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After the challenges of what is usually a disappointing summer – weatherwise at least – we are often treated to a rather beautiful September. All summer long, folk up and down the country have been chased indoors from picnics, fetes, celebrations and barbecues by plant-ripping hailstones and sudden gusting winds. Sadly, grey skies and Great Britain seem to go hand and hand. You get used to it.

But most starts to Autumn lead with calm and settled skies. Often tepid-warm and blindingly-bright, the lowered sun skims trees and glints off our pale stone buildings. Absolutely stunning. I’ve always thought this should be the time to have barbecues. And so we do. I know the kids are back to school but hey, they gotta eat. May as well be outside with the chance of a bit of a run around with the football, or trampling some plants.

We may not be in shorts, or sporting much in the way of bare limbs, but while the evenings are still fairly elongated we try and drag out our coal-burning cooker as often as we can. I actually prefer cooler weather barbecuing: standing by a hot grill, eating hot food, while being hot is not my idea of fun.

To be perfectly honest our family barbecues are often of the butcher’s-best sausages, grilled vegetables and bunged together salad variety, with perhaps a foil-wrapped pudding – rescued, come bedtime, from embers as we pat our too-full tummies.

Because we often don’t know it is a nice day until we are well into said day, not much planning happens. No flicking through cookbooks or consulting web pages, just a ransack of the freezer and vegetable bin. But, sometimes we get a decent run of the old golden orb and I put on my thinking cap. Yesterday was such a day.

To celebrate this late, bone-warming fillip I pulled together silk-jacketed corn, a virgin packet of sweet white miso, some coconut butter, a lime and couple of packs of tofu and called it dinner. With of course a bunged together salad (coated in a fabulous dressing. Give me some credit), and a fab fruity skillet cobbler. The grill-top skillet cobbler is for the next post, so have some ripe and seasonal plums and berries handy.

Tonight I’m not sure what Miss R and I shall have for dinner. Mr A is away coastal camping with work colleagues, so the portions of whatever we decide on will be smaller, and very likely healthier: I am in no doubt that sausages, tortilla chips and sweets will feature quite highly on the camping menu. There was talk of garlic snails and langoustines, but I think they were just winding me up. As for why I am not there with my colleagues and friends: a) I am holding the fort with Miss R, b) I have fully-loaded pincushions for joints and, most crucially, c) I have a bladder the size of a gnat’s handbag. I am not a happy camper.

By the way, the grilled miso-coconut butter corn and tofu can be done under an oven grill/broiler, or on  a stove-top griddle pan. I tried it out to be sure, and it was absolutely delish. And with the added bonus of no thieving chickens.

Are you indulging in any autumnal barbecues or camping adventures? What do you eat? What’s the best and worst things about eating outdoors?

Vegan Grilled Miso-Butter Corn and Tofu 

Last Year: Baked Veracruz Fish with a Twist
Kellie’s Track of the Week: River Man by Nick Cave – dear Lord, this is a fabulous song, and quite timely too
Hide these from the burger and sausage eaters, or you won’t get any. Show no mercy.
Miso-Coconut Butter
3 tbsp white or yellow miso (the mild, so-called sweet kinds)
4 tbsp coconut butter/oil (or dairy butter, or a mix of the two)
a good squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice, to taste
ground white pepper, to taste
4 ears of corn, husked and de-silked (tie back the husks to make a turning handle if you like)
500g/1 lb of firm tofu, squeezed of moisture between some kitchen towels
A clean grill, heatproof pastry-type brush and BBQ spatula
Spring onions/scallions, chopped
First of all, heat the coals/wood, or fire up the gas. When the coals are starting to go ashy, with only glow and no flame, that’s the time to get your corn and tofu slapped on. So, while all that’s getting going, sort the food.
I like to steam my corn first – about eight minutes – as it makes the corn very tender. But if you are keeping the husks on to make a turning handle (which is kind of cool to do), just throw them raw on a medium hot grill when you are ready. 
Slice the tofu into ‘steaks’ about ½ inch thick – any thinner and they will probably fall apart when you turn them. Set aside.
In a small pan, heat and whisk together the coconut butter, miso, pepper and lime or lemon juice. The coconut and miso will want to separate but the citrus should bring them together as long as the mixture remains warm. If you are using a dairy butter and miso mix, they will be good friends and not part. 
When your coals are good to go, slick a small amount of miso butter on each piece of corn and tofu, and grill until golden and caught in places – for the corn; and dark gold with a firm outer layer – for the tofu. Check and turn often, basting as necessary. Serve with the remaining warmed miso butter and spring onions. All this needs is a green salad and a bottle of beer. If, like me, corn doesn’t agree with you, cook some rice or potatoes (sweet or white) and toss some miso butter through – divine! PS The grill I used is Mr A’s childhood hibachi – proper vintage!
Serves 4 (refrigerate any leftover miso butter and use to make a spring onion omelette)

38 thoughts on “Grilled Miso-Butter Corn and Tofu – A Vegan BBQ

  1. I’m jealous you have a grill to make such beautiful corn! I’ve wanted one all summer with this great crop of sweet corn we’ve had. Too bad I don’t have the outdoor space for one. This looks so yummy.

