Photo: Annabelle Breakey Photo by: Photo: Annabelle Breakey

Grilled Tofu, Bacon, and Avocado Sandwiches

Charles Phan's Out the Door in San Francisco serves a nontraditional fried tofu bánh mì with grilled zucchini and avocado. Andrea Nguyen, a Santa Cruz, California, cookbook writer and cooking teacher, likes to change it up by marinating and grilling a slab of tofu and sliding it into a ciabatta roll along with the vegetables and bacon. Sriracha and a drizzle of the ginger-soy marinade add even more complex flavor.

Sunset MARCH 2012

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Total:1 Hour, 45 Minutes


  • 14 to 16 oz. block firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 2 in. unpeeled fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 pinches pepper
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark (black) soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • About 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 ciabatta rolls, split horizontally, or 4 thick slices ciabatta loaf (about 3 1/2 in. wide), with most of insides of bread scooped out
  • 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-in.-thick slices
  • About 3 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • About 4 tsp. Sriracha chili sauce
  • 12 to 14 cilantro sprigs, roughly chopped
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, halved crosswise
  • 1 avocado, sliced


1. Cut 4 lengthwise slices from block of tofu, each about 1/2 in. thick. Transfer to a 9-in. square baking pan.

2. Grate ginger with a Microplane, then press solids through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl to get juice. Measure 2 tsp. ginger juice into another bowl. Whisk in sugar, pepper, both kinds of soy sauce, sesame oil, and 1 tbsp. canola oil, then pour over tofu. Turn tofu to coat and set aside, uncovered, 1 to 2 hours, turning halfway through.

3. Brush a cast-iron grill pan lightly with more canola oil and heat over medium-high heat until pan is hot enough to evaporate a bead of water. Sear tofu, 2 pieces at a time (reserving marinade), until grill marks appear and tofu releases from pan easily, 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

4. Toast rolls or bread, cut sides up, in a 300° oven until crisp, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, toss zucchini in leftover tofu marinade and grill until tender and browned, about 4 minutes per side. Save remaining marinade.

5. Spread about 1 tsp. mayonnaise on each half of roll, then drizzle about 1/2 tsp. of reserved marinade and 1/2 tsp. Sriracha on each. Sprinkle half of cilantro on bottom roll halves. Add tofu, bacon, zucchini, and avocado. Top with remaining cilantro and tops of rolls.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 453
  • Calories from fat: 52%
  • Protein: 19g
  • Fat: 26g
  • Saturated fat: 4.4g
  • Carbohydrate: 39g
  • Fiber: 5.6g
  • Sodium: 893mg
  • Cholesterol: 12mg

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Grilled Tofu, Bacon, and Avocado Sandwiches recipe