Pineapple-Ginger Grilled Tofu with Edamame Salad

by Kelly on August 25, 2010

Whenever I travel where I’m going to eat is as important for me to figure out as what I’m going to do or see.  Business trips are no exception.  While to some they’re just a way to see clients and rack up some frequent flyer miles (Okay, I like that as well.) for me they’re also a chance to try food all over the country.

Recently I was in Phoenix for business and dined at a lovely Asian tapas & sake bar called Sens.  I found myself immediately smitten with the range of flavors on the menu, especially when served up as small plates.  I love this because even as a lone diner I was able to try a couple of different things without breaking the bank or getting too stuffed.  From their Ginger Mint Duck Salad to the classic Papaya Mango Spring Rolls, everything was delicious, especially when paired with the complementary tastes of their cocktails the bartender kept passing my way.  But the standout dish for me was their Pineapple-Ginger Tofu.  The tofu had been marinated and then fried with a light tempura batter.  Paired with a spicy dipping sauce, it was pretty addictive.   Texturally it was also amazing.  The crunch of the crust against the soft interior was so lovely.  My immediate reaction was not that different from most food bloggers.  I knew I was going to replicate it at home.

This week seemed like the perfect week to do so as I found myself with a strong craving for tofu.  However this dish is more inspired by rather than a perfect replication of the original.  Rather than deep frying my tofu, I decided to nix this technique and grill instead.  I’m not going to lie, I REALLY wanted to deep fry.  However, I also happened to try on some of my fall clothes this week and finding them a bit snug, thought better of it.  Clearly all the goat cheese brownies, fried zucchini blossoms, and grilled cheese have caught up to me.
Pineapple Ginger Tofu
It’s no matter because even without the oil and batter this recipe shines.  Pineapple juice and ginger give it a fruity and spicy flare, with a very subtle caramel flavor from the brown sugar.  Pair it with the Edamame Salad and you get some nice crunch to balance out the more chewy tofu.  All and all it makes for a great late summer dish.

Pineapple-Ginger Grilled Tofu with Edamame Salad
Serves 4


For the tofu:
-1 14-ounce package firm or extra firm tofu, drained
-1/4 cup pineapple juice
-2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
-1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
-1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
-2 teaspoons canola oil
-1 teaspoon minced garlic
-1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
-2 teaspoons brown sugar
-Cooking spray or canola oil, for greasing grill

For the salad:
-1 cup blanched and shelled edamame
-1/4 cup chopped shallots
-1/4 cup small-diced red bell pepper
-1/4 cup small-diced pineapple
-1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
-1 tablespoon canola oil
-1 ½ teaspoons freshly grated ginger
-1 small jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed and minced
-1 tablespoon minced cilantro
-Salt and pepper to taste


Cut tofu into desired shapes. Place tofu slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 20 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Mix together all marinade ingredients (pineapple juice through brown sugar) and pour into a Ziploc bag or sealable container. Add tofu and allow it to marinade in the refrigerator for at least one hour or preferably, overnight.

Prepare grill to medium-high heat and coat grill rack with cooking spray or brush on canola oil to prevent the tofu from sticking. Remove tofu and place on the grill, reserving marinade. Grill for 2 minutes on each side until tofu is hot and has nice charred marks. While tofu is cooking, strain any tofu bits out of the marinade and boil in a saucepan until reduced by half.

To prepare salad, stir together all salad ingredients (edamame through salt and pepper) and set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.

To serve, drizzle remaining marinade over tofu slices and plate with edamame salad.

As a side bar, thank you for all the votes in the Tastefully Simple recipe contest. I am so flattered and appreciative.  Voting is open through Friday so if you haven’t yet, I’d appreciate if you’d vote for me.  Just view my video here and mark that you ‘like it.’  Note that if you do not yet have a YouTube account it may prompt you to sign up for one.  And yes, I’m a bit, err, awkward on camera.  I have to say I have even greater appreciation for how hard it must be on The Next Food Network Star.  (So thrilled for Aarti by the way!)

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria August 25, 2010 at 10:24 am

That is a gorgeous dish! I’ve never grilled tofu. I’m picky about the texture it has. Regardless, I want that salad immediately.


5 Star Foodie August 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

Wonderful flavors with pineapple and ginger!


