Mar 17
One of the simplest ways to prepare tofu is to make tofu steak.  And let me tell you, it is delicious.  It is lightly crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.  This dish shows that tofu doesn’t have to be disguised as something else, or covered up with a bunch of heavy flavors to be delicious.  This dish is a great way to introduce tofu to children.  Simple is good when you are dealing with kids in my book!  One of the most important steps in preparing tofu this way is the first step: making sure that you drain and dry the tofu well so that it fries easily—otherwise you won’t get the light crisping on the outside and the flour coating and tofu will just soak up oil.  An oily block of tofu is NOT the goal here.  Yuck.

Tofu drained and patted dry

You cut a drained block of tofu into slices, lightly salt and pepper each slice,

Season the slices of tofu with salt and pepper

spread the slices with grated (or finely minced) garlic,

Spread the garlic on the tofu slices

and then lightly coat each slice with flour.

Sprinkle the tofu slices with flour

Then you fry the tofu in a skillet until each side is crispy and brown, and then set the slices on some paper towels to cool slightly and soak up any extra oil.

Cooking the tofu steaks

Then all you do is serve the slices topped with your toppings and garnishes of choice!  For the girls, I drizzled the slices with a tiny bit of ponzu and served it with some kyuri asa-zuke.

Squirrel eating her tofu steak

Squirrel made quick work of it with her chopsticks and then told me, “Mama, I like tofu!”  I think I’ll keep her.

Squirrel practicing her chopstick skills

I topped mine with ponzu, sambal oelek, and sliced scallions.

Sambal Oelek, Ponzu, and Scallions

Two tricks to keep your garlic from burning: make sure your garlic is grated or VERY finely minced (larger pieces are more likely to burn), and if you notice it is burning, turn down your heat slightly!  Some bits will occasionally get a bit dark, but this just gives your tofu a bit of a chargrilled flavor. I recommend using a good organic tofu or making your own, because the flavor and texture will be so much better.  Although you may pay more for a good block of tofu, it is still very affordable when you compare it to other proteins like beef or chicken.  You’ll be rewarded with a light, creamy, and delicious tofu steak!

Tofu Steak

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Tofu Steak

Makes 4 servings (3.75 ounces each)

15 ounce block extra firm tofu (it is fine if your tofu block is slightly smaller or larger)
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons grated or finely minced garlic
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 – 4 tablespoons sesame oil
Toppings/garnishes of choice: soy sauce, ponzu, sambal oelek, grated daikon radish, sliced scallions, sliced leeks, shichimi togarashi, lemon zest, etc.

1. Drain the tofu and pat it dry with a paper towel  Cut the tofu into four pieces, pat the pieces dry, and let them sit on a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture that remains.  Season the tofu on both sides with salt and pepper and then spread each side with the garlic.  Lightly coat the slices with the flour.

2. Heat the sesame oil in a skillet over high heat.  When the oil is hot, carefully add the tofu, protecting yourself from the hot oil.  Cook the tofu until it is crispy and browned, and then flip the pieces over and cook the other side.  Set the slices on some paper towels to cool slightly and soak up any extra oil.

3. Serve the tofu topped with your toppings and garnishes of choice.

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Nolwenn March 17, 2010 at 10:51 am

Both my daughters love tofu too ! I think I’ll make tofu steaks for lunch today (was looking for inspiration).


Sandy March 17, 2010 at 11:02 am

I totally want to make this!! I think I might make it this week. Looks healthy and delicious!!


Sara @ OurPrivateKitchen March 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

Yum!! What an excellent recipe and it looks delicoius. So many people immediately cast off tofu as boring, but you definitely show them otherwise here!


Sarka March 17, 2010 at 11:25 am

This looks so delicious. I was intrigued already when tweeted about your tofu steak, and it looks even better than I thought. I have to give it a go. Thank you for sharing! I like the picture of Squirrel with her chopsticks, so cute! :)


Bob March 17, 2010 at 11:51 am

I don’t know… it’s tofu. It does look good though…


Lyndsey March 17, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Yum! I am already thinking of all the different toppings I can use, mmm…ginger sesame dressing! I have breaded and fried the cubed tofu, but then added it to another dish. My daughter did ask if that was tofu, and she did like it. But then she is 15. :)


Kelly @ EvilShenanigans March 17, 2010 at 12:53 pm

I have had marinated tofu steaks before and they were lovely hot off the grill. I will have to give this method a try … your pics have my tummy rumbling!


jenjenk March 17, 2010 at 12:55 pm

ok…i’m REALLY impressed with squirrel. I suspect she’s more japanese than I will ever be! :) When I was a kid her age, my mom used to dress tofu up in a pink tutu and tiara and i still hated it.

This does look tasty and I love how easy you make it look!!! Will definitely have to try this!! [although, nowadays, I eat it with just shoyu and bonita flakes…]


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty March 17, 2010 at 1:17 pm

So pretty!! I might have to try this, tis a fantastic idea!!


Michelle March 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

I bet a tofu burger made with your frying technique would be over the top!


Teresa March 17, 2010 at 1:32 pm

This looks great, I love tofu.


Sarah, Maison Cupcake March 17, 2010 at 2:28 pm

These look fantastic, I have to get some of those joined up chopsticks for my boy!


