Recipe: Tofu kebabs with plum BBQ sauce

Recipe - Tofu kebabs with plum BBQ sauce

Summer means BBQ time for many people – cooking outside over hot coals. As a vegan you do not have to miss out on the fun on the BBQ. Here we give you our recipe for tofu kebabs, which we serve at the retreat with a BBQ sauce.

Many people think that tofu itself is relatively boring, with little taste. The key to making a tasty dish when you use tofu, is in the marinade, or the ingredients that you cook the tofu with, as tofu will absorb the flavours in the marinade or other ingredients. The longer you can leave the tofu to marinade in this recipe (maybe up to four hours), the more tasty your kebabs will be.

You will need kebab sticks for this recipe.

Recipe: Tofu kebabs with plum BBQ sauce

Serves: 6


3 tbsp tamari (or soy) sauce
3cm ginger root – either cut finely into pieces or grated and juice squeezed over
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Juice from 1 lime
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sweet paprika
Handful fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil (or sesame oil adds a lovely flavour)
1 garlic clove, crushed
Optional: 1 small dried (or fresh) chilli, seeds removed and finely chopped

Tofu – one pack of firm tofu – tofu cut into large chunks (3cm square)

Choose a mix of: mushrooms, courgette, peppers (red, yellow and green), aubergine, onion

BBQ sauce
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 large very ripe tomatoes (or one large tin of whole or chopped tomatoes)
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp rice syrup
2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp chili flakes (less if you don’t like it spicy)
6 small ripe plums (cut in half, stones removed then cut into small pieces), or 2 large slices of pineapple (skin removed and cut into pieces)
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard


1. First make the marinade for the tofu, by combining all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Mix well – you can use a hand blender to combine. Place the tofu chunks in the marinade, stirring gently to make sure all of the tofu pieces are coated in the marinade. Place a cover over the bowl and leave in your fridge for 1-4 hours to allow the flavours to soak into the tofu.

2. Meanwhile, make the BBQ sauce.
(i) Cook the onion in a pan over a medium heat, using a little water to prevent sticking, until it starts to turn soft and transluscent (about 7 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
(ii) Add the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients, except the mustard. Cook for 30 minutes over a low heat, mashing the tomatoes using a wooden spoon so that the sauce starts to become smooth.
(iii) Add the mustard and cook for another minute. Taste. If using plums, you can blitz the mixture using a hand blender until you reach the desired consistency (sometimes it is nice to leave the sauce a little chunky). If using pineapple you can either remove the pineapple, or blend to a smooth consistency. Taste. Add more mustard, rice syrup, paprika or vinegar to taste.

3. Then assemble your kebabs, adding a veggie piece, then tofu, plus other veggies.

4. You can put the kebabs to cook on the BBQ (over medium coals), or you can do this in your kitchen, using a grill and rotating the kebabs regularly. Alternatively, (if it is raining outside!) you can cook all of the ingredients separately (in frying pans, using a little water to prevent sticking, or grilling the veggies) and then placing one of each cooked ingredient onto the kebab stick.

The BBQ sauce can keep for 5 days or so in your fridge, if you store it in a sealed glass jar that has a screw top lid.

What is tofu?

Tofu is a product that comes from yellow soy beans. In oriental countries tofu has been the main source of protein in the diet for thousand of years, being a staple food.
Its main benefits are:

  • It is high in minerals and vitamins: high in iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, vitamins B and E.
  • It contains very little fat, (80% of which is unsaturated), so it is quite low in calories
  • It doesn’t create any cholesterol, in fact it helps to reduce cholesterol deposits that may exist in the body.
  • It provides quality protein similar in quantity to animal proteins without the disadvantages of animal protein.

We use tofu twice or three times during the week, as part of a balanced meal plan.

Happy BBQ-ing!

About the author

Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).