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August 16, 2017
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Grilled tofu with baby bok choy and sweet chili sauce

Extra-firm tofu lightly charred on the grill holds its shape and turns wonderfully crisp on the outside and firm, but creamy, on the inside. The trick to doing it successfully is to make sure it’s well drained (lots of paper towels) and brushed generously with oil before it goes on the grill. Once the tofu slices are over the fire, avoid lifting or moving them so they stay intact until it’s time to turn them.

2 lb. (1 kg) extra-firm tofu, drained

baby bok choy (recipe to follow)

vegetable oil

6 tbsp. (90 ml) Thai sweet chili sauce

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high.

Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with a thick layer of paper towels. Cut each cake of tofu into 4, ¾-inch- (2-cm) thick slices. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the paper towels. Place another thick layer of paper towels on top and press lightly to absorb the moisture. Prepare the bok choy while the grill heats.

When ready to grill, remove the paper towels and generously brush both sides of the tofu slices with vegetable oil. Be careful when you turn the slices, otherwise they’ll crack and crumble.

Oil the grill grate. Using a spatula, transfer the tofu slices to the grill directly over the hot fire. Cook, 2 to 3 minutes per side, until grill marks appear on both sides and the tofu is heated through. If you have room on the grate, grill the bok choy; otherwise put it on as soon as the tofu comes off, keeping the tofu warm.

To serve, arrange 3 bok choy halves in the centre of each plate. Lay 2 tofu slices on top, overlapping them slightly. Drizzle about 1½ tablespoons (22.5 ml) of the sweet chili sauce over the top and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Baby bok choy

With a little care, baby bok choy can be grilled beautifully. The lower portion of the white stalks can be positioned directly over the fire, but you need to protect the tender green leaves from scorching by laying them on a long strip of foil. If you have a round, kettle-style grill, use two long foil strips and grill the bok choy in two rows. If you have a rectangular grill, use one long foil strip and grill them in a single row. In either case, you may need to cook these greens in two batches. They taste great drizzled with peanut sauce.

8 heads baby bok choy, halved lengthwise

2 tbsp. (30 ml) canola or grapeseed oil

2 tsp. (10 ml) Asian sesame oil

kosher or sea salt

store-bought Thai peanut sauce for drizzling

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on medium-high.

Arrange the bok choy in a single layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the canola and sesame oils and mix well. Brush both sides of the bok choy’s crisp white stalks (not the green leaves) with the oil mixture. Season lightly with salt.

Oil the grill grate. Place a long strip of foil, about 6-inches (15-cm) wide, across the length of the grill. Arrange the bok choy, cut side down, so the white stalks are directly over the medium-hot fire and the green leaves are resting on the foil. Grill until light brown grill marks appear, about 1½ minutes. Turn and grill until marks appear on the other side and the bok choy is crisp-tender when pierced with a knife, about 2 minutes longer.

Arrange the bok choy halves, cut side up, on a warmed platter and drizzle with peanut sauce. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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