Maria March 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm

I am in love with your tofu posts:)


[email protected] March 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I am trying to introduce tofu to my children… This recipe is exactly what I need. I’ll get more exciting sauce to go on it! Thanks!


Fuji Papa March 17, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I must admit I am not generally excited about tofu. I like it in small doses in soups, but I cringe when I think of it as the main course. I am going to have to try some of this. Maybe I can come around.


Kelly Azuma March 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Not even your lovely cooking could convince my husband or I to eat tofu. We both hate it, I don’t like the texture. :/ But I enjoyed looking at your pics! ;)


Cookin' Canuck March 17, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Yum! This looks like a fantastic way to enjoy tofu.


Christine @ Fresh Local and Best March 17, 2010 at 10:04 pm

I’m always looking for great ways to incorporate tofu into dishes. This looks absolutely delicious!


redkathy March 18, 2010 at 5:56 am

Tofu, well I’m not too fond of it. Your beautiful display makes me rethink that… Your “Squirrel” is adorable with her chop sticks!


Kristin @ Iowa Girl Eats March 18, 2010 at 6:22 am

Wow – this looks incredible! I have a big block of tofu in my fridge that I might give this a try with. So, the garlic doesn’t burn in the time it takes to brown the tofu then?

Your little girl is absolutely precious – I bet she got quite a bit of attention Japan! :D


Divina March 18, 2010 at 7:19 am

You’ve made tofu really special by using this simple procedure. Oftentimes, we make it so complicated.


lisaiscooking March 18, 2010 at 8:24 am

She’s so cute, and I like tofu too! Your steaks look fantastic with the sambal oelek and scallions.


Tracy March 18, 2010 at 11:55 am

I’ve never tried tofu before, but this looks really great!


Anh March 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

What a great way to cook tofu! I love this.


Anh March 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Oh, and your daughter looks like an angel :)


[email protected] March 19, 2010 at 4:16 am

I love this dish… I have tofu in the fridge just waiting for a purpose in life… great photo too…love the color!


helios7 March 20, 2010 at 6:59 am

This looks great. Simple, pantry (or usually on hand) ingredients and perfect for those nights when I have the “what’s for dinner?” panic! I’ll be trying this soon!


Jenny March 20, 2010 at 5:37 pm

When you posted this recipe on Tasty Kitchen, you accidently put “grated ginger” in the ingredients list, rather than garlic. Just thought you might want to know, so you can fix it. Looks tasty! :)


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction March 22, 2010 at 11:58 am

What a simple and healthy recipe! I’m still trying to work tofu into our regular menu more frequently. I’ll give this a try!


Debi (Table Talk) March 23, 2010 at 4:07 am

I like to make it sans the flour sometimes too—I add ponzu to a hot pan with the tofu while it’s cooking. The ponzu caramelizes and forms a crisp edge.
We are all tofu fan in our house!


corrie April 1, 2010 at 2:47 am

ohhhh I was just writing up my recipe for kaki age for my blog tmrw and I found your blog through a search and am loving it! can’t wait to try out more of your recipes…..yum! gorgeous pictures and food



Tina @ Squirrel Acorns April 1, 2010 at 10:38 am

Mmmm…just made some for lunch for myself. Very quick and easy. And tasty of course!


Meg April 10, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Definitely looking forward to trying your tofu steak recipe out. I’ve never been a big fan of tofu, but I’ve never really tried making it myself, either. Thank you for sharing!


Jaya Wagle July 28, 2010 at 4:13 pm

I have to tell you, I not only made tofu with your tutorial but also these tofu steaks which are going up on my blog as I speak. The tofu couldn’t have been easier to make and the tofu steak was delicious. If you do visit, please ignore the picture quality. It goes without saying, your clicks are fabulous.


George Mc Squiggle October 26, 2010 at 10:51 pm

I sure hope you’re keeping Squirrel- like anyone is gonna adopt her with that name XD


[email protected] May 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm

momma i LIKE tofu.

so what, kids are manipulators and say stupid shit all the time

your kid looks retarded


Heidi / foodiecrush May 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I love Agedashi tofu and your addition of the minced garlic is a perfect one. Love the Siracha too. And of course, ponzu.


Jake June 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm

I’ve made this probably 20 times. It’s really good and simple. I love tofu stirfry, but always end up with more leftovers that my wife or I can eat. No leftovers with this.


tofu March 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I use frozen cotton tofu for steak, instead of using extra firm tofu.
Cause extra firm tofu is not sold in my country. But it’s delicious too.


deedee January 24, 2013 at 6:41 am

Hi, chanced upon this when I was looking for tofu steak recipe. Love your blog, adding it to my blogroll! =)


Cal M. November 16, 2013 at 9:11 pm

I tried your tofu steak recipe and was pleasantly surprised as was my family. A GREAT protein alternative to meat. I served mine with wild rice, grilled asparagus, and a tomato / avocado salad. I received rave reviews, but needed to confess that I stole the tofu recipe from La Fuji Mama prompted by a five-star recommendation from Fuji Mama’s sidekick, Squirrel.


Rebecca February 9, 2015 at 3:56 am

I can’t wait to try this recipe. Also that plate is STUNNING!


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