If you've ever thought that tofu lacks flavour, you need to try these blackened tofu steaks. They're marinated and coated in an aromatic blend of spices, then cooked until they become rich and smoky.
The toasted spices bring so much flavour to the tofu, and turn a simple tofu steak into a perfect focal point for all sorts of meals.
This is such a simple way to cook tofu, but it's so effective. The flavour from the smoky spices infuses right through the steak, and makes every bite tasty. The middle remains soft, but the coating becomes rich and crispy.
If you're a hesitant cook, take comfort from the fact that not only are you allowed to burn this dish - it's actively encouraged! Not so much that all you can taste is carbon, but just enough that you get a lovely crumbly blackened crust that packs so much smoky flavour and really brings a boring slab of tofu to life.
I served my tofu steaks with asparagus and rice, but really these vegan steaks would be great with all sorts of side dishes - crispy jacket potatoes, couscous, cauliflower mash... it's one of those recipes that can be repurposed in all sorts of ways.[feast_advanced_jump_to]
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe:
A few ingredient notes:
- tofu. You must use firm or extra firm tofu to make these tofu steaks. Silken tofu will not work.
- soy sauce. I used dark soy sauce for an intense flavour.
- spices - black pepper, smoked paprika, chilli powder, garlic granules, and dried thyme.
See the printable recipe card below for detailed ingredient quantities.
👌 Top tip
Feel free to use a different combination of spices, if you like. Why not go for an Indian vibe with garam masala or curry powder, or go for a simple garlic and herb mixture.
Here's how to make these tofu steaks - see below for the printable recipe with detailed ingredients and instructions.
Step 1: Cut the block of tofu into 4 'steaks'.
👌 Top tip
You can press your tofu using a tofu press, if you have one - here's one with great reviews on Amazon US / Amazon UK. This helps to remove any water from inside the tofu, making it feel firmer, and allowing it to soak up more of the marinade.
If you don't have a tofu press, you can sandwich the slices of tofu between some clean tea towels or kitchen paper, and press it down firmly a few times to remove the liquid.
Step 2: Marinate the tofu on both sides in soy sauce. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes to give it some time to soak in.
Step 3: Mix up the spices.
Step 4: Coat the marinated tofu steaks in the spice mixture on both sides.
Step 5: Sauté the tofu steaks until they are crispy and blackened from the toasted spices.
💭 Tofu Steak FAQs
No, silken tofu will not work for this recipe. In order to get the 'steak' shape, you need to use firm or extra firm tofu.
No. This recipe is not designed to imitate meat in any way, and although I've never eaten a meat-based steak, I feel pretty confident in saying that they're not particularly similar. These tofu steaks are a thing unto themselves, and they are delicious.
Vegan steaks can be served in all sorts of ways. For example: with a baked potato and some asparagus; with rice and stir fried vegetables; with pasta in creamy sauce, etc.
Yes! Marinades only get better the longer you leave them, so you could definitely prepare these tofu steaks in advance. I would probably add the soy sauce and spices, and then leave the coated tofu in the fridge for up to a day, until you're ready to cook. Then just fry off the steaks before serving.
📖 Printable Recipe
Blackened Tofu Steaks
- 400 g (~ 14 oz) firm or extra firm tofu
- 4 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic granules
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon oil
- Cut the tofu into 4 'steak' shapes. Use a clean tea towel or some kitchen paper to squeeze as much liquid out of each piece of tofu as you can (or you can use a tofu press, if you have one).
- Place the tofu pieces in a dish, and drizzle with half of the soy sauce. After a couple of minutes, turn the pieces over, and drizzle the remaining soy sauce on the other side. Leave to marinate for a few minutes.
- Mix all of the spices thoroughly on a small plate.
- When the tofu has marinated for a few minutes, press each piece into the spice mixture, on both sides.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, and add the coated tofu steaks. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes or so on each side, until the spices are a deep brown colour and the tofu is beginning to crisp up. Best served immediately.