You don’t need a trip to Asia to enjoy delicious Asian tofu recipes. These easy dishes will show you ways to use tofu in Asian cooking.
From simple stir-fry to soups, and even decadent desserts, expect to find recipes with mostly Asian flavors when tofu is the main ingredient.
With the right seasonings and preparation, tofu can rival any meat dish. Its subtle flavor is so versatile that can absorb the flavors of whatever it's cooked with. That’s why it’s a favorite protein alternative for vegans, vegetarians, and even meat lovers!
Tofu comes from soybeans thus the slight soy taste. Generally, you make it by soaking soybeans in water and then grinding them into a paste. After that, you mix the paste with a coagulant for it to solidify.
But you need not make tofu from scratch for these tofu dishes. Tofu is readily available in most grocery stores. You can find them water-packed in blocks in the produce section.
Be sure to pick the right one you need because there are different types – extra-firm, firm, soft, and silken tofu to name a few. And not all tofu dishes require the same type of tofu. For instance, these silken tofu recipes use either silk or soft tofu.
For ideas on how to cook the many varieties of tofu, check out these Asian tofu recipes. You will probably need a little trip to your nearest Asian store for some of the condiments though.
Pan-frying tofu is the common way for crispy tofu, but do you know what is the BEST way? It’s through baking! The heat of the oven gives your tofu even cooking, as a result, you achieve nice golden tofu with crisp edges. With over a thousand positive comments, trying this recipe is a must.
Get the recipe for Baked Tofu
This recipe is the epitome of crispy on the outside but soft on the inside. You may think that you can only fry firm tofu, but you need to think twice. This crispy tofu uses soft tofu.
The recipe does need deep frying to achieve crispiness. A nonstick pan and just a little bit of oil are all you need. Thinly coat your sliced tofu with cornstarch and salt mixture and immediately fry it.
Get the recipe for Crispy Tofu
What makes this tofu recipe exciting is the flavorful marinade. The recipe calls for marinated extra-firm tofu in bite sizes. To marinate, you need garlic, Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, ginger, and a little bit of sugar. Expect not only crispy tofu but an explosion of sweet, salty, and spicy goodness.
Get the recipe for Asian Garlic Tofu
A popular dish in Chinese-American cuisine, General Tso's tofu is a stir-fry of tofu, vegetables, and a sauce made of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, and chili peppers.
The dish is named after Zuo Zongtang (also spelled Tso Tsung-t'ang), a Qing dynasty general and governor. While the dish did not originate in China, it is a popular takeout option in the United States.
Get the recipe for General Tso’s Tofu
This is a perfect meatless tofu recipe for a busy night! To make it, pan-fry the tofu until crispy and then coat it with a sweet and savory honey sesame sauce.
Get the recipe for General Tso’s Tofu
Korean Tofu Soup (Soondubu Jjigae)
Soondubu Jjigae is a delicious, hearty Korean stew. It's a soup dish of silken tofu and beef (or protein of choice) simmered in a spicy, savory broth, and the vegetables add a crunchy, fresh contrast.
Get the recipe for Korean Tofu Soup
This Asian tofu recipe is a healthier option for steak. To make it, start by slicing the tofu in big cuts resembling a steak, then fry them, and finally add steak sauce.
It’s a flexible dish that you can pair with vegetable dishes like Brussels sprouts or bok choy.
Get the recipe for Japanese Tofu Steak
A delicate and savory recipe that uses silken tofu. For tasteful tofu, the best tip is to marinate the tofu overnight for the sauces to really seep through the tofu.
Get recipe - Chinese Silken Tofu
Taho is a Filipino street food dessert of mainly silken tofu, sugar syrup, and sago (miniature boba). This classic dessert is part of every Filipino’s childhood.
Making homemade taho is not common in the Philippines because every day a taho seller passes by either in the morning or in the afternoon. I remember getting excited whenever I hear “Taho! Taho!”. Even now as an adult I still love taho. I can eat it every day.
Go to the recipe Homemade Taho
Thai green curry tofu is a dish that is full of flavor and will leave you wanting more. The curry contains a variety of different spices, including chili peppers in a coconut milk base.
The tofu gives the curry a meaty texture and helps to soak up all of the flavors. This dish is perfect over rice or noodles, and you can season it as mild or as spicy as you like.
Go to the recipe for Thai Green Curry Tofu
Tofu avocado salad is a salad of silken tofu, avocado, and a sweet-tangy dressing that will surely make your mouth water. This salad is rich in protein and healthy fats.
You need not cook your tofu for this recipe because it's safe to eat silken tofu straight from the packaging.
