This delicious tofu steak is pan fried until golden and crispy then coated in a sticky Japanese style glaze. You won't believe how satisfying a simple tofu dish can be until you try this recipe! Ready in just 15 minutes!
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What is tofu steak?
Tofu steak is a dish made by coating firm tofu with potato starch and pan frying it in butter, a bit like how you might pan fry a steak. It is believed that this dish was first invented by Susumu Saito, head chef of the Takamatsu Washington Hotel chain. It is now known as a healthy (and cheap) version of steak that can easily be made at home!
As for sauces, they range from a simple Japanese steak sauce to a starchy sauce with mushrooms. In my recipe, I use classic Japanese combo of soy sauce, mirin and sake with bit of ginger and garlic. It has a teriyaki sauce-like feeling with some added fragrance!
What is tofu steak made of?
Tofu steak is literally made of tofu, however, it's important to use firm tofu here for the best texture and taste. Silken tofu will be too soft and it will break easily which can end up being a big mess.
Both silken (kinu) and firm (momen) tofu are both made from soy milk, but there is a major difference in the way they are made. While silken tofu is made by adding a coagulant to soybeans that are thicker than firm tofu, firm tofu is made by adding a coagulant to soy milk and allowing it to set. The tofu is then broken down, squeezed dry, and hardened again.
In addition, firm tofu contains more protein, calcium, iron, and other nutrients than silken tofu.
What does tofu steak taste like?
I think the word "steak" is kind of misleading here because while tofu steak is delicious without a doubt, it does not taste like beef steak or any meat steaks. The idea of tofu steak is not to replicate beef taste, but rather making tofu more satisfying and turn it into main dish.
But I can assure you that tofu steak is definitely satisfying and one of the best ways to cook tofu on its own!
Ingredients to use for my tofu steak
In this tofu steak recipe, I use following simple ingredients:
- Firm tofu
- Potato starch
- Olive oil
- Soy sauce
- Ginger paste
- Garlic paste
- Chopped spring onion
- Chilli threads
See recipe card for details and quantities.
Instructions on how to make tofu steak with Japanese sauce
Tofu steak is a simple recipe, but the tofu requires a little preparation before you cook it in the pan. Follow these steps for the perfect tofu steak!
Cut the tofu
For this recipe you will need a large block (approx 300-400g) of firm tofu. Because the tofu is very thick, you will need to cut it in half so it's a similar thickness to a piece of steak.
To cut the tofu, place it on a level surface and hold it still by placing one hand gently on the top. In the other hand, hold your knife parallel to the cutting board and cut horizontally through the middle. Try and cut them so that they are the same thickness to ensure even cooking.
Remove the excess water
Even firm tofu has quite a lot of excess water and if you try to fry it straight, it might start to steam and not become brown and crispy. Some people like to place a weight on top of the tofu to push out the excess liquid, but this technique would flatten the tofu and make it a bit too thin for tofu steak.
I remove the excess liquid by wrapping it in kitchen paper, placing it on a microwavable plate and then microwaving it for 1 minute and 30 seconds at 600W.
Season and coat with potato starch
Next, remove the kitchen paper and sprinkle both sides with a pinch of black pepper, then coat them in a thin, even layer of potato starch. Not only does this help make the surface crispy and golden, but it also thickens the sauce slightly and helps it stick to the surface of the tofu.
Fry the tofu
Heat your pan on medium and add oil of your choice (I use olive oil, you can also use butter if you want a richer taste.) Once the oil is hot, add the tofu and fry on each side until it becomes golden and crispy. While they're cooking you can make the sauce.
Make the sauce
The sauce for this recipe is very similar to my teriyaki recipes. Simply mix the ingredients in a bowl and then pour it into the pan once the tofu is crisped up on the outside.
Cook the sauce
Pour the sauce into the pan and move the tofu around to coat it. As the sauce cooks, it will become thick and glossy, the potato starch on the tofu will help thicken it further. Once the tofu is thoroughly coated on both sides, remove it from the heat and dish up!
Garnish tofu steak
I finish the dish by sprinkling it with some chopped spring onion and some chilli threads for some extra flavour and colour. You could also top with sautéed mushrooms, onions or kizami nori.
See the recipe card below for ingredient quantities and full steps!
How to eat tofu steak
Just like a regular steak, tofu steak can be served with a number of different sides. I often eat it with rice, miso soup and some kind of vegetable side. Here are some suggestions:
- Miso soup (see here for vegan miso soup recipe)
- Sautéed vegetables (mushrooms, onions, asparagus etc)
- Steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrot etc)
- Boiled vegetables (peas, corn, etc)
- Sesame spinach salad
- Octopus and cucumber sunomono salad
- Spinach salad in dashi
I hope you like this delicious new way to enjoy tofu!Print