Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango


This post may contain affiliate links.

Tofu at most Asian restaurants is usually so good that I’m left thinking about it weeks after I’ve had it.

It’s a perfectly cooked balance of crispy and tender, firm yet chewy. The sauces are right on point; tangy, slightly spicy, and leaves me wanting more.

Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango

Or if you’re familiar with the tofu that Whole Foods sells in its deli cases for about $9.99 a pound and to feed a family at those prices, you’d need three jobs just to afford to get dinner on that table?

Yeah, that’s the tofu I wish I could afford to eat but I can’t.

Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango

It’s always amazes me that people pay those prices for deli food that you bring back home, likely re-heat in the microwave, and eat it out of a cardboard container.

Why do that?

When you can do this.

Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Let’s make restaurant-style tofu at home.

First, you must press your tofu.

If you don’t have a tofu press, and you eat tofu with any regularity or would like to start eating more tofu, this gadget is worth it’s weight in soggy paper towels because all the water stays in the box and floats to the top, and the drying tofu is at the bottom.

But if you don’t have a press, wrap the tofu in paper towels, double or triple layer them, wrapping them around the tofu many times like it’s a little present. Lay the tofu on a cutting board or flat surface. Put cookbooks, a heavy metal frying pan, or something with substantial weight on top of the tofu.

Tofu in Tofu Press

Press the tofu for at least 1 hour, in whatever manner you’re doing it. I usually put my tofu in the tofu press before bed and refrigerate it, and the next morning, I slice it and get it ready for marinating. By dinner time that night, it’s ready to be baked off.

Try to think one day ahead for this and all tofu meals between the pressing and the marinating, but pressing for 30 minutes and marinating for 30 minutes is better than nothing if you didn’t budget in a day’s notice. Who does.

Slice the tofu into 16 thin strips, arrange it a foil-lined pan and you have to, I repeat must line your pan with foil unless you love doing dishes with lots of elbow grease and blackened bits flaking off on your sponge and making your kitchen sinks look like a dirt pile. Use foil and it will all be contained within.

Drizzle with olive oil

Tofu in Pan drizzled with Olive Oil

Crack open your Secret Ingredient

If you don’t have Korean Barbeque Sauce, use some Bone Suckin’ Sauce or your favorite bbq sauce. I wouldn’t get too hung up on if the packaging says Korean or not. Sodium is sodium.

Container of Bibgo Korean Barbecue Sauce

Gently and evenly, pour the bbq sauce over the tofu.

Wait awhile

At least an hour, 8 hours; longer is better

But whatever you’ve got, you’ve got

Tofu with barbecue sauce in pan

Please Note: When you are ready to bake this, you cannot leave the kitchen for the 15 minutes this is broiling. This is one of those times where you cannot multi-task, go upstairs and fold the laundry, or check your email “real quick”. Real quick’s turn crispy edges into char city and your house reeks of burnt soy for 4 days. You have to stay in the kitchen because this can and will burn on moment’s notice (between the soy and the sugars in the bbq sauce) and you need to be right there.

With that caveat, broil for 10 minutes

Flip and broil for 5  minutes

Add diced pineapple and mango pieces and broil for 1 more minute


Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango

If you think tofu is bland, boring, mushy, limp, or flavorless, you haven’t tried it this way. It’s the opposite of those things based on technique (pressing and broiling) and on the type of marinade is used and how long it marinates.

The edges are crispy, the center is tender, the sauce thickens, caramelizes, intensifies and concentrates in flavor.

The diced pineapple and mango with their sweetness and acidity balance the saltiness and spiciness from the sauce.

Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango

This is as close as my husband gets to saying he really likes tofu, rather than simply tolerating it.

This is that vegan meal you serve to non-vegans when you don’t want them to turn up their nose at vegan food. Just tell them it tastes like barbeque chicken because everything tastes like chicken.

Except this.

This tastes like really good restaurant tofu and it will cost you about $2.99 to make – one package of tofu, half a jar of bbq sauce, and a half cup of (frozen) fruit.

Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango

There’s no cleanup because it’s all contained in the foil so it’s a make it and toss it meal. Love those nights when after a long day and cooking that the dishes fairy comes and does them for me.

That way I can get started figuring out what’s for dessert. Putting the fire out with a chocolate cake batter milkshake sounds about right.

Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango


Korean Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango (vegan, gluten-free)

1 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, optional and to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup Korean barbeque sauce (or your favorite bbq sauce)

1/4 cup finely diced pineapple

1/4 cup finely diced mango

Drain the tofu and press it with a tofu press for at least one hour, or overnight. If you do not have a tofu press, wrap the tofu in paper towels, double or triple layer them, wrapping around the tofu many times. Lay tofu on a cutting board or flat surface. Put cookbooks, a heavy metal frying pan, or something with substantial weight on top of the tofu and allow it to be pressed for at least 1 hour, gently pressing down with your hands from time to time, to encourage the water to release. After at least one hour, unwrap the tofu and slice it into 16 thin strips, about 1/8-inch wide.

Line a 9-by-13-inch pan with aluminum foil (do not skip this step), carefully transfer the tofu to the pan and place all slices in the pan, making sure the edges do not touch each other. If you want to season it with optional spices, do so. The marinade I used is incredibly flavorful and I don’t find any additional seasonings necessary.

Drizzle with olive oil. Carefully pour the barbeque sauce over the tofu. It will look like a lot, that’s okay. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least one hour, or all day. You can leave it at room temperature or in the refrigerator based on preference (I usually put my tofu in the tofu press before bed and refrigerate it, and the next morning, I slice it and put it in the pan with the olive oil and maridnade, where I let it marinate for half a day or all day until I am going to cook it and I don’t refrigerate it but that’s my comfort level).

Note: When ready to actully cook the tofu, make sure you have 15 minutes where you can be attentive, not multi-tasking or distracted, and not having to run in out of the kitchen. This method of cooking tofu can cause it to burn on a moment’s notice so you really need to watch it and be present and attentive.

Preheat oven to the broiler setting. Place the tofu under the broiler and cook for 10 minutes. Remove it, flip all pieces over, and broil for 4 to 5 more minutes. Remove it and sprinkle with the pineapple and mango and broil for 1 more minute. Tips: Do not be alarmed if the marinade on the edges of the pan starts turning black. Pay attention to what’s happening with the tofu pieces and look at the edges and corners. They should have a sear, and have just a hint of blackening, or cook until desired level. All broiling times are approximate based on how much sauce or marinade you have in the bottom of the pan and its consistency and moisture content (the more excess you have, the longer it needs to cook); the moisture content and width of your tofu and how well it was pressed and how well-done you like your tofu; your oven temperature. This is why you cannot leave the kitchen and must be attentive. My advice is to allow it to get to the edge of looking burned before pulling it so it has that seared and crispy edge with a soft middle texture.

Allow tofu to cool for a few minutes and serve, scooping up any extra marinade from the bottom of the pan if desired. Leftover tofu will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Barbeque Tofu with Pineapple and Mango

Related recipes:

All Tofu and Tempeh Recipes here

Tofu Tips – what to do to so your tofu “turns out” right every time

Peanut Sauce Baked Tofu (vegan, GF)

Peanut Sauce Baked Tofu on blue plate

Sweet and Sour Honey Lemon Tofu

Sweet and Sour Honey Lemon Tofu
Sweet and Sour Honey Lemon Tofu

Pumpkin Honey Tofu – this tofu turns out like pumpkin bread because of a freezing technique. I highly recommend both the technique and the recipes. Freezing tofu before cooking it gives tofu a chewy, almost bread-like texture and quality, the opposite of mushy

Pumpkin Honey Tofu
Pumpkin Honey Tofu

Maple Ginger Mango Tofu (vegan, GF)

Maple Ginger Mango Tofu
Maple Ginger Mango Tofu

Have you ever made tofu at home? What flavors, marinades, sauces, or spices do you use?

What’s your cooking methodology from pressing, slicing, baking, broiling, to pan-frying?

There are so many variables involved at every step and I always like to know what people do and what is successful.

I like strips and slices rather than little cubes because that means a less cumbersome job of flipping them all, one-by-one, in order to properly sear them.

I also prefer to bake or broil rather than pan sear because something about oil splattering on my wrists when I am trying to flip them all over just isn’t fun and that always happens to me; whereas the broiler doesn’t let me down.