Go to the recipe for Tofu Avocado Salad
Kung pao tofu is one of the healthiest Asian tofu recipes that you’ll ever try. It’s vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Plus it’s quick and easy to make, in one pot, in under thirty minutes.
To make it, crispy fry bite-size tofu, then saute the veggies and finally simmer altogether in kung pao sauce.
Get the recipe for Kung Pao Tofu
You are going to love salt and pepper tofu! It's a simple addicting dish that you can make in under 30 minutes. The pepper seasoning is so good that will make you enjoy this recipe even more.
You may think that you only need salt and pepper to flavor the tofu but to liven up the dish, add more peppers, chili, garlic, and onions.
Get the recipe for Salt & Pepper Tofu
One of the many ways to enjoy tofu is by braising it. There's nothing quite like a good, braised tofu dish.
The rich, savory flavors of the sauce, the tenderness of the tofu, and the satisfying crunch of the vegetables all come together to create a truly delicious experience.
Get the recipe for Braised Tofu
If you meal prep all the time, adding this healthy dish to your menu is a must. It's the perfect balance of savory and sweet, with a little bit of zing thrown in for good measure.
This dish uses firm tofu cooked in a sweet and sour sauce. The sauce is a combination of vinegar, sugar, and ketchup. Enjoy by serving over rice. Don’t forget some slices of scallions and sprinkle a generous amount of toasted white sesame seeds.
Go to the recipe - Sweet & Sour Tofu
Miso-glazed tofu is basically tofu with miso paste coating. It's sweet, savory, and just a little bit spicy. It's the perfect combination of flavors. You can make it by coating tofu in a miso paste, which is a fermented soybean paste, and then baking it until it is golden brown and slightly crisp.
The miso paste gives the tofu a savory and umami flavor, while the baking process gives it a slightly firm texture that is perfect for absorbing all the flavors of the dish. Miso is a common ingredient in many Asian tofu recipes.
Get the recipe for Miso-Glazed Tofu
A healthy take on the classic Filipino pork sisig. For this recipe, instead of pork, use extra-firm tofu. Sisig recipe was an accidental discovery. The founder of this recipe accidentally burned some pork.
And in order not to waste food, she minced the pork and sauteed it together with onions, garlic, chili, mayo, and soy sauce. The result was a dish that is ever popular all over the country.
Go to recipe - Tofu Sisig
Tofu teriyaki is a delicious dish of tofu, vegetables, and a homemade teriyaki sauce. Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking technique that involves grilling or broiling food in a sweet and savory sauce.
To make tofu teriyaki, you'll need to marinate the tofu in a teriyaki sauce for at least 30 minutes. Then, you can either grill or broil the tofu.
Here is the recipe for Teriyaki Tofu
This is a popular Chinese dessert (Doufu Hua). It's smooth, creamy, and has just the right amount of sweetness.
This is the recipe for Chinese Sweet Tofu Pudding
Expect deep flavors in this dish. Curry is not a curry without coconut milk. Tofu and crunchy veggies joined hands together and danced in a sea of savory coconut sauce. It’s vegan and low-carb.
Here is the recipe for Red Curry Tofu
A Vietnamese-inspired recipe is rich in lemongrass flavor with chiles, and fish sauce. A truly savory dish that is worth eating with rice.
Get the recipe for Lemongrass Tofu
A Japanese-inspired of breaded and deep-fried protein recipe with appetizing katsu sauce. Katsu is popular with either pork or chicken, but for this recipe, tofu brings fun instead to this tasty dish.
Here is the recipe for Tofu Katsu
Another hearty and comforting recipe filled with savory ingredients. This Vietnamese-inspired sandwich has crispy tofu stuffing along with some herbs, mayo, and sweet pickles. It’s super filling and refreshing that will leave you satisfied.
Make this recipe - Tofu Banh Mi
A quick vegan tofu stir-fry recipe in black pepper sauce with bok choy. It cooks under 20 minutes and tastes best if you use peanut oil. An expert tip is to prepare everything beforehand and stir-fry in high heat!
Go to the recipe for Black Pepper Tofu
This dish is a Chinese classic recipe of simmered tofu in a fragrant, spicy sauce, and it's absolutely glorious. If you're looking for a dish that packs a punch, Mapo tofu is definitely it. The sauce is fiery and has lots of flavors. If you can handle the heat, you'll absolutely love this dish.
Get the recipe - Mapo Tofu
In conclusion, tofu is a versatile dish that is a good replacement for chicken, beef, or pork. It's not a complicated ingredient and you can easily add tofu to any dish. Most Asian tofu recipes like stir fry use either extra-firm or firm tofu. Soft and silken tofu on the other hand is both great for soups and desserts. What is your favorite Asian recipe for tofu? Let me know in the comments!