Folami’s BBQ Tofu
Kwanzaa gatherings continue to go strong in community centers and at home in dining rooms, as they have since 1966. The seven-day holiday of self-reflection, often an extension of Christmas or the winter solstice, culminates with the karamu, or feast. The spread leans heavily vegetarian. In Atlanta, Folami Prescott-Adams dries, seasons, fries and broils pounds of tofu. Store-bought, tomato-based barbecue sauce provides the comfort factor. She is a 40-year veteran of Kwanzaa and maintains a spreadsheet of potluck logistics for her family and guests. Alongside this vegetarian barbecue, Dr. Prescott-Adams’s buffet feeds more than 100 people, and the greatest hits include macaroni and cheese, red punch and black-eyed peas.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1tablespoon unsalted butter or vegan butter
- 1tablespoon tamari
- ½cup barbecue sauce
Step 1Two and a half hours before serving, start drying out the tofu: Place the slices in a single layer between clean, dry dish towels or double layers of paper towels. Press to remove water from the tofu, and let stand for 2 hours, replacing the soaked towels once or twice, until there is very little water left in the tofu. (You can press and dry the tofu quickly, and use it immediately, but it will be less crisp.)
Step 2Heat a broiler to its highest setting. Heat a large skillet over medium and add the oil and butter, swirling to cover the bottom. Pour the tamari into a small, shallow dish. Press the tofu one last time. Quickly dip both sides of a single slice in the tamari and place it in the skillet. (Be careful as the liquid may lead to hot pops from the oil.) Repeat with the remaining tofu slices and tamari.
Step 3Cook until the tofu gets the same beautiful golden brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. While the tofu browns, spread half of the barbecue sauce on a small rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the tofu to the barbecue sauce on the sheet, then cover with the remaining sauce. Broil, turning once, until the sauce thickens and bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve hot.