A simple marinade and turn on the grill turns ho-hum bean curd into savory tofu steaks. This recipe calls for two packages of tofu to feed four healthy appetites or for leftovers. Instant ramen makes them an easy weeknight dinner.
Drain the tofu well and blot it dry with paper towels. Slice each block of tofu into 6 1/2-inch slabs and arrange them in a single layer in a large baking dish.
Combine the tamari, sesame oil, chili oil and rice wine in a measuring cup. Pour the marinade over the tofu slices marinate for at least 1 hour, turning once. (You can prepare this refrigerated up to 1 day in advance. See Recipe Notes.)
To grill the tofu, prepare a medium-hot grill. Brush the grill and oil it well. Drain the marinade from the tofu over a bowl to reserve it for the ramen.
Arrange the tofu slices over the hottest part of the grate. Grill until grill marks appear and the tofu browns and the edges become crispy, about 5 minutes. Flip with a spatula and grill the second side.
To prepare the noodle bowls:
While the tofu is grilling, bring a teakettle of water to a boil. Place the ramen in a heatproof bowl, add enough boiling water to cover and soak until tender to the bite. Drain well.
Toss the ramen with the reserved marinade. Toss well with the scallions and cilantro, adding additional tamari, sesame oil and chili oil to taste.
Divide the ramen among the serving bowls, top with tofu steaks and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
If you plan to marinate the tofu for several hours or overnight and are preparing the ramen, double the quantity of marinade. The tofu will absorb more of the marinade, so you'll need more for the ramen.