This grilled tofu is the flavor-packed vegan main dish your cookouts have been missing! Soaked in a zesty cumin-lime marinade and served with mango salsa, this scrumptious tofu will be a new summer favorite.
I have a love-hate relationship with vegan grilling.
On the one hand, everything I grill turns out delicious. Like, so delicious that I kick myself for not grilling more often. The smoky flavor of grilled food just can’t be beat! So I’m a big fan of grilling at home.
On the other hand, most of my grilled meals don’t actually come from home. And it’s the worst feeling ever when you show up at someone’s cookout only to see all the veggies cooking on a grill (presumably) covered in meat juice.
I found the solution when I visited a restaurant a while back where they served grilled tofu that was cooked on a cedar plank. Best. Idea. Ever.
Why Cedar Planks?
For one thing, cedar planks give your grilled food a delicious woodsy flavor. That’s why most people love them. But I especially love them because they provide a buffer between my food and the grill, which, unless it’s my own grill, usually has some kind of meaty stuff on it.
Also, in the case of tofu, I’ve been challenged in the past with my tofu sticking to the grill. Using a cedar plank solves that problem!
What You’ll Need
- Soy sauce. Gluten-free tamari or liquid aminos can be substituted.
- Lime juice. Use freshly squeezed for the best flavor.
- Maple syrup. You can substitute another liquid sweetener like agave if you’d like.
- Ground cumin.
- Cayenne pepper. Skip this for a heat-free grilled tofu.
- Tofu. Preferably use extra-firm or super firm.
- Cedar plank. You can buy these at most supermarkets during grilling season. Look near when the charcoal is sold.
- Canola oil. Or use another high-heat oil, such as peanut or corn oil.
- Mango salsa. For topping your grilled tofu. Feel free to substitute another salsa or sauce.
How to Make Grilled Tofu
The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!
- Prep everything first. Press your tofu then slice it into 4 slabs, soak your cedar plank in some water (this minimizes burning), and mix your marinade ingredients together.
- Place your tofu slabs in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them.
- Let the tofu soak up the marinade for a while. Give it at least thirty minutes, but longer is fine. You can let it go for up to 24 hours, but be sure to cover and chill it if it will be longer than 2 hours.
- When you’re ready to grill, build a medium fire and remove your tofu slabs from the marinade. I like to brush mine with a bit of oil to help them brown, but you can skip that if you prefer. Arrange the tofu slabs on your plank and grill them until they shrink a bit and darken in color.
Serve your grilled tofu with some mango salsa.
Leftovers & Storage
Grilled tofu is best served right away, but the leftovers are still pretty tasty. Store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. I’m a big fan of putting the leftovers in a sandwich!
Frequently Asked Questions
Nope! I love them for all the reasons I mentioned above, but feel free to throw your tofu right on the grill if you prefer. Just make sure the grates are well-oiled. You won’t get the same woodsy flavor, but your tofu will still be delicious!
Extra-firm or super firm works best! Some brands of extra firm tofu are firmer than others. I really like SoyBoy and Trader Joe’s brands for this recipe — both are pretty firm!
Yup! Just substitute gluten-free tamari for the soy sauce.
More Tofu Recipes
- Baked BBQ Tofu
- Sesame Ginger Marinated Tofu
- Savory Lemon & Herb Baked Tofu
- Sesame Sriracha Tofu
- Tofu Bacon
- Kung Pao Tofu
Grilled Tofu with Mango Salsa
- ¼ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 1 medium cedar plank (5 x 11 inches or larger)*
- 2 teaspoons canola oil, or high heat oil of choice
- Mango salsa, for serving
- Stir the soy sauce, lime juice, maple syrup, garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl.
- Cut the block of tofu in half, thickness wise, to create two thin slabs. Next cut each slab in half, width-wise, to create 4 smaller slabs.
- Place the tofu slabs into a shallow dish and pour the soy sauce mixture over them.
- Allow the tofu to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature, or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
- While the tofu marinates, fill a shallow dish with water and submerge the cedar plank. Allow the plank to soak for at least 15 minutes.
- Heat an outdoor or indoor grill to medium-high.
- Remove the tofu from the marinade. Lightly brush the exterior with oil and arrange the tofu on the cedar plank.
- Place the cedar plank on the grill, away from direct heat.
- Cover and grill the tofu for about 20 minutes, brushing it with some of the excess marinade about halfway through. The tofu is finished grilling when browned with darkening around the edges.
- Top the tofu with mango salsa and serve.