From the savory teriyaki tofu to the boldly flavored mapo tofu, here are our absolute best tofu recipes that you’ll enjoy to its full potential.
It’s a well-known fact that tofu is an indispensable ingredient in East Asian cooking. There are so many reasons why we can’t live without it. You can pan-fry, stir-fry, grill, or deep-fry tofu, or add it in soups and stews, or just enjoy tofu straight out of the box.
In this best tofu recipes roundup, we’ll discover its versatility and virtues, and how to cook tofu with different methods. We included plenty of vegan and vegetarian options, so we hope you’ll enjoy it!
Best Tofu Recipes That Everyone Will Love
Crispy tofu served in a flavorful umami sauce, agedashi tofu is a very popular appetizer you can find at izakaya and Japanese restaurants. It requires deep-frying, but the process is easier than you think. This recipe is guaranteed to convert any tofu haters.
This is one tofu recipe to add to your weeknight dinner rotation! Here we have pan-fried tofu cubes glazed in the beloved teriyaki sauce and served over steamed rice with simple veggies like broccoli. I recommend using medium-firm tofu over extra-firm tofu to achieve both crispy outer shells and tender, creamy bites inside.
This teriyaki tofu is sliced into thin pieces, instead of cubed like the ones above. It works great as an appetizer, side dish, or as a main dish. I topped the golden-brown tofu with bonito flakes, chopped green onion, and pickled red ginger for texture and extra umami. But you can leave out the bonito flakes for a vegan option.
4. Mapo Tofu
This Japanese mapo tofu is less spicy than the Sichuan counterpart but no lack of flavors—thanks to the umami-rich ingredients such as doubanjiang (chili bean paste), miso, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. We love serving it in donburi-style aka ‘one-bowl meal’ for easy cleanup. Everything is ready in 30 minutes!
5. Tofu Pizza
Yes, you can turn tofu into pizza! This recipe uses crispy pan-fried tofu as the base crust and then topped with melted mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, tomato slices and basil leaves.
Known as hiyayakko, this Japanese chilled tofu highlights the smooth and silky texture of tofu and its ability to pair with just about anything. Switch up the toppings to keep things interesting.
With pan-fried tofu, vibrant vegetables, and brown rice, this vegan poke bowl makes the perfect midweek meal. It’s wholesome, delicious, and super easy to make. The sauce lends a refreshing savory flavor.
A classic Japanese salad made of creamy mashed tofu, green beans, nutty sesame seeds, and savory miso. Feel free to switch out the green beans and use any seasonal greens you have on hand.
Hot tofu, or yudofu (湯豆腐) spotlights the beauty of tofu. You’ll need only minimal ingredients to make a beautiful rustic dish that can lift your mood instantaneously. If you like, bulk it up with vegetables, mushrooms, or other fun ingredients.
This spicy Korean stew features pork belly, tofu, and traditional Korean fermented napa cabbage and a delicate anchovy broth. You’re going to enjoy the sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors.
This is the salad for long, summer days. Piled high with leafy greens, sweet corn, wakame seaweed, shiso, and tofu, it goes well with many Asian dishes but filling enough on its own. You’ll love the tangy ponzu sauce too. So make a big batch!
Featuring protein-rich tofu and seasonal greens, this simple miso pasta makes a satisfying plant-based dinner. Soy milk lends an unexpected sweetness and creaminess to the dish.
Have some leftover soft tofu that needs using up? Whip up a quick bowl of miso soup that can warm you right up. Try this Tomato and Tofu Miso Soup or make the classic version with tofu and wakame. It’s great as a light lunch, afternoon power snack, or a side for dinner.
Blend up silken tofu with honey and soy milk for an extremely classy dessert. To finish off, dress it with a sweet-tart strawberry sauce!
Tofu is the secret ingredient for the fluffy and soft texture of these meatballs. Best of all: It takes only 30 minutes to prepare.
14. Egg Tofu
Velvety tofu made with eggs and dashi. The savory custard egg mixture is steamed, chilled, then served with savory broth. Enjoy the refreshing flavors while it melts away in your mouth.
While this soup delivers its flavors from the use of root vegetables, shiitake mushrooms, and kombu stock, tofu plays the mainstay of protein and texture. This is a winner if you’re looking for a simple, meatless meal on a cold night.
There’s nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of Vegetarian Udon Noodle Soup! Made with vegan dashi broth and topped with minced mushroom, tofu, crispy fried eggplant, and bok choy, this is going to be your favorite thing to eat all year round.
Don’t forget to include a protein when you make vegetarian sushi! Tofu cutlet is an excellent choice for sushi filling as it has a firm texture and mild, savory flavor.
Have you tried any of the tofu recipes above? Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments below!