Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tofu with barbecue sauce

I had to title this post carefully, as I realised that the title I was going to use (barbecue tofu) may be misconstrued. You see - as I think this revised title highlights - the barbecue here is in the flavour and not in the cooking method. If you're like me and don't own a barbecue, this is a good thing.

This recipe is easy, versatile, and gives a rather delicious result. The barbecue sauce could also be used in a number of ways, and I can see myself making it for all sorts of purposes in the future. I think it would pair well with veggie burgers, for example, or with tofu wraps.

Having never given much thought to what actually goes into barbecue sauce, it's also rather nice to know just what it consists of - in this version at least.

Tofu with Barbecue Sauce

Lightly adapted from the Smokin' BBQ Tofu recipe in The Vegan Table, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
Serves 4, with sauce left over

Print recipe

  • 1 packet of extra firm tofu, cut into slices and pressed for ~20 minutes to remove moisture
  • Oil, to taste, for cooking the tofu and onion
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (or real Worcestershire sauce)
  • 1/2 cup water


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180'C and set the pressed tofu aside while you make the sauce.

2. In a non-stick pan (preferably one with a lid), saute the onion for approximately 5 minutes, until soft.

3. When the onion has softened, add the tomato sauce, lemon juice, white vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and water, and stir to combine. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, covered if possible, stirring occasionally.

4. While the sauce is simmering, saute the tofu in a separate non-stick pan until golden brown on both sides.

5. When the tofu is crispy, place it in a baking dish and cover with the barbecue sauce. Cover the dish and bake in the pre-heated oven for ~30 minutes.

The sauce...

The sauteed tofu...

Well coated in sauce...

And oven baked...

I think in future I would bake the tofu in slightly less sauce - as the above picture shows, it was a fairly generous coating and much of the sauce in the baking dish had to be thrown away and wasted. I think the sauce recipe could easily be divided in two, with half saved for future use and half used for this meal.

The generous sauce coating meant that Mr Bite and I both found the flavour of this to be a little strong, but even allowing for that, it was very enjoyable. There is a slight spice kick to the barbecue sauce (despite the lack of anything notably spicy in the ingredient list) and it tastes fresh and flavour-packed.

Highly recommended!

Now, I have a question: how do you spell barbecue? Because I would rather spell it barbeque, but Mr Bite informed me I was wrong, and some Googling informed me he was right. Does anyone else like a q?

Spelling aside, what are your thoughts on barbecue sauce in general, or barbecue-flavoured dishes?


  1. I'm a tomato ketchup kind of gal, but I'm finding myself more and more drawn to BBQ sauce on particular items. Still I find the commercial stuff often has an "artificial" flavour that I don't like so I think I will be trying your recipe soon!

  2. Yum, it sounds great and this cookbook is on my wishlist too! One of my son's favourite recipes I tried this year was a BBQ baked tofu from Veganomicon. I had never liked commercial BBQ sauces at all before making this but I really enjoyed having the home-made BBQ sauce over the baked tofu. I have always spelt it with a Q as well and I think I'm too set in my ways to change. I'll just stick to the abbreviated form to keep me out of trouble. ;-)

  3. Definitely a "c", but I can see how, with BBQ being used all the time,people would get confused. I never grew up with barbecue sauce because of mum's allergies, and I find it horrifically sweet now. But I like how I could play with the sweetness with your version!

  4. I get confused about barbecue - probably because of bbq! Love a good bbq sauce on tofu - though mine also doesn't go on the bbq but I once had some that was bbqed at a potluck and it was fantastic.

    Now what do you mean by tomato sauce in the recipe - it is the dead horse sort (rhyming slang not contents) or is it more a tomato puree - I always dislike the idea of adding dead horse to my marinades and often turn away from a bbq sauce recipe for that reason but I have started to just add tomato paste or passata.

  5. To be honest, traditionally I've never used BBQ sauce either - I would have struggled to describe the taste. I suspect this version is a little different from the commercial options, but it has converted me to the possibilities of BBQ flavouring.

  6. I definitely recommend the cookbook!

    It's nice to hear you had success with a similar recipe - that's always a good sign of the recipe concept, in my opinon :) And I think I'll have to stick to BBQ too from now on! Definitely safer.

  7. I love that you provide me with an excuse for my spelling issues, whilst nonetheless pointing out that my spelling was indeed erroneous :P I can picture Mr Bite reading this comment with some level of glee! I shall admit to being wrong :)

    I didn't know one could be allergic to barbecue sauce, but I suppose allergies extend to most things. I don't know what the commercial ones taste like, but this didn't seem too sweet to me - but of course you could easily cut the sugar if needed :)

  8. I even changed it from "you" to "people" so as to soften the blow. ;) You're not wrong, just a unique snowflake. :P Oh, it's the tomato in barbecue (I'm so proud of you!) sauce that she's allergic too. Thus why I never ate tomato sauce growing up either, and also find that acidically sweet. (Love how you're not allowed to spell words differently but I can make them up...)

  9. I'll look forward to trying tofu with barbecue sauce on an actual barbecue one day - I imagine that would be rather good.

    It actually is the commercial, 'dead horse' (how I laughed at that description) tomato sauce in the recipe. I imagine you could easily use tomato paste though, and in fact I think it would probably be better. You might want to reduce the quantity slightly, to counter the increased intensity of tomato paste, but it would be a healthier and fewer ingredient variation.

  10. Yes, how is that fair?! I suppose that's the advantage of creating words, though - you get to decide just how you spell them ;)

  11. Just one of the benefits of being me, my dear squinkledonk.

  12. I would want to use a "q" also, but that's probably because we see "BBQ" everywhere.
    I love bbq tofu and tempeh dishes... as long as the flavor is not overpowering.

  13. I just wanted to say that this made me laugh when I read it, and the memory of it has been making me chuckle to myself all day :D

  14. Yes, I think I may have gone a little overboard with the sauce quantity here - not quite overpowering but enough to make me back off in future! I'll have to try pairing it with tempeh too, that's a good idea.

  15. :) :) :) I may or may not have giggled to myself whilst writing it. Means the world that you did too :D

  16. I'm a tomato ketchup kind of gal, but I'm finding myself more and more drawn to BBQ sauce on particular items. Still I find the commercial stuff often has an "artificial" flavour that I don't like so I think I will be trying your recipe soon!


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