Oregon Blackberry Barbecue Tofu Sandwiches

With sticky-savory blackberry barbecue sauce and bright, quick-pickled onions, these simple vegan Oregon Blackberry Barbecue Tofu Sandwiches will even get carnivores’ mouths watering. This barbecue tofu is also great as a rice (or rice noodle) bowl for those who eat gluten-free. Best of all, frozen Oregon blackberries lets you enjoy the sweetness of a summer barbecue all year round.

Recipe by Heather Arndt Anderson from the Voodoo and Sauce Blog
voodooandsauce.com

oregon berries heather arndt anderson oregon blackberry barbecue tofu sandwiches

Ingredients

For the Blackberry BBQ Sauce

2 cups fresh or frozen Oregon blackberries, thaw first if using frozen, reserving juices
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp ketchup
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cloves grated garlic
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ tsp mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon gochujang or sriracha (optional)
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Quick-Pickled Red Onions

½ red onion, cut into ⅛” thick slices
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (or blackberry vinegar, if you’ve planned ahead!)
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp kosher salt

For the Tofu Sandwiches

1lb block of extra firm tofu (not silken)
2 cups blackberry barbecue sauce
4 ciabatta rolls, toasted and buttered
quick-pickled onions
Optional toppings: shredded carrots, roasted sweet potato, sprouts, slaw

Preparation

Blackberry BBQ Sauce Steps

Step 1
Puree the blackberries, then strain through a sieve, pressing out the pulp and juices with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.*

Step 2
Add strained puree to a small saucepan with the other ingredients. Simmer over low until reduced by about a third (about a half hour), stirring occasionally.

Step 3
Adjust seasoning to taste. (Makes about two cups)

*You can use the seeds and pulp to make blackberry vinegar — just steep them in 1 cup apple cider vinegar for a week, then strain and discard the solids. Bottle the vinegar and store at room temperature for up to a year.

Quick-Pickle Red Onion Steps

Step 1
Rinse the sliced onions and then mix with the vinegar, sugar, and salt.

Step 2
Allow to steep at room temperature for at least an hour (you can do this while the tofu is baking).

BBQ Tofu Sandwich Steps

Step 1
If desired, press the excess water out of the tofu by wrapping the tofu block in a kitchen towel, placing between two plates and setting a weight on top; place a folded napkin or dish towel under one side of the plates so the water can run out for an hour or so (this is best done over the sink). Or buy the extra firm/high protein tofu that’s already had the excess water pressed out and skip this step!

Step 2
Preheat oven to 325°. Slice the tofu crosswise so that you end up with four equal slices, roughly 3”x4”x1/2”. Place a rack over a sheet pan and brush or spritz with cooking oil. Spread the tofu slices equally with half the barbecue sauce, then bake. After 30 minutes, flip the tofu and spread the other half of the barbecue sauce on top. Return to the oven and bake another 30 minutes.

Step 3
To assemble sandwiches, place the optional toppings on the bottom half of the bun (in which case one supposes they become “bottomings” instead of toppings), then the tofu, then top with pickled red onion. Enjoy!