Yakitori Tofu

Well, it has taken a little while, but I think we have almost unpacked all of our boxes from the move.  And after a few runs to Target, IKEA and some other big box stores, our new house is looking much more like a home.  I’m also excited to report that the kitchen is now close to being in full working order—I’m still trying to remember where we put everything and figure out the best places to shop for food, but I have managed to make a few nice meals.

Today’s recipe was actually not created in our new kitchen though.  It is a recipe that I made before our move and shortly after we got back from our trip to Japan.  Inspired by the food we ate during our trip and desperately trying to use up all of our refrigerated sauces before the move, I whipped up a batch of yakitori tofu with what we had on hand.

I ended up modifying the ingredients called for in the original recipe quite a bit.  First of all, the original called for chicken and technically I think yakitori means “grilled fowl,” but I thought why not try it with tofu.  And because we didn’t have any sake for the sauce, I replaced it with the rest of the mirin (sweet rice wine) that we had in the fridge and cut down the amount of sugar called for in the original recipe. Despite my tinkering, the end result was definitely something that I would make again (and hopefully soon in our new kitchen!).

Yakitori Tofu

Adapted From Cooking Light, June 2011

Please note that since I was somewhat haphazardly throwing together our remaining sauces, oils, and vinegars into this dish, the recipe below is more of an approximation then an exact replica of my yakitori tofu.  Also, if you are using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water overnight before grilling the yakitori tofu.  Soaking the skewers prevents them from burning.

  • 4 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 package (12 oz) extra firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • 9 green onions (white and light green parts only), cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Cooking spray

In a small saucepan, mix together mirin, brown sugar, soy sauce, and sliced ginger.  Set over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and let stand for 15 minutes.

Place tofu in a medium-sized bowl and pour about a third of the mirin mixture and all of the ginger over the tofu.  Add the crushed red pepper and toss well.  Cover the tofu and chill it for about 1 hour; stirring occasionally.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Stir the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and toasted sesame seeds into the remaining mirin mixture and divide into two equal portions.

Thread 3 tofu cubes and 3 pieces of green onion onto a skewer, alternating between green onion and tofu.  Repeat until all of the ingredients are skewered.  Place skewers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray.  Cover and grill for 4 minutes.  Rotate the skewers and grill another 4 minutes and bast occasionally with mirin mixture.  Serve with remaining mirin mixture.

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

Grilled tofu with a sweet and savory sauce = yummy!

Easy Rating


Four Easy Chairs (“ABC, Easy as 123…”)

Depending on your grill, firing it up may take some work, but the overall recipe is pretty straightforward.

Healthy Rating


Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)

Tofu is a lean source of protein.  Serve these yakitori with some brown rice and a large side of vegetables and you’ve got a pretty healthy meal.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

Many, but not all, of the ingredients were organic.
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