Thanks for the Magimix by Robot-Coupe Food Processor & Juice Extractor Giveaway entries

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

Get the latest recipes via email!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. I was verifying consistently this web blog and I’m impressed! Extremely details specifically the last part I care for such information and facts much. I was searching for this certain details for some time

    1. If you go to their hot bar and buy a normal sized portion, in my area, that’s what it costs! It’s delicious – but expensive! Which is why I make it at home.

  2. This recipe looks fantastic!! I’m going to be making this and put it in a sandwich with a ton of cilantro and a drizzle of sriracha! Oh yeah… DELISH :) Thanks for sharing!!

  3. Mmm, sweet and spicy, love it, especially with the tropical flavors, you can sell me any dish with mango. I am a tofu fan and only press it sometimes. I often buy extra-firm tofu which as far as I can tell basically is pre pressed tofu. It has a very firm non mushy texture.

  4. It’s really a nice and helpful piece of info. I am happy that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I’m always fascinated by how different people spice up bland old tofu – this looks incredible and just packed with flavor. I’d definitely take a bite of this… I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and thanks for creating such amazing food…

  6. I have never made tofu at my house…I think that needs to change! This dish looks amazing! Plus my little vegan brother would probably go gaga over this. I’m sharing it with him now :)

  7. I’ve never been a fan of tofu but this honestly looks and sounds amazing!! I’m pretty sure I couldn’t get my husband to eat it, so I’ll have to make it sometime when he’s out :)

  8. I have been loving pressed tofu lately. I think I’m going to make this tonight and have it on some bread with maybe some ranch (although that could clash with the pineapple), lettuce, and tomato. Maybe served with garlic and chive mashed potatoes, slaw, and steamed veggies? Yes please.

    1. I think ranch goes with almost anything (except maybe pineapple…lol) – enjoy! LMK what you end up making!

  9. I need to cook with tofu more – and if we make our own bbq sauce we have tons more control over the sodium level.

  10. Good to see so much feedback regarding tofu. I try to make it once to twice a week, prefer to fry. I Press my firm tofu each time using a similar device…EZ Tofu Press. It really makes the difference! I chose the EZ Tofu Press as it is almost half the price as the one you are using. Thank you for the recipe!

  11. Yum! I need that tofu press immediately! I normally stay away from tofu because I prefer it to have texture and that seems to be what you have achieved. Curry soya chunks is one of my favorite tofu dishes. Also, your pictures are fabulous! What camera do you use and do you have any tips?

  12. I usually just use tofu in stir fry, or straight up, unpressed and raw in my hippie bowl. I have never pressed tofu. I always buy the extra firm, and it never seems to have excess water.

  13. I have never successfully made tofu at home. You have convinced me that I should invest in the tofu press and try this recipe. My husband might even like it if its barbecue flavored. ;)

    1. Lol re your husband. Mine is the same :) But yeah, the press is the way to go. Or, use a heavy cast iron pot and perch it on top of a well wrapped brick but then you have 3/4 c soy-water soaked paper towels to deal with. Lovely :)

  14. Truth… I hate tofu. But seriously girl, you make this look SO good, I’m tempted to try it all over again. Love your bright pretty shots ;)

    1. Thanks – and if there’s ever a chance to like tofu, slathered in bbbq sauce and pressed gives it good odds :)

  15. I love pressed, baked tofu – you’re right, it is the closest to restaurant-quality that you can make at home. Is there a big difference between Korean barbeque sauce and American?

    1. More of an asian vibe meets bbq sauce – but not “tons” of difference. Scope out your ethnic section at your groc store and see what looks fun & interesting.

  16. Hi Averie, your tofu looks absolutely fantastic! Photos are so vivid and almost alive, makes me want to take a piece right from the screen.
    No, I don’t make tofu at home, but I cook with tofu sometimes. All the controversy about soy products moderates out tofu consumption. This recipe sounds really good, and I will definitely try it in the near future. I know my men would love it too because of bbq…:) I have something sweet on my blog today, come see it, please. :) I can’t forget the taste of those cannolis…

    1. Thanks, Marina, for the compliments on the pics. It was hard to shoot b/c it was scalding hot, it was shiny, it was losing “life” the longer it sat out of the oven – I appreciate the compliments!

  17. I’ve made your sesame ginger maple and peanut sauce tofu–loved both! The Korean BBQ sauce with fruit sounds like a must try as well. I don’t have a tofu press but I slice mine horizontally into thirds before pressing it with every pan I own on a boatload of paper towels. That stuff holds ALOT of water! I’d probably make it a little more often if I had a press–sounds easier and less messy.

