Pomegranate and Mandarin Marinated Tofu

Pomegranate and Mandarin Marinated Tofu Recipe

If you're wondering why I made a pomegranate and mandarin sauce, the reason is simple: I love the flavors of both fruits and I think they complement each other very well. Both have acidic notes which make them work well together.

The combination is perfect for white meats, salads and tofu. To the pomegranate and mandarin juices, I added lavender honey, sugar cane vinegar and granulated sugar. I bound the sauce with a blend of walnut and olive oil. Before serving, I added some pink peppercorns and African basil leaves. This sauce will brighten whatever dish you add it to. 


Yields: 6

1/4 cup pomegranate paste
juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons sugar cane vinegar
1 tablespoon lavender honey
2 tablespoons mandarin juice
segments of one mandarin, freshly peeled
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon walnut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves pickled garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon African basil leaves
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 (12-ounce) package firm tofu


Mix together the pomegranate paste, lemon juice, sugar cane vinegar, sugar, walnut and olive oils, pickled garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Add the mandarin segments. Set aside.

Drain any liquid from the tofu and pat it dry with a paper towel. Slice the block of tofu into 1 inch thick pieces. Brush the slices with canola oil.

Brush a grill pan with the remaining canola oil. Place the tofu on the grill pan. Cook for about 3-4minutes on each side. Make grilling marks on the tofu on both sides. Transfer to a platter. Season the tofu slices with the remaining salt. Cut each slice into 3 triangles.

Drizzle the pomegranate and mandarin sauce over the hot tofu. Let it stand until cool to room temperature. Garnish with pink peppercorns and basil leaves.

Eat with chopsticks and enjoy!


You can use fresh garlic instead of the pickled garlic but the garlic flavor is going to be a lot stronger. You can find pickled garlic in any Asian store.

You can find pomegranate paste in any Iranian/Pakistani store. It needs to be refrigerated after opening though. It adds a nice tart aroma to the sauce.

How to segment a mandarin: I did not use the technique with a knife. Just peel the fruit and remove the membrane walls around each segment. Loosen each segment with your fingers and gently pull and remove the segment from the fruit. This technique releases and spills less juice.  

I didn't use the Thanh Son tofu brand as I usually do because I didn't find it necessary. I used the organic water-packed version. Just make sure the package says "firm".

I bought the sugar cane vinegar in at Ranch 99 in Mountain View.

Lulu planted some African basil in our garden for me. It has a stronger, earthier flavor than Thai basil or sweet basil. If you don't have this kind, just replace with any other basil you have available.

Pomegranate and Mandarin Sauce

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on August 16, 2009.


[-] I don't eat tofu - Guest-bianca
but this one sounds wonderful with all these wonderful flavors.
[ Posted at 11:00 AM on 8/16/09 | Reply ]
[-] Foodie with Little Thyme! - Guest-cassie
This looks so perfect. I always love your tips.

cassie Website Link
[ Posted at 12:28 PM on 8/16/09 | Reply ]
[-] Pomegranate and Mandarin Sauce - Guest-justcooknyc
sounds like a great combination of flavors

justcooknyc Website Link
[ Posted at 2:22 PM on 8/16/09 | Reply ]
[-] Pomegranate and Mandarin Sauce - Guest-veggievixen
woah, pomegranate paste?? never heard of it. but i would love to find it and make this recipe!! sounds fantastic.

veggievixen Website Link
[ Posted at 5:05 PM on 8/16/09 | Reply ]
[-] Perfect combo! - Guest-sophia113
I never thought to put the two together, but now it makes perfect sense! Way to jazz up any dish!

sophia Website Link
[ Posted at 7:09 PM on 8/16/09 | Reply ]
I love the flavors you incorporate. There are so many that this would hit every note on the taste bud scale I am sure!

Emily Website Link
[ Posted at 12:33 AM on 8/17/09 | Reply ]
[-] Pomegranate and Mandarin Sauce - Guest-Natasha5StarFoodie
What a fabulous sauce, loving this combination of wonderful ingredients and flavors! Excellent!

Natasha - 5 Star Foodie Website Link
[ Posted at 7:13 PM on 8/17/09 | Reply ]

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