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asian

Cooking

Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade for BBQ

cubes of tofu marinating in orange soy honey tofu marinade

 

Like most families, we love to barbecue on the weekends. But sometimes I get tired of eating so much meat. My husband suggested we try marinating and grilling tofu on the barbecue. So, I came up with this Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade for the Barbecue. It’s really good – I think you’ll like it. It has sweetness from the orange juice and honey, saltiness from the soy and lots of extra flavour bits like ginger, garlic. Yum!

Tofu, for those of you who are not familiar is made from coagulated soy milk. It has been made for thousands of years beginning in China. The story goes that a cook once accidentally curdled some soy milk and … tofu was born.

Tofu is fantastic for soaking up flavours of sauces and marinades. Which is why this marinade works so well with tofu. All the flavours of orange, soy, honey, ginger, and sesame oil soak right into the porous soy cubes. This marinade also works in stir-fries as a sauce with chicken or tofu if you do not barbecue, or it’s raining or it’s wintertime. Just use with your favourite stir-fry combination. Or keep checking my website, and I’ll try and post a recipe soon!

Tofu is a super healthy meat alternative. In a 100 gram serving (about 1/2 a cup) there are 70 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 8.2 grams of protein and about 350 mg of calcium, which is about 20% of our daily needs. When compared with chicken or steak, it is much lower in calories and much higher in calcium. It is lower in protein than chicken or steak, but one serving is ample enough.

grilled tofu with orange soy honey marinade

The tofu caramelizes to a lovely golden brown on the barbeque. It’s very difficult to cook it this way on the stovetop, which makes barbequing that much more exciting!

Before you begin making this dish, you should press the tofu to remove any extra liquid. When pressed, the tofu is less apt to fall apart on the barbeque. Place the tofu in a shallow bowl and cover by a small plate. Place a weight on top of the plate. You could use a can of tomatoes, a small bag of sugar, anything that weighs about 1 kg. Leave the tofu like that for about 60 minutes. Drain away the liquid, then place the pressed tofu in a container with the Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade to soak up all those yummy flavours.

Barbecue on a medium heat until golden brown all over, turning often. Brush on additional marinade as it cooks.

Enjoy!

Orange Soy Honey Tofu Marinade for BBQ

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 15-20

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 450 g container of tofu

Instructions

1

Press tofu to remove extra liquid. Place tofu in a shallow bowl. Place a small plate on top. On top of the plate, place an object that weighs about 1 kg (large can of tomatoes, small bag of sugar etc.). Leave for about 60 minutes.

2

Drain away extra liquid.

3

Chop the garlic and ginger finely.

4

Add all other ingredients into microwavable bowl.

5

Place in microwave for about 30 seconds, until the honey and orange juice concentrate are melted.

6

Stir all ingredients together.

7

Pour over tofu.

8

Place in refrigerator for about 2-3 hours.

9

Grill on medium heat on barbeque. Baste with extra marinade.

10

Turn tofu a few times until each cube is a nice golden brown.

Cooking

Sweet’n’Spicy Asian Chicken BBQ Marinade with Sake

asian chicken on a barbeque

I’m sure most people will agree with me that there is nothing more summery than cooking outdoors on the barbeque!

Living in Canada with four distinct seasons, means that each season is only about 3 months long, June, July and August are the warmest months of the year, so we like to cram in as much outdoor activities during these months as possible. So, lots of bike rides, swimming, picnics at the beach and farmer market visits. And for mealtimes, it’s all about barbequing out on the patio.

ingredients for asian chicken marinade

This Asian Chicken BBQ Marinade with Sake ticks all the boxes for a lively summery grilled chicken dinner. Nothing says big flavour like this combination of sweet asian pear and honey, aromatic ginger, green onions and sake, salty soy, nutty sesame oil and spicy sambal oelek!

When I was growing up, my Dad mostly barbecued hotdogs and hamburgers. And that’s fun, if you’re in a pinch for time or cooking for four very hungry kids. But my favourite barbeque dinners are with meats that have marinated for hours and then grilled to perfection. In my house we all have our favourites, jerk pork, steaks coated with a sizzling spice mix or my favourite – marinated chicken.

Chicken is the perfect vehicle for a marinade as it is a milder meat than beef or pork. After marinating for a few hours, grilled chicken comes out moist and tender with a crispy exterior brimming with flavour.

grilled chicken breast on plate with meat thermometer

Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees fahrenheit and the juices should run clear.

And my favourite part about barbequing chicken is coming up with new maraindes. Marinades really up the game when barbequing adding lovely sweet, spicy, salty, boozy flavours.

