Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr
Hands-on Time
45 Mins
Total Time
45 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: about 3 eggplant slices, 2 tofu slices, and 2 tablespoons sauce)

We turned up the the flavor with this Chinese-style barbecue dish of Grilled Eggplant and Tofu Steaks with Sticky Hoisin Glaze. This vegetarian dish captures the essence of great barbecue without relying on meat.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place tofu on paper towels; cover with paper towels. Top with a heavy skillet; let stand 20 minutes. Cut tofu crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices.

Step 2

Combine ketchup and next 6 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook until reduced to 1 cup (12 minutes), stirring occasionally. Set aside 1/2 cup.

Step 3

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Step 4

Brush oil over tofu and eggplant; sprinkle with salt. Place eggplant on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill 2 minutes. Turn eggplant over, and brush with 2 tablespoons sauce; grill 2 minutes. Turn eggplant over; brush with 2 tablespoon sauce. Cook 2 minutes on each side.

Step 5

Add tofu to grill; grill 3 minutes. Turn tofu over, and brush with 2 tablespoons sauce; grill 3 minutes. Turn tofu over and brush with 2 tablespoons sauce; grill for 1 minute on each side. Sprinkle with onions and seeds. Serve with eggplant and 1/2 cup reserved sauce.

Ratings & Reviews

Galbanolli's Review

August 04, 2014

AdrianaT's Review

July 15, 2012
Thought this was great but the sauce was not enough. Next time I will either add water or broth as another user suggested.

AKinAK's Review

September 14, 2012
As a vegetarian, I thought this was a super tasty recipe. My meat-eating husband, not so much. He had a small plate and then passed on seconds. I love tofu, eggplant and spicy Asian sauces, so I thought it was a great combination, more leftovers for me! Like other posters said, there is definitely not enough sauce in the recipe as written. Even if you add up the amount of wet ingredients, it doesn't equal one cup, so there's no way you could have one cup after reducing. I increased the sauce ingredients by half and ended up with a nice amount of sauce. I also put in extra chiles to make it nice and spicy.

judithwinston's Review

June 19, 2012

creamcheese's Review

June 18, 2012
Well this was just spectacular (thank you, Mr. Bittman). I made this according to plan but I omitted the eggplant because I didn't have any (froze remaining sauce). Oh, and I'm an urban apartment dweller who doesn't have a grill - the broiler worked brilliantly. This dish packs a flavorful punch, is very easy to make, and doesn't require a lot of time. For sides I served sesame broccoli (from the same CL issue) and Korean brown rice. Yum yum, looking forward to a) leftovers tomorrow and b) wowing my vegetarian/vegan/kosher/halal/foodie friends with this recipe.

CheerfulHolas's Review

June 25, 2012
This was very good, fairly easy to put together; I'll keep the recipe for future weeknight meals. I used a stovetop grill pan, and it worked well. It met my husband's taste for spiciness, as well. It's fantastic on a toasted small bagel, for lunch! My lunch companion was curious and envious.

osequin's Review

April 06, 2013
I thought this was a great tofu recipe! I didn't use the eggplant and I halved the sauce ingredients. I also didn't reduce the sauce and it still made just the right amount. So flavorful and tasty!

PKcookin's Review

August 13, 2012
Totally agree with others. There is not enough liquid initially to reduce sauce to 1 cup. I would also consider marinating the tofu with the sauce a little ahead of time. Maybe 20 min, just brush it on and let it sit. It might take on more of the flavor. All and all very good and really a pretty dish.

JNBank's Review

January 03, 2015
I had no problem with the sauce reducing as others commented. The eggplant was great but the tofu just lacked something even though it used the same sauce. I'd tell future cooks of this recipe to skip the tofu and make this as an eggplant side dish.

marthafischer's Review

June 29, 2012
I agree with previous review - error in recipe as not enough sauce to reduce. However, even with too little liquid, it's a very tasty recipe. Made on indoor grill pan and served over Alton Brown's baked brown rice. Yummy! I would like to know what's missing!