Jul 4, 2020

huli huli tofu


Time: 30 minutes
Dishes: cake pan (or shallow pan), grill pan, measuring cup

Hello, hello Dear Readers!

Today's meatless, vegetarian and vegan dish is from Hawaii and is technically a grilling dish. The term "huli" means to turn, as the ingredients are placed between two racks and turned to grill both sides. According to lore, this was the idea of a Honolulu businessman, and since the teriyaki-style sauce became popular, he tradmarked the recipe and sold it. 

I used a grill pan on the stove, but you can grill outdoors, if you want. Press the tofu for a few minutes, to get most of the liquid out, and then marinate it overnight (if you want) or as little as ten minutes (which is what I did). I supplemented with green beans, which is actually quite nice, so go for it. Substitute zucchini or Gardein scallopini. Grilling is another 10 minutes or so and the dish is ready.

Cook some rice and serve with a green salad and a simple dressing. Have mangoes on the side, to boost authenticity. 

Enjoy and Happy Fourth!

Speedy Cooking Tips:

  • Press the tofu right away.
  • Prepare rice (if using).
  • Get all the ingredients out and the grill pan.
  • Prepare the marinade while the tofu presses.
  • Marinate the tofu before cleaning the green beans.
  • Preheat the grill pan for 5 minutes.

Huli Huli 

Makes 4 servings 


Serve with: Rice, Green Salad and mangoes

1. Tofu: Press the tofu for 5 minutes using a press or wrap in a lint-free kitchen towel (which has the same effect). Then slice the tofu into 10 slices the long way.

1 package firm or extra-firm tofu

2. Marinade: Combine the ingredients in a shallow cake pan (or another shallow dish). Mix well.

1/2 cup ketchup

6 tablespoons tamari

6 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup rice or apple cider vinegar

1-inch ginger, grated

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3. Green Beans: Add to the Marinade the Tofu and trimmed green beans. Set aside overnight or 10 minutes:

2 large handfuls green beans

4. Grill: Prepare outdoor grill or preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with oil or use oil spray. Grill the Tofu 4 minutes per side, rotating the tofu 45-degrees halfway through. This leaves pretty grill marks and prevents tofu from burning. Grill the Green Beans until tender. Brush the tofu and green beans with the Marinade as they grill. 

5. Serve: Serve the Huli Huli with rice, green salad with an Italian dressing, and mangoes. 

© 2020 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


  1. Beautiful grill marks! Was just looking for a marinade for grilled tofu, and this sounds really good. Nice to add the veg to the marinade, as well (don't usually think of doing that; smart). Will make--on the grill--this weekend. Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Gina! Have a great time grilling this weekend!

  2. This sounds really nice! I do have a BBQ out on the deck (even though it is winter here, but warm enough to BBQ at lunch time most days unless it is particularly cold or windy), but I really need to sort out my cast iron grill pan that I just cannot for the life of me season properly!

    1. Grill pans, I say, are the most difficult to season. Lmk, if you want some help with it. I got mine seasoned well, but I don't know what your specific trouble with yours is. Email or here is fine, if you ever want some tips. zsu at zsusveganpantry dot com.

    2. Thank you! I will definitely email you for some tips. I have tried a few different online recommendations, but I just end up with a sticky pan.

    3. We can troubleshoot it together, whenever you want.


Thanks for your comment! I'll check if it's spam and post if it is not. I appreciate your time and effort for commenting! ~ Zsu