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BBQ Tofu Sandwich — Tastes Just Like the Real Thing

Moving along with “southern” food, with tonight’s meal: the BBQ sandwich.

Here are the ingredients we used:

-1 (14 oz) package extra firm tofu, drained (Use a heavy pan or something hard enough to press to let the water drain)
-Salt
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1/2 cup BBQ sauce
-1/2 package of broccoli slaw
-Goddess dressing enough over the slaw
-2 tsp red wine vinegar
-1/4 tsp garlic powder
-Ground black pepper to taste
-Ciabatta bread
-Round dill pickles
-Red onion slices

(Click here for the original recipe)

There really isn’t anything difficult about this meal. The pressed tofu block is cut into smaller rectangles (half the original thickness) and fried for a few minutes before the BBQ sauce is added. BBQ sauce is slathered on while still in the pan. The onions, slaw, and pickles are placed on the bread, followed by the tofu. That’s it!

Of course, we ran into a few issues along the way.

First, the slaw. The initial recipe called for a cabbage salad, which we didn’t find at our local market (Trader Joe’s). Instead used an already-mixed broccoli slaw, and instead of using yogurt (no soy yogurt at TJ’s??) as in the recipe, we used regular Goddess dressing. Turns out this is a very different flavor. Not bad at all. But also not southern at all.

Next, the tofu frying. For some reason, we did not get this right. The tofu was supposed to brown nicely after a few short minutes. Our tofu stuck to the pan, and became eggy we coaxed out. The BBQ sauce helped unstick most of it, thankfully.

We also used Ciabatta bread instead of hamburger buns. No reason other than it sounded good at the time. My kitchen assistant/photographer/webmaster Mike and I thought that pressing the bread and tofu (using a modified version of our DIY panini setup) would be a nice touch. But when I stepped aside for a moment, he continued adding ingredients and pressed the sandwich as a whole.

I forgot how hot pickles tasted.

When I think of hot pickles I think of McDonald’s cheeseburger sandwich, because they have hot pickles. “Gross,” that’s the word association I have when I think of a hamburger form McDonald’s. The hot pickles led to raised voices and pointed fingers, and me threatening to replace mine with cold ones, while Mike kept his on and cooked the sandwich even longer. Seriously, who would cook their pickles?

And then a funny thing happened. I ate one of the hot pickles and realized I liked it. As gross as McDonald’s sounds to me, they’ve created a signature flavor that somehow appeals to almost all of us, and the hot pickle is apparently a big part of that.

To finish off the southern meal, a side of salt&pepper potato chips was nice added crunchy taste to the sandwich.

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