The name for this dish comes from the Swedish word “Hasselbacken,” the Stockholm restaurant where hasselback potatoes were first served.

I created the BBQ sauce recipe here for hotheads like me, but you can either tone it down by omitting the sambal oelek or take a shortcut by using your favorite bottled sauce. This tofu preparation also lends itself to other sauces, such as the many Asian varieties.


1 block extra-firm tofu, such as Heiwa

8 ounces tomato sauce

3 Tbsp. avocado oil

2 Tbsp. sambal oelek (optional)

2 Tbsp. sweet chili sauce, such as Frank’s

1 Tbsp. molasses

1 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1 Tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. ketchup

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. liquid smoke flavor

1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder

Chopped cilantro, chives or parsley for garnish


1. Top a small sheet pan or broiler-safe pan with aluminum foil (or don’t) and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Drain tofu well and squeeze it gently with a kitchen towel to get it as dry as possible.

3. Lay the tofu flat and place a chopstick next to it on both of the long sides. Make very thin slices down through the tofu (about 1/8 inch) with a thin, very sharp knife, such as a bread knife, until you cut down to the chopsticks. The slices should remain attached at the base of the block of tofu.

4. Whisk the remaining ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Put a spoonful of this sauce on the prepared baking sheet and carefully place the tofu on top.

5. Coat tofu well with some sauce, gently using a pastry brush to get down between the slices. You’ll have plenty of extra sauce.

6. Let the tofu marinate in this sauce for half an hour or even overnight to absorb as much sauce as possible. (You may skip this step if you’re in a hurry.) Brush on a little more sauce now and then.

7. Bake the tofu at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Add more sauce and bake for another 15 minutes. Then add a little more sauce.

8. Move the pan to the next-to-top position and broil on high for about 5 minutes until well browned on top. Be careful that it doesn’t burn, but a few blackened spots are actually good.

9. Remove the tofu from the oven and garnish with chopped green herbs. Serve extra sauce alongside.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at