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Grilled Sesame Tofu

from James McNair's Favorites

Sesame Marinade:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup Asian sesame oil
1/4 cup fruity olive oil, preferably extra-virgin
2 tablespoons hot chile oil, or to taste
1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup sesame seed, preferably black variety
8 green onions, including green tops (optional)
Vegetable oil for brushing grill rack

Makes 4 Servings

Even non-vegetarians won't miss the meat when served this intensely flavored tofu with a crispy crust.

Drain the tofu, slice each block horizontally in half, and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet or tray lined with several thicknesses of paper toweling. Cover with more paper toweling and a second baking sheet or cutting board, top with a heavy weight (such as aluminum foil-wrapped bricks or canned foods), and let stand for i to 2 hours to remove excess moisture.

To make the Sesame Marinade, in a nonreactive bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients, mix well, and set aside.

Cut each slab of drained tofu into 4 rectangles and arrange them in a shallow nonreactive container. Pour the marinade over the tofu, cover, and refrigerate, turning occasionally, for at least 24 hours or up to 6 days; return to room temperature before cooking.

About 30 minutes before cooking, place 8 bamboo skewers in a shallow container, cover with water, and set aside to soak. Prepare an open grill for moderate direct-heat cooking.

In a small skillet, place the sesame seed over medium heat and toast, shaking the pan or stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour onto a plate to cool.

Remove the tofu from the marinade, reserving the marinade. If using the green onions, cut each onion into 3 pieces of equal length. Then, working with 1 onion at a time and beginning with the root end, thread the 3 onion pieces lengthwise onto the soaked skewers, alternating them with 2 pieces of the tofu; thread the onion pieces in order to simulate the look of a whole onion. Alternatively, thread the tofu onto the skewers.

When the fire is ready, lightly brush the grill rack with oil. Place the skewered tofu on the rack and cook, turning frequently and brushing with the marinade, until lightly browned on all sides, 12 to 15 minutes.

To serve, sprinkle the tofu with the toasted sesame seed and arrange on warmed plates.

This and many other wonderful recipes may be found in
James McNair's Favories from Chronicle Books

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