Tofu is underrated.
Meat and plant-based eaters alike would probably eat more tofu if tofu recipes in general were less intimidating.
This Tofu Slab Sandwich recipe is an un-intimating, easy tofu recipe that anyone can make.
The Tofu Slab Method
Simply press some of the water out of the tofu with your hands, slice the tofu up into nine, 1/2 inch thick slabs—refer to the photos above for my favorite slicing method, marinate the tofu with a few seasonings, and fry it in a bit of oil for 12 minutes.
That’s all it takes to make meaty and flavorful tofu. You can use the tofu slabs as the protein for just about any meal, from pasta and rice dishes to salads. I particularly like to use it on these sandwiches with my roasted red pepper sauce.
How to Slice the Bread
There are few things more disappointing than a flavorful sandwich made bland by too much bread.
These tofu sandwiches use ciabatta rolls. To ensure that the ciabatta doesn’t overpower the other sandwich flavors, take the middle of each ciabatta roll out: slice the roll into thirds, and don’t use the middle piece.
You can use the middle pieces later to make croutons, or to make more sandwiches.
The Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
The roasted red pepper sauce for these tofu sandwiches is just slightly different from the one in my Patatas Bravas recipe. It pairs beautifully with this tofu.
Add some lettuce and freshly sliced cheddar—omit the cheddar or use vegan cheddar to keep these sandwiches vegan—and you’ve got a showstopping sandwich.
Make Tofu Slab Sandwiches
Make these tofu slab sandwiches with red pepper sauce for lunch or dinner. They’re a filling and flavorful meal that will change the way you view tofu.
A Few Things!
Tofu Slab Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
For the tofu:
- 14 oz extra firm tofu
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion salt
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
For the roasted red pepper sauce:
- ⅓ cup blanched almonds or pine nuts
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan, omit to keep vegan
- ½ cup roasted red bell pepper, from a jar
- ¼ cup Vegenaise
- 4 ciabatta rolls, cut to thirds (see photos above); I prefer Trader Joe's ciabatta rolls
- Lettuce, preferably green leaf
- Cheddar, vegan or freshly sliced
- Canola oil, for frying
Prepare the ciabatta
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the ciabatta rolls into thirds. (See photos above.). We won’t use the middle pieces for the sandwiches, just the top and the bottom pieces.
- Place the sliced ciabatta rolls on a baking sheet, and bake for 5 minutes, until the bread is lightly toasted. (We won’t use the middle pieces for the sandwiches, but you can still toast them and use for dipping into extra roasted red pepper sauce.)
Make the roasted red pepper sauce
- While the bread toasts, start on the red pepper sauce.
- Place all the sauce ingredients in the food processor/your preferred blending apparatus.
- Process until the nuts and red pepper break down. The sauce will be mostly smooth, but still have some texture. Roasted red pepper sauce is done.
Season the tofu
- Over the sink, use your hands to press as much water as you can out of the tofu block, taking care not to tear the block. There will still be water in the tofu, and that’s ok. Cut the tofu into nine, 1/2 inch thick slabs. Use the method demonstrated in the photos above.
- Place the tofu in a shallow baking dish, such as a 9x9 inch or 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Drizzle the olive oil over the tofu. Now sprinkle half of the salt, garlic powder, and onion salt over the tofu.
- Turn the tofu slabs over, and sprinkle the remaining salt, garlic powder, and onion salt over this side of the tofu slabs. Carefully flip the tofu slabs a few more times, and use your hands to gently massage the seasonings into the tofu.
Fry the tofu
- Add a few Tbsp of canola oil to a griddle or frying pan. Turn the heat on to medium-high. Place 4-5 tofu slabs on the griddle. If using a frying pan, fry 2-3 pieces of tofu at a time, depending on the size of your pan.
- Fry the tofu slabs over medium-high heat for 4-6 minutes, until the side touching the bottom of the griddle is golden brown. Now flip each tofu slab over so that the other side of each slab is face down in the griddle. Fry for an additional 4-6 minutes until this side of the tofu is also golden brown.
- Tofu is done. Remove it from the griddle, and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Repeat the frying process with the rest of the tofu slabs.
Compile the sandwiches
- Take a ciabatta roll top and bottom. Use an offset spatula to spread the roasted red pepper sauce on both pieces. Now take the bottom piece of the roll, and layer a few pieces of lettuce on top, preferably a crisp variety, like green leaf.
- Place two slabs of tofu over the lettuce. Now place a few thin slices of cheddar (omit or use vegan cheddar to keep these sandwiches vegan) over the tofu, then put the top of the ciabatta roll over the cheddar.
- Repeat the process with the remaining three ciabatta rolls. (You can make an open-faced sandwich with the remaining tofu slab and one of the leftover middle pieces of the ciabatta.)
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve the tofu slab sandwiches with fries, chips, or a salad, like this one.