Tofu Steak

Tofu steak is a great meal when you are craving a protein but are not in the mood for meat.  We love tofu steak at my house because it’s such a versatile dish – you can cook it with butter and salt or top it with just about any veggie or sauce that you want.  Whether you are looking for a healthy meal or want to try a new culinary experience, Tofu Steak will fit the bill.

Tofu steak makes an amazing meal when you want a healthy, protein rich meal.

In Japan, soybeans are an essential part of the diet, and they are consumed in various forms. One of the most beloved ways to enjoy soy is through the consumption of tofu. Tofu comes in numerous styles and shapes, offering versatility in its preparation. It can be molded, pressed, and consumed either raw or cooked through methods such as frying, baking, grilling, or broiling.

One of the delightful tofu dishes that I personally enjoy is tofu steak. The beauty of tofu lies in its ability to absorb the flavors of accompanying ingredients. Hence, when preparing tofu steak, I prefer to cook the tofu in a simple manner and then enhance its taste and texture by adding toppings that provide a unique twist.

For this particular recipe, we will be using grated Japanese mountain yam (yamaimo), soy sauce, and bonito flakes (katsuobushi) as toppings for the tofu. However, feel free to experiment and use a wide range of other toppings according to your preference. You can explore options such as miso, chopped cooked vegetables, or even pasta sauce to add your personal touch to the dish.

Tofu steak is a nutritious and delicious option that allows you to savor the goodness of soy while indulging in a satisfying meal. Its versatility in terms of flavor pairing makes it an ideal choice for individuals seeking diversity in their culinary experiences. Whether you prefer a traditional Japanese twist or a fusion of flavors, tofu steak can be customized to suit your taste buds.

This is a popular dish in Japan, showcasing the versatility of tofu as a staple ingredient. By experimenting with different toppings, you can create a unique culinary experience tailored to your preferences. So why not give it a try and discover the delightful world of tofu steak? Your taste buds will thank you!


Tofu Steak topped with yamaimo, katsuobushi and soy sauce.

Tofu Steak

When preparing tofu steak it’s important to remember that tofu is very soft and you have to handle it with extreme care.  Turn it or touch it as infrequently as possible during cooking and be sure if you are using spatulas, tongs or other cooking utensils to use a light touch.

One of the most important steps when cooking tofu is to use some weight to press out the extra water.  Use firm or extra firm tofu for this recipe because there is less water trapped in it than in soft tofu.

20 minutes 6 minutes Serves 3
PREP 20 minutes
COOKING 6 minutes
YIELD Serves 3


  • 3/4 lb (350g) block of firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil
  • 2 tsps soy sauce
  • A 3-inch long slice of yamaimo (Japanese yam)
  • 1/4 cup katsuobushi (bonito flakes)


  • Peel and grate the Yamaimo.

  • Slice the tofu into 3 even steaks.  Handle carefully so as to not break it.  Lay out on an absorbent paper towel.

  • Place another towel on top of the tofu.

  • Place a dish on top of the tofu.  Put some additional weight on the dish.  Allow the tofu to sit for at least 15 minutes.

  • Remove the weight.  Coat the tofu with flour.

  • Fry the tofu in the oil over medium high heat for 3 minutes on each side.

  • Drain the tofu on an absorbent paper towel or a rack.

  • Serve.

  • Top with soy sauce, yamaimo, and bonito flakes to taste.


  • Although you can add salt and pepper and cook the tofu with butter, I recommend you try it plain the first time and top it off with your favorite sauce.
  • Tofu steaks can be refrigerated after cooking and saved for 3 days.  They will become firmer in the refrigerator.
  • Japanese yam (yamaimo) and katsuobushi (bonito flakes) can be found in most Asian groceries. Try them both for an authentic Japanese taste.  You can also use shredded shiso leaves, myouga, garlic, and/or miso to top it off.
  • Skip the Bonito flakes for a 100% vegan meal.

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