Kelly August 25, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Victoria – Understandable, I think a lot of people who eat tofu are picky about its texture and I am too. The grilled tofu definitely yields a tofu that is a little softer than say panfried or roasted tofu, but I actually really enjoyed it. I found that greasing the grill very well was key because it allowed me to ensure a great crust and also that the tofu wouldn’t get stuck to the grill.

5 Star Foodie – Thanks, I agree. It’s so classic and always a favorite pairing of mine.


Ash August 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm

this looks so fresh and so delicious! sometimes the brownies and grilled cheese are worth a little snugg-ness in the clothes… lol.


Kelly August 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm

Ash – I agree. Sometimes I think if I didn’t eat so much I could be soooo fit, but then I remember that is why I work out…so I can eat more.


Sarah August 25, 2010 at 2:21 pm

what a great looking dish kelly! i can’t WAIT to try this with some coconut sticky rice! ps next time you are in phoenix-you MUST try delux burger in scottsdale. Trust me, you will loooove it!


Kelly August 25, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Sarah – Ooh, thanks I agree this would be fantastic with coconut sticky rice. I’m definitely putting delux burger on my list. I travel there so often that I am always game for new recommendations. Thank you for sharing. 🙂


River (Wing-It Vegan) August 25, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Wow, Kelly, this is the most delicious looking tofu I’ve seen in a long time! I think it’s time for one of my tofu splurges! Those barely burnt sugary edges look like they’d be the best part!


Carolyn Jung August 26, 2010 at 1:34 am

A beautiful looking summer-time dish. And I just happen to have a block of tofu in my fridge and a fresh pineapple at hand. Karma. 😉


Pam August 26, 2010 at 9:34 am

This looks and sounds delicious! I have edamame in the freezer and now I know what to do with it! Thanks!


Inspired2cook August 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

Yumm! I’ve never grilled tofu before but I bet it’s delish! Your dish looks so pretty & summery!!!


Kelly August 26, 2010 at 11:39 am

River – Oh yes you mean the charred bits, they are my favorite. They add a nice crunch to the soft tofu. Oh so heavenly.

Carolyn – 🙂

Pam – This salad is definitely a great use for it. Even if you don’t make the tofu it’s incredibly refreshing and a good way to get in some veggies and protein.

Inspired2cook – Thanks. It definitely is delicious. I think I like pan roasting tofu the best but this is a close second.


chaya August 26, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I am not a f an of tofu but this looks like it just might work. I think the person who said, it is the texture, that is problematic, is correct.

This looks good and I just might try it. I like how you mixed it up with great ingredients.


Kelly August 26, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Chaya – Glad you think so. That said, if great texture is what you are after, I think this tofu recipe, is the best place to start. It’s definitely NOT as healthy as this one, but it is incredibly yummy and satisfies. I also sometimes cook mine up in this sauce, which I love.


Mary August 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm

What a gorgeous salad. It looks and sounds wonderful. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary


Erica August 26, 2010 at 4:48 pm

This just looks gorgeous…love the addition of the pineapple. I am always looking for the BEST restaurants when I travel as well!! Unfortunately, my work never takes me anywhere too exciting 😉


Kelly August 26, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Erica – Sorry to hear that, although I have to say, I’ve had some surprisingly good food in some traditionally “ordinary” places.

Mary – Thank you. 🙂


UrMomCooks August 26, 2010 at 7:21 pm

This looks delish. Luv the addition of the pineapple! Great post – we love to share food from the places we visit, too!
P.S. Thanx for visiting our blog. Hope to see you again!
P.P.S. We voted for ur video 🙂


Hannah August 29, 2010 at 10:36 am

I must say, I never think to use pineapple in savory applications, but this sounds very promising! Maybe that would be a good place to start… Definitely loving the sound of the salad, too.


Kerstin August 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm

What a gorgeous photo. This looks so fresh and tasty and I love how your lightened it up from the original version!


The Duo Dishes August 31, 2010 at 12:23 am

You have definitely taken tofu to another level. The flavors are really strong. The salad’s a beautiful set of colors!


Cara August 31, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Totally bookmarking this one. I love edamame and have never paired it with pineapple. Sounds delish! I’m the same way about figuring where to eat when traveling – usually a combo of finding the tastiest place in town and seeking out the healthier options to balance it out!


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