    1. I swear it tastes great on a griddle pan too. Thanks for being my first commenter on this post! And have a great weekend. Hope it’s sunny 😀

  2. That corn looks *amazing*!

  3. wonderful post! The colour of the corn looks amazing. I have corn quite often now that’s in season. I usually just put it in the oven for 40 minutes but on a barby it must taste at its best. I am drooling here…

  4. Little Sis says:

    YUM! I usually do a simple olive oil and salt grilled corn, but this looks like quite a delicious step up. And I’ve finally been convinced to try grilling my tofu. Great pictures.

    1. Thank you. Oil and salt is always good though 😀

  5. Veronica Sheppard says:

    I want this! Miso corn is such a great idea, will try this for sure.

    1. It’s not completely original but I think the vegan spin may be. The coconut oil is extremely tasty with miso

  6. Beautiful! I would love that plate of food at a BBQ! I feel you with your grey skies – living in Seattle is like that a lot as well. The past 3+ months have been glorious though and so now I am living in dread about the grey skies coming back.

    1. Well the weather finally cracked here and the heaven’s have opened. Hope you are much sunnier and warmer in Seattle. I’ve even got the heat on! I fear bbq weather has up and cleared off for the time being. But, we shall shall persevere. So good to hear from you Alyssa.

  7. My mouth is watering, and here I sit 14,000 away Km from my BBQ. It’s tragic, really; this summer has come and gone without us firing up the grill once. Definitely something to rectify when I get home, perhaps with a little home made tofu and this marinade, which is bringing back very fond memories of yakiniku parties in Japan. Of douse, we didn’t use coconut butter there, and that is definitely tickling my curiosity. Thanks for sharing.

    1. I want to know more about these yakiniku parties. Spill!

      1. Well, they are not like the ones you knew in the south. Generally they start with all the men standing around a tiny hibachi, trying to get the thing going by waving paper fans. This can take a very long time. The meat is often marinated in spicy miso paste, cut into thin bite sized pieces, and way more marbled than what you see outside Japan. Japanese pumpkin (kabocha), sliced very thin so it can grill over lukewarm coals, often figures prominently. As does Asahi.

  8. Dad says:

    Kellie, I love this post! The prose is poetry. The food looks fabulous…I may even try it.

    1. Thanks Poppy. I am looking forward to coming over in October and wreaking havoc in your kitchen. Watch out!

  9. coastalcrone says:

    I will try the grilled tofu! Thanks!

    1. I am glad you like it, m’dear. Grilled tofu this way – or with other marinades and seasonings is really a super tasty way to have tofu. It needs all the help it can get 😀

  10. kathrinjapan says:

    Miso is my new thing! I just love it. Being in Tokyo means not having access to a grill. Will have to improvise. Thanks for the ideas!

    1. A fellow miso aficionado – excellent. I bet you get some really adventurous strains in Tokyo. As for improvising with the grill, get a stove-top griddle pan or use your oven’s grill setting/broiler. It works all of these ways just fine, but I would make sure the tofu is good and ‘dry’ before grilling in the house. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Ann says:

    I like the way you have tied up the greenery- also acts as a handle

    1. That was the idea! Tongs are fiddly on cylindrical shapes, so why not use Nature’s corn handle?

  12. What a lovely meal! I am just starting to experiment with miso (love it so far!) and this looks like the perfect use for it. I also like tofu, but I’ve never tried it on the bbq — looks incredible!

    1. My Dad couldn’t find white miso (any miso) in his local grocery store so he made it with thai curry paste. Lol! Good improvisation but I will make it for him with miso when I visit next month. Good luck with your own miso experimentations – there are so many permutations to choose from. I like to mix white and brown (genmai?).

  13. gwynnem says:

    I’m always looking for vegetarian and vegan grilling ideas, and this one looks wonderful. Thanks!

  14. narf77 says:

    First I get a delicious galette with most drool-worthy possibilities and then I get a linkie for mains? Is there no end to your genius ma’am? With summer coming up and the purchase of a brand spanky new bbq still jangling fresh in our empty pockets this splendiferous meal is going to figure amongst the inaugural Serendipity Farm bbq stakes this year. Thank you for your creative and culinary genius and your magnificent photos that make everything you cool look heavenly :). By the way, I headed off to hear the Nick Cave song…not a fan of the man to be honest and even though he is a fellow Aussie, he isn’t my (“cough…pretentious…cough”) cup of tea but when I got there I found that it wasn’t Mr Cave…it was Mr Drake! One of my favourites :). You didn’t let us down ma’am, 10 kudos points on the save 🙂

    1. I’d love to think you were gong to inaugurate your shiny new grill with this. We really like the flavours in this. So simple too

      1. narf77 says:

        We pick it up today and I have the tofu and the corn in the fridge as I type this :). I AM going to make this as the very first thing that we bbq on it 🙂

  15. Recipes like this make me really sad that I can’t have a grill at my apartment. I know the oven won’t make these nearly as delicious but I will try it anyways as I am really loving anything miso right now. I really like the idea of spring onion omelette with miso butter, I have never thought of using miso with eggs- I’m almost more excited to try that than the tofu!

  16. amandahellweg says:

    So I’m eating the miso butter spring onion omelette as I type- SO GOOD. Thank you for this wonderfully simple yet delicious idea. I added a little avocado and it is perfect.

    1. I’m so glad you like it! Miso butter is ALWAYS a good idea 😉

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