Chicken Tofu Steak 豆腐ハンバーグ

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Chicken & Tofu Hamburger Steak II

Here is a very quick and healthy chicken tofu steak which we use ground chicken and tofu to make the patties.  In Japan this dish is called Tofu Hambagu, however my husband pointed out that people may misunderstand it as “vegetarian” dish, so I changed the name since it contains ground chicken.  If you are not a big tofu fan, you might be surprised that you won’t probably noticed the use of tofu here.  It’s healthier and much more economical than just chicken only.

Despite being a low calorie healthy dish, the meat patties are juicy and have great flavor.  Pour soy sauce base glaze on top right before you serve.  I served the chicken burger steak with salad, rice, and miso soup  – very light and healthy dinner.

Last but not least, I want to thank Alyssa of Mom De Cuisine for passing me the blog award!  Thank you Alyssa!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Chicken & Tofu Hamburger Steak | Easy Japanese Recipes at


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Chicken & Tofu Burger Steak
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-4
  • 5 oz (142 g, about ⅔ package) regular tofu (not silken)
  • ¾ lb ground chicken thigh
  • 3 green onions
  • 3 Shiitake mushrooms, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 10 Shiso leaves, chiffonaded
  • 1 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. sake
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • ½ tsp. soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. Konbucha (or substitute with ¼ tsp. salt)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Sauce Seasonings
  • 3 Tbsp. water
  • 2 Tbsp. sake
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. mirin
  • ¼ tsp. Konbucha (or substitute with ⅛ tsp. salt)
  1. Drain the tofu for 15 minutes like below. We just need ⅔ of tofu so keep the ⅓ in an air tight container filled with water. It can be kept in the fridge for a few days or you can use the remaining tofu to make tofu miso soup.
  2. Meanwhile, cut Negi, Shiitake mushrooms, and ginger and put them in a large bowl. Add tofu and egg yolk and mix all together using hands. Add Seasonings and continue to mix with hands.
  3. Pinch off 2 inch from the mixture and make meatballs. Toss each ball from one hand to the other hand repeatedly about 5 times in order to release the from air inside the balls. Burger steaks will crack while cooking if the air inside is not released. Then make oval shape patties (see a picture below). The top shouldn’t be completely flat (a bit more round). The tofu will release water if you wait, so start cooking the patties soon.
  4. In a non-stick frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Put the patties on one by one. Cook the patties for about 5 minutes on one side. Do not turn over until browned. After you turn over, lower heat to medium low and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat the process for the 2nd batch if you couldn’t fit all the meat patties in the frying pan. After you are done with cooking the patties, go to the next step.
    Chicken & Tofu Hamburger Steak 4
  5. In a smaller frying pan, bring Sauce Seasonings to a boil. Then stir in corn starch mix. Make sure corn starch mix is dissolved completely. When the sauce gets thicken, pour the sauce over the steak.
  6. Garnish with shiso leaves.


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  1. Nami, your chicken hamburgers will be another dish I’m going to test very soon! They look so delicious and guiltless, I want them now! Maybe you should send me you weekly shopping list so that I a prepared to make your beautiful dish as soon as I see it 😉
    Adding tofu to ground meat is something I do very often: it always makes the patties/balls softer (especially when made with very lean meat). The presence of shiitake is very surprising. I can imagine how interesting and complex they must make these patties. Changing the name was a wise and creative decision!

  2. I have the world’s BIGGEST tofu fan and would eat it without being asked :) Why don’t more people use it? Especially in burgers, yum! (or in ma pao tofu, yum!!) Great burger too, much different to the American ones despite it still being called a ‘burger’!

  3. These look beautiful and I love the look of that glaze, I could put that on anything. I like the idea of adding the tofu to the chicken. As usual very nice photos.

  4. Chicken and tofu, two of my favorite things in the world to eat! I saw the photo and thought the sauce on top was ponzu, my mouth started to water right away… You know I have been making a lazy person’s sandwich by using 2 slices of toasts, a few slices of turkey, mayo, ponzu sauce and fried onions. So yum!

  5. Way healthier than beef, and I love a good chicken burger. I’m sending this recipe to a couple of my children that I know will love this too. Thanks a bunch Nami!

  6. This looks AMAZING! I’ve mixed tofu with ground pork and hubby had NO idea. Believe it or not, he’s actually requested that I made a tofu dish for him….go figure!

