together soy sauce, Sriracha, garlic, coconut sugar, red pepper flakes, black pepper and sesame oil. It’s as simple as that!
To assemble the kabobs, cut your pressed tofu into 1¼-inch cubes and place them into a gallon-size resealable bag before pouring in the sweet soy chili marinade. You can also reserve some of this marinade to brush on your kabobs as they grill. Gently toss to coat. Press any excess air out of the bag before zipping it shut and letting it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Make sure that you prep this marinated tofu about an hour before you start grilling. This way, all the flavors have time to soak in and intensify.
As your tofu is marinating, you can begin prepping your vegetables. Toss your washed and cut veggies in a large mixing bowl and coat them with olive oil before tossing. Use salt, pepper, and any other of your favorite seasonings to sprinkle on top before mixing them again.
At this point, you’re ready to assemble and grill. Preheat the grill to about 400°F and brush the grill grates with avocado oil. This ensures that the kabobs don’t stick. This is especially important when you’re working with tofu since it’s more fragile than other proteins like beef or chicken. Once the grill is preheated, assemble the kabobs on metal skewers in an alternating pattern: tofu, mushroom, bell pepper, broccoli, onion, pineapple and eggplant. You may want to stack two red onions instead of one to prevent burning since they are so thin. I learned this the hard way.
Grill the skewers for about 7 to 8 minutes, flipping them every few minutes, until tofu is golden brown and veggies are slightly charred and tender. Then your skewers are ready to serve. I love serving them with a squeeze of fresh lemon on top of a bed of fluffy quinoa or brown rice.
Tofu Kabobs With Sweet Soy Chili Marinade
Takes , Serves 4.
Sweet Soy Chili Marinade
- Drain extra firm tofu and remove from package. Place full tofu block between two clean kitchen towels and top with a medium-sized pot. Very gently press without breaking to release excess moisture. Let tofu set while preparing the marinade.
- For Sweet Soy Chili Marinade: Prep about one hour prior to grilling. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sriracha, garlic, coconut sugar, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and sesame oil.
- Cut pressed tofu into 1¼-inch cubes and place in resealable gallon-size bag. Pour marinade over the tofu cubes and gently toss to coat. Press out any excess air before sealing and placing bag in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- While tofu is marinating, place veggies in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with avocado oil, and toss. Then sprinkle on salt, pepper, and any other seasonings of your choice before tossing again.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat at about 400°F and brush grill grates with avocado oil.
- Begin assembling kabobs on metal skewers in an alternating pattern: tofu, mushroom, bell pepper, broccoli, onion, pineapple and eggplant.
- Grill skewers for about 7-8 minutes, turning every so often, until tofu is golden brown and veggies are slightly charred and tender.