Tofu is a huge component of many Asian dishes, so it’s no surprise that these Japanese tofu recipes are to die for.
Better yet, they’re easy, healthy, and loaded with incredible flavor.
Tofu is a wonderfully versatile ingredient. The neutral taste lends itself to an array of applications as it soaks up all the flavors you pair with it.
You’ll find plenty of easy vegetarian Japanese dishes here, like teriyaki tofu, and authentic meals like agedashi too.
Whether you’re craving umami soup or scrumptious sushi, the Japanese tofu recipes here will entice meat-eaters and vegans alike.
Japanese Tofu Dinners We Can’t Get Enough Of
1. Teriyaki Tofu
Teriyaki tofu is an excellent introductory recipe into the wonderful world of Japanese tofu dishes. Despite the seemingly long list of ingredients, beginners will find this one easy to make.
Cornstarch gives the tofu a gorgeous crunchy texture. You can enhance this crispiness by removing as much excess water from the tofu as possible.
It’s also important that you use both light and dark soy sauce when making the teriyaki.
Dark soy sauce adds a sweeter flavor and a thicker texture whereas light soy sauce is thinner and saltier.
2. Agedashi Tofu
Agedashi is a very popular appetizer in Japan. It involves lightly coating tofu with potato starch then frying it in oil.
The contrast of the crunchy exterior and melt-in-your-mouth interior is a divine experience. It’s such a scrumptious and simple tofu recipe you’ll want to make again and again.
However, silken tofu can be a touch tricky to work with given its super soft texture. So, if this is your first time, you may want to start with medium-firm tofu.
Tsuyu is customary for serving, which is a sauce consisting of mirin, soy, and dashi.
3. 15-Minute Miso Soup with Greens and Tofu
The combination of cold weather and stress can take a toll on the immune system. My remedy for this situation is this 15-minute miso soup.
It’s a revitalizing brothy soup with a clean umami flavor. The chard and nori fill it with nourishing nutrients and firm tofu gives it little bursts of protein.
Unlike other Japanese recipes, this soup keeps seasoning simple with a few tablespoons of miso paste.
This is a type of fermented soybean that is jam-packed with minerals and a delightfully savory punch.
4. Japanese Hamburg Steak
Hamburg steak is sort of like a version of Japanese meatloaf. You form one inch patties out of ground beef and tofu, then fry and steam.
Frying is important as it browns the outside while steaming ensures everything is fully cooked.
Like the steak patties, the sauce for this is a lovely fusion of American and Japanese cuisine. It calls for ketchup as well as oyster sauce, chunou, and red wine.
I like to eat this with a bed of white rice. For a Western take, you could serve it up with mashed potatoes or as a burger.
5. Goya Champuru
Goya champuru is an Okinawan savory stir-fry that is a melody of balanced flavors. While I’ve had my fair share of stir-frys, I’ve never had anything quite like this.
The merging of bitter melon, juicy pork belly, and medium tofu is an out-of-this-world experience.
Bitter melon may be hard to find at a regular store, so your best bet is to shop at your local Asian market. Also, you’ll want to remove the seeds and white inside before cooking.
6. Easy Vegan Sushi
Ask me if I want sushi and I’ll never say no. However, I know not everyone is keen on the thought of eating raw fish, which is why this recipe is perfect.
It’s super beginner-friendly and strictly plant-based. The fillings are also highly adaptable to what you have on hand.
My favorite combination, though, is how this recipe does it. The inside is stuffed with crispy tofu, avocado, carrots, and cucumber.
These sushi rolls make for fun dinner party recipes too. So invite some good company, grab a bottle of sake, and have a ball!
7. Mapo Tofu
Mapo tofu is one of those comforting winter vegetarian recipes I love to save for chilly days.
Originally Chinese, this Japanese version takes silken tofu and bathes it in a savory, spicy sauce that’s thickened with bean paste.
This dish is best served over white rice so it can soak up all the goodness of the sauce. You can also add some ground meat or veggies if you want a little extra something to go with it.
For the carnivore crowd, I recommend ground pork, though it would probably also make a yummy Japanese ground beef recipe too.
If you’re vegetarian, omit the oyster sauce and try a blend of bell peppers, broccoli, and onions.
8. Tofu Yasai Don (Tofu Vegetable Rice Bowl)
You can never go wrong with a big steaming bowl of rice, tofu, and veggies. They make up a flawless fusion of plant-based ingredients that you can doctor up in endless ways.
Yasai Don, however, is a top-notch Japanese bowl that is pure perfection. Keep in mind, an impeccable bowl like this will take some time to pull together.
You’ll have to chop a bunch of veggies like carrots, sweet potato, and burdock root. The tofu will also take over a day to prepare as you’ll need to press it as well as freeze.
9. Tofu Pizza
I think it’s safe to say that pretty much every culture loves pizza. However, the Japanese version is mind-blowing!
This remarkably unique veggie pizza substitutes traditional pizza dough for tofu. It may sound a bit weird at first, but you’ve got to give this a try.
You’ll coat a slice of tofu in potato starch and cook until you achieve a crispy golden brown exterior. It’s important to use extra-firm tofu to keep everything from falling apart.
From there, you’ll pile on toppings like tomato, marinara, and cheese. Then continue cooking until you wind up with melty cheese.
And while some may detest eating pizza with a knife and fork, I think you’re safe here.
10. Yudofu (Japanese Boiled Tofu)
While fried and baked are common ways to cook tofu, you can boil it too like yudofu.
Yudofu is perhaps the simplest way to prepare a thick slab of tofu. You’ll gently simmer it in water and top with a quick sauce.
There’s also no need to worry about squeezing out the moisture since you’re cooking this in water.
You can also add some bonito flakes for a bit more crunch. However, for those going vegan you’ll want to leave this out.
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