  7. I love tofu all the time combined with chicken in soups & salads.You idea of making patties out of them is superb & healthy Nami. And what a beautifully arranged plate my friend!My husband LOVES ground chicken ..he is into kebabs all the time, these patties with tofu will please him certainly. Tofu will make these super moist and creamy..I m making this soon for him..thanks for sharing!

  8. What a great coincidence! I’ve just made a tofu dish as well!
    You know I love tofu and we always eat them fried crispy. I like the idea of adding them to the meat to make patties.
    Your chopstick holders are cute!

  9. These look so good, Nami! I make Hamburg Steak w/tofu, but never thought about using it with ground chicken! What a great idea!! I like that you add the shiitake mushrooms to add extra meatiness. You always make the best stuff :) Again, your photos are beautiful, I love the colors!!

  10. Mika

    I’ve never tried this dish before, but sounds like very good. Maybe I should give this recipe to Douglas with “hint hint” ; )

  11. I would have never thought of that! I am sure that the hamburger steak is more tender and juicy combined with the tofu and yes, it really is more economical. I am especially intrigued with the seasoning as it is so new to me to flavour meatballs that way.
    The shiso makes it look extra fresh. This is the first year that I grow shiso in a pot and mine looks very different. It’s purple and a bit prickly. Yours is prettier. 😉

  12. Healthy and delicious looks like an impossible combination but you made it possible through this post. I know of a similar recipe which is called Mushroom burger,usually its made out of entirely mushrooms but being me I added a small amount of beef on it, it will be posted soon.

  13. Mmmmm yummmm! I love chicken burgers, but these sound even better! They look so moist and I love that dressing! Very healthy (yet delicious) dinner!! Bookmarked!

  14. These look so good and I know I’d love these for dinner with all of those delicious flavors! I like that it combines tofu and chicken and that sauce on top is just perfect. I must try!!

  15. I can honestly say I have never tried tofu in my life. Maybe because it has such a negative image? However, if there was a recipe I would try it in, I think it may be this one!

  16. Chicken tofu burger steak must be very soft and tender! Will try this when free. Now won’t be cooking that often, busying with all the cleaning up, moving things and unpacking (hate all these!). We only move in when everything’s done. 😉
    Have a great day! :)

  17. Michelle

    Hi Nami,
    Love the look of your dish! I love to mix tofu in my meat patties as it gives texture n moistens. Hey, your salad looks so great! Can you pls share your secret? Michelle

    • Hi Michelle! I think this salad was Trader Joe’s Herb Salad Mix. In case you don’t live in the US, Trader Joe’s is a grocery store that I often go to. After I took this picture, I sort of regret that I didn’t pour any dressing on it. My kids have their favorite dressing so I usually don’t add dressing when I serve. :-)

      • Michelle

        Thanks, Nami. I’m from Singapore and I find it hard to present my salad in such pretty manner. Congratulations on your award! Michelle

  18. Nami! This looks delicious. I’ll have to try this with the boys this weekend. They’re going to love it. I’m so glad you came by my site so I could come visit you here. I know I’m going to love all your stuff! I’ll let you know how I do with your eggplant/ponzu recipe. It’s on the menu for next week!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What’s For Dinner

  19. What a gorgeous meal! That sauce looks out of this world. I’m not a huge tofu fan, but if it’s mixed with chicken I think there’s a much better chance of me liking it!

  20. Delicious looking meal! I bought 3 boxes of firm tofu from costco. I generally breakfast scramble and I don’t like stir fried tofu. I think I will use the remaining to make your burgers. Oh nami, they look so gorgeous. The entire plate is inviting,loving the fresh salad too!

  21. These look really delicious and healthy! I must say I have not bought ready made burger patties since I started learning how to cook because making your own is not difficult and you know exactly what is in the burger patties!

  22. Wow! I have never been a fan of tofu, but I have never thought to mix it with another protein. This recipe sounds great and like a great opportunity for my to test out tofu in my house again!

  23. HI Nami! Phew, finally got in – it must have been my IE 😀

    Anyway I love Japanese style burgers and yours look delicious! You know, I have not made homemade burger patties for such a long time!

  24. Love chicken and tofu burgers. Your pictures make it look very filling and delicious, with lots of nutritious ingredients. Love it! Sure to be a hit with the whole family too, since kids love burgers!

  25. How did I miss this awesome recipe? I LOVE it! I have to try swapping out breadcrumbs and parmesan for tofu, it seems like the perfect way of getting a juicy burger, without the added calories!

