A perfect tofu steak is a flavorful and satisfying dish that is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. It is seasoned with a spicy, smoked steak marinade and grilled to perfection, resulting in charcoaled stripes. The tofu steak is served with a refreshing chimichurri sauce, baked baby potatoes, and garlicky roasted asparagus, making it a perfect feast for dinner.
You might think it is not easy to enjoy tofu dishes but on the contrary. We have the most flavorful tofu marinade recipes here, and this is one of them. We are positive you will also love this harissa tofu, buffalo tofu, teriyaki tofu, or this chili miso tofu.
What to expect from this recipe?
A lot of people find it challenging to season tofu. They say it is hard because tofu tastes too bland. That is true. You need a lot of spices, seasoning, or marinade to make it tasty.
Some people don’t like this comparison, but meat and tofu are the same when it comes to seasoning. Nobody likes meat au naturel or only with salt and pepper, right? Well, not a lot of people like plain raw tofu too.
When you taste our tofu steak, you can expect to experience a combination of smoky, spicy, and savory flavors. The marinade used to season the tofu steak will give it a spicy kick. The texture of the tofu will be firm with a crispy crust.
We used our vegan cauliflower steak and our vegan Philly cheesesteak recipes as inspirations to develop spicy, smoked beefsteak-like seasoning.
First, you need to prepare the marinade for this grilled tofu steak recipe. Here is the list of ingredients we used:
- Tofu → We recommend using a firm or extra-firm tofu. If you can, try this recipe with smoked tofu. It just brings it up a notch.
- Soy sauce → We use tamari since it is also gluten-free.
- Worcestershire sauce → this brand is both vegan and gluten-free.
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Sweet smoked paprika powder
- Dried oregano
- Ground cumin
- Black pepper
- Liquid smoke (optional) → If you want to enhance the charcoaled flavor.
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Use firm tofu and press it. We used our trusted TofuBud*, but you can choose any DIY method or tofu press. For more information, tips, and steps, read our guide to pressing tofu, including an honest review of TofuBud.
- After you press the tofu, cut it in half horizontally. We used a 12-oz tofu block (approx. 340g), and that gave us two 1-inch thick slices (approx. 2 cm).
- Mix the steak marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
- Take an oven-safe shallow glass bowl and layer the tofu slices in one layer.
- Pour the marinade on them and gently mix them. We recommend using a silicone brush to cover the steak slices completely.
- Let the tofu marinate for 15 minutes.
Grilling tofu steaks
- Heat the grill pan over medium-high heat and add oil or vegan butter to grease the pan.
- Place the marinated tofu steaks on, leaving a small space between them.
- Fry both sides for approx. 2-3 minutes.
- Try freezing them – Have you heard of freezing tofu to get a chewy and firm texture? Freeze it overnight, let it thaw in the refrigerator, pat it dry with a paper towel, and use it afterward. If you prefer meatier tofu, then you should definitely try it.
- Marinate overnight – It is a relatively thin marinade, so tofu will soak up the juices nicely. The longer it sits in the marinade, the more flavors it can absorb.
- Use high heat – You need high heat to create a crispy crust. It doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through.
Several side dishes pair perfectly with these spicy tofu steaks. But in this recipe, we added some baked baby potatoes and garlicky roasted asparagus (pictured).
Other delicious combinations:
- Roasted veggies like roasted asparagus, sauteed mushrooms, sauteed carrots, roasted cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, and other leafy greens
- Roasted or fried potato, or sweet potato
- Sweet potato rice
- Potato salad
- Easy vegan coleslaw
- Wedge Salad or other fresh garden salad
- Vegan mashed potatoes
- Vegan scalloped potatoes
- Vegan risotto
- Creamy polenta
- Rice or quinoa
We really love to serve these grilled tofu steaks with chimichurri sauce, because the fresh tangy parsley sauce perfectly balances the spiciness of the tofu marinade. Other delicious sauces you can try:
- Vegan Peppercorn Sauce
- Vegan Spinach Pesto
- Vegan Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- Vegan BBQ Sauce
- Vegan Tzatziki Sauce
- Vegan Steak Sauce from Veggies Don’t Bite
- Vegan Garlic Mushroom Sauce from Veggie Rose
- Maple Dijon Tahini Sauce
- Lemon Herb Tahini Sauce
- Fridge: To prepare tofu steaks in advance, marinate them overnight and grill them the next day. This allows the flavors to penetrate the tofu fully. Once grilled, the tofu steaks can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, so you can enjoy them at your convenience.
- Reheat: We recommend reheating it in a grill pan or a simple frying pan, not in the microwave. That way it will be crispy again.
- Freezer: We do not recommend freezing tofu after it has been grilled as this will alter the texture significantly. Some people prefer to freeze tofu before using it in any recipe to mimic the texture of meat. If you are using frozen tofu to make this recipe, it will have a chewier and gummier texture and will not be similar to the texture of the steak.
Start by preheating your oven to 400 Fahrenheit (ca. 204 °C). Next, take a baking tray with a grill rack and lightly oil the grids. Place the tofu steak slices on the rack, making sure to leave some space between them. Place the tray close to the broiler and grill the tofu steaks for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
A useful tip is to use aluminum foil drip pans or grill mats. This will prevent the steaks from falling through the grates, even if there is a large space between the grids. Before grilling, lightly oil the drip pans or place the marinated tofu slices on the non-stick grill mats. Preheat your gas grill to 400 Fahrenheit (ca. 204 °C) and grill the tofu steaks for 8-10 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
More vegan tofu recipes
Looking for more tofu marinade recipes or any other ways to enjoy tofu?
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Tofu Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
- 12 oz Firm tofu
- 1 Tbsp Soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce choose gluten-free if needed
- ½ tsp Balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- 1 tsp Onion powder
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- ½ tsp Sweet smoked paprika powder
- 1 tsp Oregano dried
- ½ tsp Cumin ground
- 1 tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Black pepper
- ⅛ tsp Hot chili powder or flakes
- Liquid smoke optional
- ½ oz Parsley (fresh) finely chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Red wine vinegar
- ⅛ tsp Hot chili powder or flakes optional
Preparing the ingredients
- Use firm tofu and press it.
- Take a glass bowl and mix all ingredients with a spoon (soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, onion powder, garlic powder, sweet smoked paprika powder, dried oregano, ground cumin, salt, black pepper, chili flakes, liquid smoke).
- After you press the tofu, cut them into 1-inch thick slices (approx. 2 cm). If you use a 12-oz block (approx. 340 g), then cut it in half horizontally.
- Take a shallow bowl and layer the tofu slices in one layer.
- Pour the spicy marinade on them and gently mix them. We use a silicone brush or a spoon to cover it thoroughly.
- Let the tofu marinate for 15 minutes.
Grilling tofu steaks
- Heat the grill pan over medium-high heat and add a bit of oil or dairy-free butter. Place the tofu steak slices on it, leaving a small space between them. Grill both sides for approx. 2-3 minutes.
Making chimichurri sauce
- Wash and finely chop parsley. Then mix it with the other ingredients in a small bowl. Ready to be served!
UPDATED: This recipe was originally posted in July 2021. More tips, info, and FAQs were added, and it was republished in Jan 2023.
The best tasting tofu I have ever made! Didn’t even need the chimichurri sauce. Maybe I’ll make that next time.
sodium per serving: 1846mg. YIKES. Any suggestions on how to reduce that to about 450mg per serving??
My Pure Plants
It is calculated by a program and that is the amount needed for the marinade but I guess it cannot take into consideration how much of it is actually absorbed by the tofu slices. I am pretty sure not the total sodium amount is transferred to the tofu.