This sandwich is me.
The tofu, a nod to my old vegetarian ways from college and a yearlong stint in veganism. The bacon, a greasy bow to my more recent embrace of all things pork on my plate.
Bacon and tofu, as it turns out, can be friends.
There’s a lot going on in this sandwich, which comes from a Sunset Magazine feature on Tofu for Meat Lovers. The ciabatta bread is toasty and crisp. Thick slabs of tofu are charred and flavorful from a long bath in soy sauce, and a few sesame seeds stay on. The bacon is surprisingly perfect against the tofu. That’s why the avocado and fresh cilantro are a good idea, keeping the combination of salty tofu and bacon in check. The flavor of grilled zucchini sort of gets lost. Brush some of that bacon grease on the ciabatta rolls.
This recipe’s list of ingredients or steps isn’t exactly short, but there’s nothing difficult here. It’s worth it. Aren’t you curious about bacon and tofu together? It seems wrong to lay one on top of the other. It’s not.
This sandwich is crazy good. Unfaithful vegetarians and everyone else, enjoy.
grilled tofu sandwiches with bacon and avocado
Yes, tofu and bacon can work together in the same dish. And it’s delicious.
14- to 16-ounce block extra-firm tofu
2 inches unpeeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons sugar
2 pinches black pepper
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds,
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 ciabatta rolls, split horizontally, with some of the inside of the bread scooped out
2 zucchini, cut lengthwise to grill, and then cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 teaspoons Sriracha
a handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
8 slices cooked bacon, cut in half crosswise
1 ripe avocado, sliced
Cut tofu lengthwise to make 4 slices about 1/2-inch thick each. Place in a baking pan.
Toast sesame seeds in a pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. Grate ginger with a Microplane until you have 2 teaspoons of grated ginger in a bowl. Whisk in sugar, black pepper, soy sauces, sesame seeds, canola oil, and pour it all over the tofu. Torn tofu to coat all sides. Marinate uncovered for 1 to 2 hours, turning tofu halfway through.
Sear tofu on a hot grill until tofu crisps up and has grill marks, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Reserve the marinade and toss zucchini in. Toast both sides of ciabatta rolls on on the grill until crisp. Grill zucchini until tender and browned, about 4 minutes per side. Hang on to that marinade.
Spread about 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise on each half of the roll. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of reserved marinade and 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha on each cut side of the rolls. Sprinkle half of cilantro on bottom halves of the rolls. Add one slab tofu, 2 strips bacon, a few pieces zucchini, and a few avocado slices to each sandwich. If you want, you can split the tofu in half to arrange on the sandwich with the zucchini for a bottom layer before adding the other ingredients, which is what I did. Top sandwiches with the rest of the cilantro and the other halves of the rolls.
Serves 4. Adapted from Sunset Magazine