  26. akiko

    konichiwa! i just recently discovered your site and was intrigued by this recipe… combining ground chicken and tofu was a great idea…tried it out last night with my own little twists and they turned out so tender and light….i’ll be making this again, for sure. by the way, i think a really great alternative to konbucha, is powdered dashi–i even managed to find a brand that didn’t contain any msg. anyways, arigato for the inspiration!

    • Hi Akiko-san! Thank you for trying this recipe! Substitute of MSG-free dashi powder is a great idea! I’m glad you found MSG-free dashi powder. I can find it but I heard it’s not available everywhere yet. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe. Thank you for trying! :-)

  27. Andi Lo

    Hi Nami, I’m a new fan of yours :) I just cooked this this morning and my wife and toddler really enjoyed it! I think it speaks alot to your taste in ingredients that I actually made several mistakes in preparing it, but it still turns out delicious anyway. Thank you for this great website!

    Also I can’t believe no one mentioned that they have kung fu panda tofu at your area… that’s impressive

    • Hi Andi! Thank you so much for trying this recipe and writing your feedback! I’m glad to hear your family enjoyed it.

      Ha! Kung Fu Panda tofu! Yeah it’s the promotional one for the movie I think. That was the only kind available during that time. Today I get the same brand of tofu and it has now The Croods. I don’t even know what it is, but I think it’s a new kids movie. I tried to get one without, but expiration was too close. 😉

  28. Paw

    Hey! I’ve just finished making this dish! PERRRFECT!! I hate regular tofu, but you know? I don’t mind it at all here! a little bit variation that I made : I added a little bit more sugar, and omit all the sake and mirin (I don’t have it here in Indonesia :(), and substitute it with salty soy sauce and pepper, and a little bit of worchestire sauce. oh, and I don’t use a different pan, I use the pan that still have the used-oil-and-goodness from the hambaagu. it tastes just like steak sauce, so yummy!!! Thank you very much for this idea, I love it I love it I love it!!!

    • Hi Paw! Thank you so much for trying this recipe! I’m so happy that you could still make this dish with a great substitution option. Thank you so much for writing your feedback. I really appreciate it! :)

  29. Jik

    Hi Nami, I’ve just found out your blog a few days ago and I already tried one recipe(honey soy sauce chicken). It was awesome! and i think i want to try a lot more. but i have some questions for you. Since I live in SF too, just wondering where can you get Shiso leaves and ground chicken in the city? I didn’t try to look for Shiso yet but i can’t find ground chicken anywhere. Another question is can i use the zaru soba dipping sauce for tempura dipping sauce or tempura dipping sauce for zaru soba dipping sauce? becauce the japanese restaurant i work at, they use the same sauce for zaru and tempura. Anyway, thanks for all delicious recipes. I’m your big fan now :)..

    • Hi Jik! I’m glad you liked the honey soy sauce chicken recipe! :) You can get shiso leaves in any Japanese market. In SF, Nijiya in Japan town sells shiso leaves. I also heard that Korean supermarkets sell shiso too. In Japanese market, I think it’s around $1.20 for 10 shiso leaves.

      About zaru soba dipping sauce and tempura sauce, you can use the same sauce, but usually dipping sauce is stronger and tempura sauce is more diluted. Warm noodle soup is more diluted than dipping sauce, and noodle soup is close to tempura dipping sauce.

      If you buy a pre-made Mentsuyu (noodle soup base) bottle, usually it says the ratio for zaru soba dipping sauce, noodle soup, tempura dipping sauce, etc. I usually make tempura sauce and mentsuyu separately. Mentsuyu recipe coming up (hopefully this month), but tempura dipping sauce is here:

      Hope that helps! :)

  30. Jackie

    Hi Nami, i tried out this dish tonight as i am on a diet program so trying all your healthy dish.

    I followed your ingredients as per stated above, i do not have Konbucha so i substituted it with salt instead in both the Seasoning & the Sauce.

    However, both the meat and sauce turned out to be on the salty side. Is this dish suppose to be relatively salty in taste? Or should i add in some sugar or mirin at some point?

    • Hi Jackie! Thank you so much for your feedback. After I read your message, I rechecked my original recipe. Mirin should be included in the sauce because I usually make this sauce with sake + soy sauce + mirin/sugar (each recipe I change the portion around but these three is usually the key). I’m so sorry you had to try the sauce without sweetness. I apologize for my mistake and I’ll be more careful when I type the recipe.

      Again, thank you so much for notifying me and I’m so sorry about the salty sauce!

  31. Darlene

    Hi Nami,
    This is a great and healthy alternative to beef burgers. I really love that the chicken and tofu burger is so light and fluffy. They even heat well and taste even better the next day. Thanks.