Mideast Grilled Tofu with Studded Rice & Spicy Herb Sauce

June 12, 2016

Author Notes: Inspired by some of my favorite Middle Eastern flavors, this dish brings together smoky grilled tofu, richly flavored rice, and a bright, fresh, mildly spicy herb sauce.

The recipe comes together fairly quickly; while the grill is heating and the rice is cooking, you can prepare the additional ingredients for the rice.
Maley Maley

Serves: 4 - 6


For the tofu & sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 20 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into half-inch slices

For the rice

  • 2 cups jasmine rice
  • 1 cup dried fruit (golden raisins, currants, cherries, chopped apricots, or a mixture)
  • 1 cup toasted nuts (chopped pistachios or cashews, sliced or slivered almonds, or a mixture)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon sumac
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • zest and juice of one large orange
  • juice of one lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe


For the tofu & sauce

  1. Mix oil, lime zest and juice, 2 tablespoons salt, pepper, sumac, turmeric, and cumin together in a shallow, flat-bottomed dish. Cover each slice of tofu thoroughly in the mixture and marinate, at least 30 minutes. Note: I used Wildwood brand extra-firm tofu, which doesn't require pressing to get rid of extra water. If you're using a different brand, you may want to press it; in any case, blotting it dry to get rid of extra moisture is a good idea.
  2. While the tofu is marinating, combine the remaining ingredients and 1 tablespoon Kosher salt in a blender to make the herb sauce. Set aside.
  3. Prepare your grill, making sure the grates are clean and well-oiled, and . When the grill is hot, place the tofu slices over medium heat, reserving the leftover marinade. Grill for about ten minutes; flip, brush with marinade, grill for another ten minutes. Flip once more, brush with marinade, and remove from grill. Serve over the rice and top each slice with about a tablespoon of the herb sauce.

For the rice

  1. Combine rice and three cups water in a rice cooker and prepare according to manufacturer instructions.
  2. Heat butter and olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and sauté 2 minutes. Add the scallions and continue cooking, stirring frequently, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the honey, orange zest and juice; cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat. When rice is ready, stir together rice, nuts, fruit, skillet contents, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until well combined.

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