July 14, 2024

Barbecue Hunt – Complete guide and tips about Barbecue grills, Accessories and Recipes

Barbecue Hunt – Complete guide and tips about Barbecue grills, Accessories and Recipes

Creative and Delicious Ways to Grill Vegetarian Proteins: Tofu, Tempeh, and Seitan

4 min read
Grilling isn't just for carnivores; vegetarian proteins like tofu, tempeh, and seitan can also shine on the barbecue. Discover innovative techniques and tips to elevate your plant-based grilling game.
Creative and delicious ways to make tofu, tempeh and seitan on the barbecue.

Grilling isn't just for carnivores; vegetarian proteins like tofu, tempeh, and seitan can also be stars of the barbecue. These plant-based options can be incredibly versatile, and with the right techniques, they can take on wonderful flavors and textures that will satisfy even the most die-hard meat lovers. Below, we explore innovative ways to grill these proteins, including seasoning and cooking tips to elevate your plant-based grilling game.

Grilling Tofu: Techniques and Tips

Choosing the Right Tofu

The first step to great grilled tofu is choosing the right kind. Extra-firm tofu is the best choice for grilling because it holds its shape well and has a texture that can absorb marinades effectively. Soft or silken tofu is too delicate and will fall apart on the grill.

Preparing Tofu for the Grill

  1. Pressing: Remove excess water from the tofu by pressing it. Wrap the tofu block in a clean towel and place a heavy object on top for about 30 minutes.
  2. Marinating: Once pressed, cut the tofu into thick slices or cubes. Marinate it for at least 30 minutes to an hour. Some excellent marinade options include soy sauce, garlic, ginger, lime juice, and sesame oil.

Grilling Tofu

  1. Preheat the Grill: Make sure your grill is hot before placing the tofu on it. A medium-high heat is ideal.
  2. Oil the Grates: Brush the grill grates with oil to prevent the tofu from sticking.
  3. Grill Time: Place tofu pieces on the grill and cook each side for about 3-5 minutes or until grill marks appear and tofu is heated through.

Flavor Combinations

For a savory finish, try a teriyaki or peanut sauce glaze during the final minutes of grilling. Serve with a side of grilled vegetables for a well-rounded meal.

Tofu kabobs on the grill

Tempting Tempeh on the Grill

Why Tempeh?

Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that has a firm texture and a nutty flavor. It grills well and easily absorbs marinades. Plus, it’s packed with protein and probiotics.

Preparing Tempeh for Grilling

  1. Slicing: Cut the tempeh into thin strips or cubes.
  2. Steaming: Steaming tempeh for about 10 minutes can help it absorb the marinade better and remove any bitterness.
  3. Marinating: Marinate tempeh for at least an hour. Great marinade options include a mixture of soy sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and spices like smoked paprika and cumin.

Grilling Tempeh

  1. Preheat Grill: Like tofu, tempeh also needs a medium-high heat.
  2. Oil the Grates: Brush oil on the grill grates to ensure the tempeh doesn’t stick.
  3. Grill Time: Place marinated tempeh on the grill and cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side, or until crispy and browned.

Creative Ideas

Try making tempeh skewers with bell peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes. You can also use grilled tempeh in tacos or as a burger substitute.

Tempeh skewers on the grill

Sizzling Seitan on the Grill

Why Seitan?

Seitan, also known as "wheat meat," is a great source of protein and has a chewy texture similar to meat. It’s perfect for grilling because it holds up well under heat.

Preparing Seitan for Grilling

  1. Slicing: Cut the seitan into chunks or strips, depending on how you plan to use it.
  2. Marinating: Seitan has a mild flavor, making it a great canvas for bold marinades. Use a combination of soy sauce, BBQ sauce, garlic, and liquid smoke for a robust flavor.

Grilling Seitan

  1. Preheat Grill: Medium-high heat works well for seitan.
  2. Oil the Grates: Make sure to oil the grill grates.
  3. Grill Time: Cook seitan for about 3-5 minutes on each side, or until you achieve a nice char.

Creative Uses

Grilled seitan makes an excellent addition to sandwiches and wraps. You can also serve it with grilled vegetables and a tangy sauce for a complete meal.

Grilled seitan sandwiches

Additional Tips for Grilling Vegetarian Proteins

Using Grill Baskets

A grill basket can be extremely handy when grilling smaller pieces of tofu, tempeh, or seitan. It makes flipping and handling easier and prevents pieces from falling through the grates. Using a grill basket also helps to evenly cook the proteins as it allows for better airflow and heat distribution.

Smoke Tubes for Extra Flavor

Consider using smoke tubes to add a rich smoky flavor to your vegetarian proteins. This is especially useful for those who enjoy that classic barbecue taste.

Pairing with Vegetables

Grilled proteins pair wonderfully with grilled vegetables. Consider grilling bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms alongside your tofu, tempeh, or seitan for a colorful and nutritious meal. For more detailed information about pairing proteins with vegetables, check out our guide on using grill baskets.

Final Thoughts

Grilling vegetarian proteins like tofu, tempeh, and seitan opens up a world of culinary possibilities. With the right preparation and cooking techniques, these plant-based options can be just as satisfying and flavorful as traditional meats. So next time you fire up the grill, give these vegetarian proteins a try and enjoy the delicious results.

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