Our tofu steak is a meaty, blackened slab of vegan decadence marinated for hours before being grilled to absolute perfection,
This grilled tofu steak is entirely meat-free and plant-based, and it’s perfect for any vegetarians and vegans who might be craving a slab of steak. With a delicious seasoning prepared from soy sauce and vegan Worcestershire sauce, this tofu steak not only looks the part but tastes surprisingly authentic!
You’ll need extra-firm tofu, a tofu press, and, most importantly of all, plenty of time to leave your vegan steak to marinate before grilling. Keep reading, and discover how to make tofu steaks!
Tofu steak preparation tips
Our grilled tofu steak recipe is a simple process;
With strong, grilled, and smokey flavors, you’ve then got yourself delicious marinated tofu steaks.
With a few extra tricks, though, you can really amp up your game when it comes to grilling tofu. Check out our top tips for preparing the best tofu steaks!
You need extra-firm tofu!
The idea of tofu steaks recipes is to recreate the texture, consistency, and taste of traditional meat steaks while remaining entirely plant-based. To achieve this, you have to remember to use extra-firm tofu.
Extra-firm tofu is tougher, chewier, and ‘meatier’ than soft or silken tofu. As you’re subjecting the tofu to high heat when grilling, you need this more uncompromising consistency to avoid the tofu falling apart and turning to mush.
In this tofu recipe, you can get away with using firm tofu but stick to extra-firm tofu if you can find it in your local store. The tofu is the essential part of this plant-based recipe, so make sure you pick up the right block of tofu!
Don’t forget to press your tofu
All tofu, whether it’s soft, silken, or extra-firm, has high water content. This high water content is needed to keep the tofu from drying out before cooking with it. However, for this recipe, we need to make sure that we’ve removed as much of this water as we possibly can.
Watery tofu tastes incredibly bland, and a high water content leaves little room for absorbing the extra flavors of the marinade (which is how we get our steak-like taste!) We can remove this excess liquid by pressing our tofu, leaving the drained block better able to absorb that tasty marinade.
As we noted already, the best way to press tofu is by using a tofu press. Simply place your block of tofu inside the press, then leave it to drain for the next 20 minutes. If you don’t have a tofu press, recreate this process using heavy kitchen objects, such as a chopping board or a large cast-iron skillet. While these options may not be as efficient as a tofu press, it will still get the job done!
Marinate the tofu for as long you can
Without being pressed and marinated, the extra-firm tofu will have a mild, neutral, and a rather overall bland flavor. Tofu works well as a meat substitute precisely because it has little starting flavor and can then absorb other flavors, spices, and seasonings. To do this effectively, though, you need to give your tofu steaks ample time to marinate.
We’re commonly asked how long to marinate tofu. We suggest marinating your tofu steaks for a minimum of 4 hours, but you can leave them for much longer than this. For the best results, with the most profound flavors, you can leave your tofu steaks in the fridge overnight.
Don’t be sparing on the flavors
The key to the meaty, almost barbecue-like taste of our tofu steaks is the deep flavors of the marinade. For the best tofu steaks, don’t be scared to add more marinade and more spices or sauces to the recipe.
Add more soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce for added taste, or throw in a few extra spices, such as paprika or more cayenne pepper, for a smokier finish.
Why not add breadcrumbs to the recipe?
As well as cooking up a more traditional style steak, you can also add a breadcrumb coating to the recipe for an extra layer of taste and texture. Simply mix up a batch of panko breadcrumbs and coat your tofu steaks with them after you’ve given them a marinade in the sauce.
Be careful when grilling, as the breadcrumbs can fall apart, but with a dash of oil, they can produce a super crispy finish to the tofu steak. Breaded tofu steaks can add a new dimension to the recipe that gives you more options for different dinners throughout the week.
Tofu steak recipe FAQs
Do I need to grill inside or outside?
Grilling tofu steaks is the perfect way to get that charred, blackened look or those authentically delicious scorch marks on the outside. You can, however, grill your tofu steaks either inside or outside.
Grilling outside on a barbecue adds to the smoky, meaty flavor of the tofu steaks. If you can use coals, then you’ll add an extra layer of flavor to the tofu, too. You can achieve tasty results inside, using a grill plate or the grill in your oven, but you’ll lack that extra smoky element.
Can you bake tofu steaks instead of grilling?
You can cook up tofu in a fantastic variety of ways, so even if you don’t have a grill at home, you can still enjoy our delicious vegan recipe. A great alternative to grilling these tofu steaks is baking them in the oven.
Simply preheat your oven to 400° F before baking your tofu steaks for 20 minutes. Add extra marinade halfway through, and remember to flip them over a few times so they cook evenly. You can add a little oil if you want to lightly crisp the outside of the tofu steak.
You can also pan-fry your tofu steak in a skillet, but you’ll need to use a lot more oil than baking or grilling. Pan-frying adds a lot of saturated fats to what is a remarkably healthy recipe. Cover the pan in a layer of oil, and allow the oil to heat up before placing the tofu steaks in the pan. Fry the tofu steaks over high heat until the outer edges are charred and cooked through to the center.
Can I store cooked tofu steak for later?
Tofu steak will keep for at least 2 days after grilling, as long as you store it in a resealable container in the refrigerator.
When you’re ready to reheat the tofu steaks, do so by once again grilling the steaks or by oven baking the steaks for a few minutes.
Typically tofu does not freeze well. We don’t suggest freezing tofu steaks ahead of time for shorter prep time as the thawing process usually leaves the tofu mushy instead of firm.
Mushy steak just doesn’t stir my appetite!
What other marinades can I try?
Replicate a hearty beef flavor by experimenting with other marinades! Creativity is necessary when learning how to make tofu taste like beef.
A classic marinade is BBQ sauce, which, when applied liberally, provides a thick, meaty outer layer to the tofu. You can also try a smoky paprika coating or even a Jamaican-style Jerk seasoning.
What pairs well with tofu steaks?
Just like with a regular full-fledged meat steak, the sky is the limit when it comes to preparing side dishes! A simple garden salad will add a light and refreshing element to this meal. Roasted potatoes or grilled veggies are great options as well.
If you’re already firing the grill up, throw some potatoes in a tin foil bag with seasonings and butter and let them cook while you grill the steaks.
Why not try our marinated tofu steak recipe?
If you’re looking for a vegan steak that tastes like meat, then you're going to love our tofu steak recipe. Bake it, grill it, or fry it, but the secret lies in preparing a thick and flavorful marinade before you start cooking!
Get creative with various blends of spice and sauce mixtures, and be amazed at how tasty your tofu steak can become!
Why not save our marinated tofu steak recipe for your next barbecue?
Tofu Steak: Meaty, Marinated, Vegan Steak Recipe
14 oz of extra-firm tofu
2 Tbsp of olive oil
¼ c of soy sauce
2 Tbsp of vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp of maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp of rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
Cayenne pepper for spice (optional!)
First, thoroughly press and drain the excess liquid from your block of extra-firm tofu. Leave your tofu to press and drain for at least 20 minutes.
Once pressed, slice your tofu into 3 evenly sized pieces, each about 1-inch in thickness. Cut these 1-inch thick pieces in half, so you have 6 thick cuts of tofu.
Next, pour all of your spices and ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and whisk them together until well combined.
Place your tofu cuts into the bowl, and cover them evenly in the marinade.
Cover the bowl and leave your tofu steak marinade in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours before you start grilling.
Once marinated, cook your steaks for 8 min on each side.
Brush on any extra tofu marinade you have left throughout the cooking process. When the tofu is starting to blacken on the outside, it’s ready to serve.
Serve hot with sides of your choice!