Tofu Another Way- on the Grill

Quite a while ago I got a cookbook from the library called The Food of Vietnam.  I have heard multiple people praise Vietnamese cuisine, and wanted to know exactly what defines this popular cooking catagory.  To my dismay, there were only a couple of vegetarian dishes in the whole book, but there were several that looked like it would be easy to adapt, replacing the meat with tofu or something. 
Apparently, the Vietnamese are really big on fish sauce too, and I have heard that soy sauce makes a good substitute.  Also, I have used vegetarian stir fry sauce in place of fish sauce several times as well.  I think one of my favourite parts of Vietnamese cooking, along with so many other peoples', is the noodles.  Who doesn't love noodles?  The come in so many variteties, and in so many shapes.  It's fun to see what's out there!  Another highlight is the spring rolls, and the use of abundance of fresh herbs.  I do have to say, basil has got to be one of the best herbs out there.  And the basil plant in the garden is still going strong.  For now...

This certain recipe was originally called Grilled Pork with Rice Noodles.  Well, at first I was planning to turn it into Grilled Tofu with Rice Noodles.  Then, I kind of went wild with the changes.  I amped up the marinade, as tofu is more bland than pork, and decided to toss in some veggies for good measure.  And then I ended up dropping the noodles, atleast for this round, out of sheer lazyness. 
What I think is the most interesting thing about the dish is the "garnishes" you are supposed to serve with it.  The recipe called for cucumber (which I hate), bean sprouts, fresh herbs like basil and cilantro, pickled veggies like cucumber and radishes, rice noodles (duh), and peanut dipping sauce.  I decided that carrots would be a good sub for the cucumber, and I was puzzled about how to make the peanut dipping sauce because it called for chicken liver.  What really made me mad, though, was that when M and I looked for the pickles, we couldn't find a single vegetarian one!  They either had squid paste, or fish sauce, or something weird like that.  Grr.
In this round of the kabobs, I used button mushrooms and onion along with the tofu, and served with bean sprouts, fresh basil leaves, and ketchup and bbq sauce for dipping sauces.  So, I think it's safe to say that this dish is not vietnamese, but tastes good all the same- M agreed!  Honestly, I love kabobs.  They are fun to make, fun to eat, and fun to say.  And look so pretty, too.
Oh, funny thing about the ketchup/bbq sauce.  M and I used it to stick the basil leaves to the tofu and veggies.  It works!

Tofu and Veggie Kabobs

Serves 4

Inspired by The Food of Vietnam

1 lb tofu, pressed and cut into sizable chuncks
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp miso paste
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
3 tbsp bbq sauce
5 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp rive vinegar
Pinch of dried chili flakes

Grilling veggies, like mushrooms, bell pepper, and onion

Fresh herbs like basil and cilantro
Bean sprouts
Dipping sauce
Pickled veggies
Rice noodles

Mix together the first set of ingredients minus the tofu, and then add the tofu and the other grilling veggies.  Marinade for 1-2 hours.
Preheat the grill for medium high.  Skewer the tofu and veggies on kabob sticks, and grill for about 10 minutes on foil coated with non-stick spray, until, well, they are grilled.
Serve on a plate with the rest of the ingredients as garnishes.

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