These sweet and savory tofu sandwiches are made with slabs of pan-fried tofu braised in a quick teriyaki sauce and served up on crusty rolls with juicy pineapple slices.
Some of my best recipes are born as a result of me being stuck with an ingredient that I don't know what to do with. Maybe that sounds bad. Pineapple is awesome and not exactly an ingredient I'd ever view myself as being "stuck" with, but it's not something I've done a whole lot of cooking with.
What often happens is this: I come across a recipe that calls for a little bit of this or that ingredient that I rarely use and cannot buy in quantities of just a little bit. Or maybe I'm just strolling through the produce section when something really cool catches my eye, like a big, fat ripe pineapple, which is way more fun than those little single serving size cups of pineapple chunks, so I buy the big fat pineapple. I end up with more food than I'll be able to eat before it spoils, which leads to the thought that I should cook up something new with whatever the ingredient we're talking about is, forcing me to step out of my food comfort zone a bit and discover something new and wonderful. That's what happened here.
In this case I went to the store intending to buy pineapple for a recipe, but just a little bit of pineapple. I'd buy one of those little cups of precut pineapple. When I got to the store I saw the big, beautiful, whole pineapples and my plans changed. I used a little bit for the recipe it was intended for, and spent some time thinking about what to do with the rest.
I have to say, the decision to put pineapple on a sandwich was a damn good one. The decision to put it atop teriyaki tofu was an even better one. I might just be buying pineapples all the time from now on.
For the teriyaki part of this recipe, I just went with the marinade from this recipe. It's proven to be an awesome and versatile sauce and I'm sure this won't be the last new use I find for it. I'm also sure that the tofu and pineapple would be delicious outside of a sandwich, maybe atop some rice with stir fried veggies, but I do highly recommend you give it a try in sandwich form. With a nice crusty roll and some Vegenaise this felt like a sweeter, exotic cousin of tofu Bahi Mi Chay.
Pineapple Teriyaki Tofu Sandwiches
- 1 lb. extra firm tofu
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 ½ tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ tsp. fresh grated ginger
- ½ tbsp. vegan margarine
- dash of black pepper
- cooking spray or a bit of oil
- 8 pineapple slices about ¼ inch each, cut into half circles
- 4 sandwich rolls
- baby spinach lettuce, or your favorite sandwich greens
Drain and press tofu.
Prepare sauce while your tofu presses. Combine soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, margarine and black pepper in small saucepan or microwave safe bowl.
Heat on stove top or in microwave until margarine and brown sugar are melted. Stir everything to blend.
Cut tofu into ¼ inch slabs.
Oil or spray large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook tofu slabs for about five minutes on each side, until lightly browned.
Pour sauce over tofu and cook another 1-2 minutes on each side. Both sides should be coated and sauce should become thick and sticky.
Remove tofu from skillet and set aside.
Add pineapple slices to the skillet that you just took your tofu out of. Cook about 3 minutes on each side, or until slices are tender and coated with the leftover sauce.
Remove from heat carefully, as they will have a tendency to fall apart at this stage.
Slather sandwich rolls with Veganaise and stuff with tofu, pineapple and greens. A little hot sauce is nice as well.
Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl says
This sounds SO fantastic! I am always looking for new ways to prepare tofu. I LOVE the pineapple addition!
Alissa Saenz says
Thank you! Yeah, this one definitely puts a different spin on tofu. I hope you enjoy it if you try it!!
Kathleen Meade says
Delicious! Just made these for dinner and they are super duper tasty. My tofu-snubbing husband liked his so much he even had a second sandwich. Thank you!
Alissa Saenz says
That's awesome!! I'm so glad you both enjoyed them! Thanks Kathleen!
Hi Alissa!! I made these last nite and just had a sample today for lunch COLD and it was terrific!! Is there supposed to be pineapple juice in the sauce at all? Yours look so much saucier than mine. I pressed my tofu well after freezing so it was super dry and absorbent. Also do you suggest eating this hot or cold? Want to make notes as I am keeping this recipe!! Thanks :)
Alissa Saenz says
Hi Suzi! I'm so glad you enjoyed them! There's no pineapple juice in this sauce. I'm thinking you might just need to let the tofu cook in the sauce a little longer. I use cast iron to make mine, so it retains the heat really well and the sauce gets simmering and thickens up very quickly. You could even try turning up the heat a bit. I usually eat these sandwiches hot, but I bet they're great cold too!
Made these for dinner tonight and they were so tasty, the pineapple was amazing. The tofu took a few minutes longer to cook to get the sticky sauce but worth it. This a very filling sandwich too, perfect for a weeknight dinner. Thanks for recipe.