We fell in love with grilled lemongrass tofu and veggie kebabs on a trip to Vietnam. This easy tofu skewer recipe is our rendition of that memorable meal! The tofu is crispy and flavourful and the veggies are juicy and delicious - it's the perfect dish for a summer BBQ!
There are so many things to love about these vegan kabobs. Jam packed full of Asian-inspired flavors, crispy tofu, and tasty grilled veggies - what's not to like? The nutrient and flavour profiles are off the chart, AND they are simple to make.
Vegan BBQ Ideas!
Friends, family, and clients ask me all the time, what can I take to a BBQ that's vegan or vegetarian? These vegan skewers are an incredible and popular choice for any outdoor BBQ or backyard picnic this summer. Bonus points because they are easy to prepare and transport.
Preparing Tofu for Grilling
I find the best tofu to use for these grilled skewers is extra firm.
Press the tofu for around 15 minutes. Wrap the block of tofu in a few paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place a heavy skillet or a few cookbooks on top. Pro Tip: Pressing the tofu squeezes out the water and makes more room for the delicious marinade to soak into the tofu.
While that is pressing, make the tofu marinade, and start the rice if using.
Cut the tofu into around 1" cubes, put into a bowl and pour marinate over the cubes.
What Vegetables are Best for Grilling?
Use any vegetables you enjoy. Mushrooms, onions, and bell peppers work well on the grill because they are sturdy enough to stand up to the grilling process.
The tomatoes are a bit 'extra' and require a gentle touch as they cook because they soften and get a little bit slippery (but they are soooo worth the extra attention!). I use cocktail tomatoes - the size is perfect for grilling!
How to Make Vegan Kabobs
If using bamboo skewers, put them in water to soak before you start cooking.
While the tofu is marinating, prepare the vegetables any any additional components (rice, salad, pita, sauce, etc).
When cutting the vegetables, keep in mind the size of the tofu cubes vs. the size of the vegetables. You want them to be cooked around the same time. To more easily control the grilling, thread the skewers with all tomatoes, all tofu, all peppers, all mushrooms, etc.
Oil the grill and preheat before cooking the skewers. Brush extra marinate on the skewers as they are grilling. Carefully turn them as they become golden.
These vegan skewers are perfect for grilling and are a real crowd pleaser for the summer BBQ scene - colourful, flavourful, and addictive. Pro Tip: make extra, they won't last long - I promise.
More Vegan Summer Recipes
We love a summer party, here's a few popular vegan side dishes to take to a potluck, BBQ or family get together this summer:
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Grilled Lemongrass Tofu Skewers
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- 1 package tofu, extra firm (pressed)
- 1 stem lemongrass, minced
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 2 tsp shallots, minced
- 2 tbsp maple syrup ( or sweetener of choice)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (optional)
- 4-6 tsp soya sauce
- ⅛ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp black pepper
- hot pepper flakes, to taste
- sesame seeds
- tomatoes, cocktail size, whole
- mushrooms, small - medium size, whole
- red, orange, green bell peppers, chunks
- red onion, chunks
- 6-8 skewers, soaked if bamboo
- If the skewers are bamboo, soak them in water while you prepare the recipe.
- Press the tofu brick (extra firm or firm) for 15 minutes between layers of paper towelling with a couple heavy cookbooks on top.
- Select smallish mushrooms, cocktail size tomatoes (both left whole).
- Cut bell peppers and onions into medium-sized chunks.
- Mix ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- Cut pressed tofu into 1 - 1 ½" cubes and toss with marinade until well incorporated. Let sit for 30+ minutes.
Making the Kebabs
- Thread the veggies and tofu on the skewers. Make a mixture of veggies and tofu or keep them all the same vegetable (all tomato, all peppers, all tofu, etc).
- Preheat the BBQ and lightly oil the grill.
- Grill until the veggies start to soften and the tofu is brown and crispy remembering to gently turn the skewers to all four sides.
- Brush the marinade on the skewers a few times throughout the cooking process.
- Serve with a green salad, on some nutty brown rice or lime-cilantro basmati rice. Drizzle with your favourite tangy sauce.
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