This marinade is so simple and easy to make. All the liquid ingredients are poured directly into the blender. Chop the asian pear, green onion, ginger and garlic and throw them in too. Blitz the marinade on high for 3-4 minutes until it is very smooth and then pour over the chicken to marinate for a couple of hours. Then you’re ready for grilling.

asian chicken on a bed of lettuce

I hope you enjoy this Asian Chicken Marinade.

Quick'n'Easy Asian Chicken BBQ Marinade with Sake

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-8 Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1\4 cup sake
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 1 asian pear

Instructions

1

Measure all liquid ingredients into blender.

2

Add chopped garlic, green onions, ginger and asian pear into blender.

3

Blitz for about 3-4 minutes until smooth.

4

Place chicken in a plastic container or freezer bag or glass bowl.

5

Pour marinade over chicken. Cover.

6

Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

7

Remove chicken and place on plate.

8

Simmer remaining marinade in a pot for 10 minutes. Use this marinade to brush on chicken while barbequing.

9

Grill the chicken on barbeque until thermometer reads 165 degrees fahrenheit.

10

Serve on a bed of lettuce with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. You can also serve this grilled asian chicken on italian or ciabatta buns with your favourite toppings such as lettuce, tomato and raosted red peppers and barbeque sauce.

adapted slightly from Sauces by Steven Raichlen

 

Cooking

Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef and Vegetables

Korean Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef and Vegetables

This dish, Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef and Vegetables, is a real family favourite. It has everything an asian stir-fry should have: sweet and salty sauce, crisp stir-fried vegetables and these amazing sweet potato noodles. So good.

I got this recipe from my friend, Kana, who I met years ago when we both lived in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Our family had moved to Halifax for my husband to do his medical internship. Kana and her family had come to Canada for two years to learn English as well as Canadian culture. In a very short time, Kana and I realized we both loved cooking.

We were both eager to learn cooking from each other’s country. We started getting together every Friday for ‘East-West Cooking’ Classes in each other’s kitchens. While our children played together, Kana and I would cook Japanese family favourites in her kitchen: sushi, sukiyaki, rice balls and other fantastic Japanese dishes. On other Fridays, she would come to our house and we would make meatloaf, roast chicken or nachos. Our kids and husbands loved this arrangement. I think our most fun day was when we made gingerbread houses just before Christmas.

Sweet Potato Noodles are fantastic to be know about, because, just like rice noodles, they’re perfect for vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. The only ingredient for these noodles is sweet potato starch. Personally, I find sweet potato noodles easier to cook than rice noodles. For me, rice noodles always seem just seconds between being not done to overdone. If you have any suggestions on cooking rice noodles, please send them my way!

Sweet Potato Noodles are VERY long. When Kana taught me this dish she just snipped the cooked noodles into shorter pieces with her scissors. I still do it this way as it’s super easy.  You could break the noodles up when you put them in the pot, but I just pull up a bunch of almost cooked noodles with my tongs and snip away until they all look a good length.

This dish is fantastic for a picnic or potluck dinner as it tastes amazing at room temperature. You can eat it hot, but it tastes fine even after it has cooled down.

If you would like to make a vegan/vegetarian version, just replace the beef either with sauteed tofu, or double up on the vegetables. You won’t miss the beef at all.

Korean Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef and Vegetables

Print Recipe
Serves: 6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • one package of Korean Sweet Potato Noodles
  • 1 pound stir-fry beef
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 250 grams mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 carrots, thinly cut
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • Sauce: 3 tbsp sugar, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 2-3 tablespoons stock.

Instructions

1

Put a large pot of water onto boil.

2

When water comes to a boil, add noodles.

3

Cook noodles for about 10 minutes until they taste soft but not soggy.

4

When noodles are done, snip them with scissors, until they are all about 10 inches long.

5

Rinse noodles.

6

While you are cooking the noodles, get a large wok out to cook the beef and vegetables.

7

Saute beef in a wok, until no longer pink, and then place in a bowl while you cook the vegetables.

8

Add onions and saute until soft. Add mushrooms and continue to saute until softened slightly.

9

Add carrots. Put lid on the wok until the carrots have softened.

10

Add broccoli florets. Put the lid back on for a couple of minutes until the broccoli is almost done.

11

Add beef back to the wok.

12

Add noodles to wok.

13

In a small bowl, add sugar, soy sauce and stock.

14

Pour sauce into wok.

15

Toss everything together with tongs. Serve hot or room temperature. Keep leftovers in fridge for up to 3 days.

Notes

You can also use other vegetables such as spinach, green beans, snow peas or red peppers.

Korean Sweet Potato Noodles with Beef and Vegetables