Blackened Tofu Steaks

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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.

Blackened tofu steaks on a plate with rice and asparagus.

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.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • The flavour of the toasted spices is incredible!
  • It’s super simple to make, even if you’re new to cooking tofu.
  • You can use whatever mixture of spices you choose.
  • It can be served with all kinds of different side dishes, so it’s really versatile.
  • It’s totally vegan.

🥗 Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

Ingredients for blackened tofu steaks with text overlay.

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.

Becca’s 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.

📋 Instructions

Here’s how to make these tofu steaks – see below for the printable recipe with detailed ingredients and instructions.

A block of tofu cut into 'steaks' on a board.

Step 1: Cut the block of tofu into 4 ‘steaks’.

Becca’s 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.

Tofu steaks being marinated in soy sauce.

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.

A mixture of spices on a plate.

Step 3: Mix up the spices.

A tofu 'steak' being coated in spices.

Step 4: Coat the marinated tofu steaks in the spice mixture on both sides.

Collage showing blackened tofu steaks cooking in a frying pan.

Step 5: Sauté the tofu steaks until they are crispy and blackened from the toasted spices.

💭 Tofu Steak FAQs

Can I use silken tofu?

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.

Do tofu steaks taste like meat steak?

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.

What should I serve tofu steaks with?

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.

Can I prepare these in advance?

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.

A blackened tofu steak being cut open, served with rice.
Blackened tofu steaks being cut open.

Blackened Tofu Steaks

These blackened tofu steaks are marinated and coated in an aromatic blend of spices, then cooked until they become rich and smoky.

If you’ve cooked this recipe, don’t forget to leave a star rating!

5 from 11 votes
Print Pin Comment
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 404kcal
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

  • 400 g (~ 14 oz) firm or extra firm tofu
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp oil

Instructions

  • 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.

Notes

If you’d like to prepare these vegan steaks in advance, just marinate the tofu and coat it in the spices, then store it in the fridge for a day or so, and cook just before serving.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Blackened Tofu Steaks
Amount Per Serving (2 steaks)
Calories 404 Calories from Fat 239
% Daily Value*
Fat 26.6g41%
Saturated Fat 3.2g16%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 1860mg78%
Potassium 135mg4%
Carbohydrates 5.8g2%
Fiber 2.1g8%
Sugar 0.8g1%
Protein 33g66%
Calcium 437mg44%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on your exact ingredients. Please calculate your own nutritional values if you require accuracy for health reasons.

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20 Comments

  1. This is the best home cooking tofu recipe I have tried. I find that the crispy seasonings remain stuck to the pan. I scoop it up and press into the top of the “steaks.” You don’t want to waste that intensely good flavour :)5 stars

    1. Do you mean grilled like on a BBQ? Or under a grill/broiler? Either way I think it’s worth a try, I’d probably try to use a medium heat though, so they have a chance to get hot in the middle before the spices burn completely.