    1. glad you loved both the recipes you tried and yes a press just contains that 2/3 to 1+ cups of water it holds so it’s not on soggy paper towels just going…everywhere!

    1. You used to be the queen of amazing tofu combos and recipes! I hadn’t made any in ages before this. Tempeh is faster :)

  18. This looks amazing, totally agree on restaurant tofu – something about the flavors and textures that are tricky to achieve at home. I have not been working with tofu at home lately because I’ve been on a tempeh kick, but it may be time for a switch!

  19. Another great post, love the photos once again. I really do like tofu and I need to make it more often, thanks for the nudge.

    1. It means alot that you like my photos and recipes, Sue. Because, seriously, I feel the same way about yours – inspiring and unique and so pretty!

  20. I avoid soy products because of the phytoestrogens and GMOs, but this idea could work very well with tempeh, I think. Thanks for another great recipe!

    1. I know they have tofu that fits those needs at WFs and tempeh is still soy, but fermented…I love tempeh, truthfully, b/c it’s so easy and already firm!

  21. I’ve never been able to get tofu that crispy- the paper towel trick only goes so far. As much as I don’t need another kitchen gadget, that tofu press looks amazing! Great tips and recipe!!

    1. You can get the same result with wrapping the block of it up in a massive stack of paper towels and then setting a cast iron pan on it for a few hours but the water gets everywhere. For $20 bucks or whatever it is, the press is really handy!

  22. These look absolutely delicious! I’d love to be able to reach through the screen and taste it!

    1. You have that grocery delivery/trip arrival service. You don’t need this :) I would give my right arm for that service when I travel!!

  23. oh my gosh those look perfect! I love the sauce! mmm! To press my tofu, I just use the old fashioned “cast iron pan press” method. :)

    1. And your method is perfect – one way or the other, it just has to get pressed to get the mush out!

  24. So I’ve never made tofu at home and have rarely eaten it (in some vegetarian dishes, and in miso soup of course) but I know if my family ever knew I’d purchased it, they’d protest. Maybe I’ll hide my tofu in the back corner of the fridge and make this when no one’s looking, because I know that if I made it this way, the only protest would be why there’s no more left. I cannot get over those crispy, caramelized edges! YUMMMM.

    1. I’m still thinking about your pound cake. Read it from my Reader. I think it would wash this meal down perfectly :)

      But yes, even non-tofu likers like (love) it like this – just tell them it’s chicken. lol

  25. Whenever I have tofu (either splurging at the WF salad bar or ordering it at a restaurant), I always tell myself, “I have to start making this at home!” I’ve never once bought tofu to make for myself. I’ve saved a TON of recipes and pinned a TON of tofu recipes but never get around to actually buying it! I think you have me convinced. I don’t own a tofu press, so I would most likely start out using your cookbook/heavy flat object to press out all of the water. BBQ sauce would definitely be my marinade of choice. Love it paired with sweet mangos + pineapples!

    I’m so SOO intrigued by that freezing method you used for the pumpkin honey tofu. The picture actually does make it look like bread!

    1. The freezing method…it’s this weird food science thing that happens. It’s a 5 day long process. You have to drain and press tofu, then freeze it solid (a good 2 days) – then you unthaw it and press it again (another day or so) and marinate it but in the end, it turns out like bread. It’s super weird and very cool and the best texture.

      And yes, that WFs hot bar tofu is delish but my god, it would cost me $40 bucks for dinner out of cardboard for the family! You will love tofu at home girl – so easy, too!

  26. i had that same jar of korean bbq sauce as SWAG from a korean awards show for months til i gave it away. wish i had kept it now!

    1. I got a gift pack from that company about 6-9 mos ago and *almost* gave it away b/c they sent me SO MUCH and so many similar things, but I have slowly worked my way thru it all and glad I saved it. Too funny about your story (b/c I almost did the same thing!)

    1. I know you’ve been getting into ‘fu more lately and you will LOVE the press. The drippy tofu water just stays in the box – not all over your sparkly new kitchen!

