Purpose-driven Chef & Food Journalist

Brined and Grilled Tofu w/ Tomatoes in a Coconut-Lager-Cilantro Broth

Yields2 Servings

Brined and Grilled Tofu w/ Tomatoes in a Coconut-Lager-Cilantro Broth

Now that I’m plant-based, I find myself missing the summery west coast dishes I used to enjoy back home, like coconut broths and mussels. However, a quick brine for your tofu like this one imparts a salty, sea-like flavour, and really lets it STICK. I find it hard to flavour tofu and ensure that it stays, but this recipe does this trick. And don’t worry about the amount of salt – although it looks like a lot, most of ends up dripping off when it’s grilled. This is just insurance to ensure we get some flavour in there!

Also, sea salt is necessary here. Table salt will just be way too salty.

Why I Use...

Grilled Tomatoes and heaps of Cilantro: We often think tomatoes only go in salads or sauce, but we can do so much more with them! If I find that some are looking a little softer than I’d normally like, I stick them on the grill. This chars their skin to give them a deeper flavour and soften them through. I love the way they pop open in your mouth and their bright, warm acidity helps to cut through a rich dish like this.

Also, whether you buy or grow your own cilantro, it wilts very quickly, so adding it to a warm dish like this means its appearance doesn’t matter but its flavour can come through. This recipe gives you a chance to use up your WHOLE bunch and not just a tablespoon of leaves (or whatever another recipe calls for).


Brined Tofu
 1 Package of firm tofu
 Juice of 1 lemon
 1 tsp Sea salt
 1 tbsp Melted coconut oil OR olive oil
Coconut-Lager Broth w/ Tomatoes and Cilantro
 1 tbsp Coconut oil
 3 Cloves of garlic, chopped
 1 Large shallot, chopped
 1 tbsp Fresh ginger, grated
 ½ tsp Ground turmeric
 1 tsp Ground cumin
 2 tsp Ground coriander
 ½ tsp Freshly ground black pepper
 ½ tsp Sea salt
 ½ tsp red chili flakes
 1 Can coconut milk
 250 ml Crisp lager
 ½ Lemon, cut into wedges
 2 cups Cherry tomatoes
 1 cup Fresh cilantro leaves
 Lemon wedges


I often brine my tofu now if I just stick it on the grill, even when I'm not making this recipe!


Brined and Grilled Tofu

Cut brick of tofu, crosswise, in the middle, to take it from being a rectangle to two equal squares. Using a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, press off any excess moisture.


Add pieces of tofu to the container for brining, along with lemon juice, melted coconut oil or olive oil, and 1 tsp of salt. Shake well to ensure tofu is well coated in brine.


Add to the fridge to let marinate overnight or, set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Grilling Tofu + Tomatoes

Pre-heat grill to high heat. Once heated, add both pieces of tofu, and pour the remaining brine over both pieces.


Follow by adding cherry tomatoes to the grill as well. Close lid and check on every 2-3 minutes. Once the skin of tomatoes starts to wrinkle and really pull away from the pulp on the inside, remove from grill, add to plate, and set aside.


Once the tofu has deep grill marks on one side, flip over and grill until the other side has deep grill marks. When tofu is grilled well on both sides, remove from grill, and set aside with tomatoes until broth is ready.

Coconut-Lager-Cilantro Broth

Preheat a large pot on medium heat.


Once heated, add oil (coconut or olive), followed by chopped shallots, garlic, and grated ginger. Stir to combine and leave to cook for 1 minute.


Add turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Stir to combine.


Once spices have toasted for about twenty seconds, deglaze the pan with lager followed by coconut milk. Whisk well to combine.


Turn heat to high and let the mixture come up to a strong bubble for 5-7 minutes to reduce and thicken.


While thickening, prepare bowls or plates for serving adding slices of tofu along with cherry tomatoes.


Once the broth is ready (and piping hot), stir in cilantro leaves before removing from heat, and ladling over tofu and cherry tomatoes. Tofu and cherry tomatoes will warm up in the piping hot liquid. Wait a minute for it to do this before eating (it will also give the broth a chance to cool down slightly).


Serve alongside sliced lemon for some extra acidity.