  27. This looks amazing. Definitely adding this to my grocery list! I made your super famous cookie dough balls last night. I can’t get enough of them! :)

    1. Aww, thanks for telling me they are still a hit! What’s funny is that post went viral on Pinterest and I am getting so many comments and views on a 3.5+ year old post lately. Funny!

  28. I NEED that BBQ sauce in my life pronto. Maybe I can try to make it…..I have a jar of “korean spice blend”. Cogs in brain start turning.

    I can’t do tofu. Maybe that press thing is the key, but I just don’t eat it or crave it enough to warrant buying it.

    1. It’s gotta be the methodology b/c if I know you, and how similar we are, I wish I could make it for you, just once, b/c I can almost assume you’d really dig it!

  29. I used to eat tofu for what seemed like every meal of the day! It’s been almost 3 years since I have had it and I just don’t miss it. When I was eating it, tempeh was my fav, though.

    This looks delicious though. BBQ anything appeals and would be great for serving my tofu loving guests.

    Thanks, Averie! Have a beautiful day! :-)

    1. I went thru a tofu phase where I had tons, and then none. Then was just doing tempeh for like a year. And hadn’t bought or made any tofu in ages til this recipe – and I honestly think I prefer tempeh b/c it’s just so much faster, but on those times I can plan for it and press and marinate tofu, it’s like a delicacy :) Who would think of soybeans that way….haha but I do!

  30. You know I’m all about this dish! YUM. I used to hate tofu b/c I never knew you had to press it. I think that’s why people are willing to pay too much for it – they don’t know how to prepare it at home so it’s intimidating. I still don’t have a press so I either press with bricks (fancy) or I dry sear it. I haven’t frozen it in a while, but I like that too depending on how I’m using it.

    1. Freezing it is awesome, but yes, you’re right it’s a process and you have to plan for it and it took me until maybe only about 5 years ago? before I figured out how to make good tofu at home. You have to PRESS the heck outta it! If you don’t, it’s gross (or it definitely doesn’t taste like overpriced hot bar case WF’s tofu!)…but it does take some time and planning and let’s face it, most people don’t want to do that. But for $1.99 you can make a fabulous meal – with planning.

  31. No one masters tofu better than chinese restaurants, right? Every time I go now I replace the meat with tofu. It’s lighter and the fried skin is crispy without being so heavy.

    I’ve pinned this to try soon, it really looks wonderful! I’ve been wanting to an attempt a BBQ sauce using Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce. This looks perfect.

    1. thanks for the pin and you are so right about restaurant tofu which is exactly what I was trying to re-create and describe in this post.

      And that sweet chili sauce – mmm, sounds so good!

  32. I attempted tofu once, its not that I hate the taste/ texture but its too much work for me these days and I don’t really care for soy products. I’d gladly take a straw to that bbq sauce though ;)

    1. I know you eat meat so I can see where messing around with tofu isn’t exactly on your to-do list :) But yes this bbq sauce is so you – you’d love it!

  33. I had honestly never thought to press my tofu. Sounds like I’ve been missing out. Love the BBQ sauce/ fruit combo too.

  34. I’ll have to try this technique. I wish Dustin liked Asian flavors, he doesn’t. I do. But I cook, I win. haha Not sure if he likes the texture of tofu, but if you say it’s crisper and firmer, he might enjoy it more. He’ll eat everything, but truly enjoys very few favorites. He also doesn’t like sweet in savory dishes that much. He’s a separatist, lol. Ugh. Him and I are practically night and day in the kitchen. This is why I need you as my neighbor; can I tempt you with a link to the house with pictures?? :mrgreen:

    1. Pressing it is key! There is nothing worse to me than mushy tofu – it’s like a mushy apple: No! And if he doesn’t like Asian, you could literally do this with any sauce from grocery store bbq sauce to sweet & sour sauce (I think American sweet ‘n sour is about as far removed from Asian as you can get) to a marinade of ranch dressing cut with vinegar…whatever it is, just marinate and flash broil it, and you’re there!

  35. I am not the hugest tofu fan, although one of the ways I made it I actually loved(!) involved making a BBQ sauce, pressing the tofu, and cooking it all in the oven. So good! Tho maybe better with tempeh;)

    1. The thing about tempeh is that it doesn’t accept the depth of flavor that tofu does b/c it’s already so firm, the flavors don’t permeate quite as well I don’t find, but close :) I love tempeh so much – that I honestly can eat it plain and love it.