Vegan sesame encrusted tofu steaks

Vegan sesame encrusted tofu steaks

sesame tofu steaks

I’m having a bit of a tough week if I am honest so I will keep this intro short. I am experiencing lots of negative emotions and while my regular routine of mediation, yoga and running is helping, they are winning for the moment. I’m about to head out for a run to clear my head and get some relief, but before I do let me tell you about this new recipe, which I hope you’ll love and want to incorporate into your dinner rota.

I was planning on sharing something else with you today, but I could not find one of the key ingredients I needed anywhere so it will have to wait till next week, hopefully. Meanwhile, I made a stack of juicy, sesame and ginger flavoured steaks of tofu, beautifully encrusted in nutty sesame seeds and pan-fried (or baked like here) until golden and crispy. They are the most delicious straight off the pan so please be mindful when making these as you are bound to hoover up some straight off the pan (and burn your tongue in the process) if you are not careful 😉 .

They are easy to make and super satisfying to eat and I challenge anyone who says ‘I don’t like tofu’ not to like these. When paired with plain rice and your favourite Asian (or broccoli) greens, they make a beautiful and plant protein-rich main meal. They also make yummy finger food, a sandwich or onigirazu filler. However you choose to have these, I hope you’ll give them a go and that you will enjoy them as much as we did.

vegan sesame encrusted tofu steaks process

vegan sesame encrusted tofu steaks coating

vegan sesame encrusted tofu steaks meal

30 min
10 min
30 min
10 min


  • cooked brown rice
  • 2 steamed pak choi, 1 per person
  • Asian chilli oil
  • scallions / spring onions, green part finely sliced
  1. Drain the tofu and press it well, until all the excess moisture is squeezed out so that it is primed for absorbing the marinade. This is the tofu press I use.
  2. Mix ground up flax or chia seeds with 60 ml / ¼ cup water and place in the fridge for the mixture to jellify.
  3. Make the marinade / dressing by combining soy sauce (or tamari), rice vinegar, maple syrup, toasted sesame oil, minced ginger and garlic together.
  4. Cut the pressed tofu into thick slices and place at the bottom of a baking dish. Pour 2/3 of the marinade you’ve prepared in the previous step over the tofu and allow it to soak in. Save the rest for dressing.
  5. Place flour and sesame seeds on two plates and jellified flax in a shallow bowl.
  6. Lift a piece of tofu out of the marinade, press it into the flour to coat it lightly, then dip it into the flax egg (allow any excess to drip off) and finally press it into the sesame seeds making sure the entire surface is tightly packed with them. Place on a clean plate and proceed to coat the rest of the tofu in the same manner.
  7. Heat up a small frying pan or a wok. Once hot, cover the bottom of the pan (or wok) with frying oil and let the oil heat up. You could also bake it like in this recipe.
  8. Once the oil heats up (the tofu should sizzle as soon as it hits the pan), fry each piece of tofu for about 3 minutes on each side – until the coating becomes golden brown. Place the freshly fried pieces on a plate lined with a kitchen towel to get rid of the excess oil.
  9. Serve with cooked rice, steamed greens and a smattering of dressing on top or use it as a sandwich or onigirazu filler.

*See alternatives to flax / chia seeds here.

7 g
29 g
5 g
18 g
24 g
*per serving
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8 reviews, 17 comments
I made these the other night and overall I think it was really good and delicious.
I marinated the tofu overnight (the recipe doesn't specify the time and I generally think it takes a marinade awhile to incorporate into tofu). I found that the flax egg worked pretty well and the whole flour/flax egg/sesame procedure worked ok and the pieces were coated well. It is very messy!
However, I did find that when frying some of the batter didn't stick well to the tofu-- some pieces were ok but for some, it peeled right off or came off in chunks so the effect wasn't uniform.
It's possible this is just user error and with practice it will come out perfect. I would practice this dish before serving at a dinner party.
    Hi Janina,
    Thank you, glad you enjoyed these. Yes, the process is a little messy, I agree but I don't think that can be helped - it's the case for any similar style dish. You could use a couple of forks to handle this process, but I get better result if I get in there with my hands. I find that the tofu needs to be pressed into the flour well to ensure the batter stays put. Hope that helps and that you will give it another go. Ania
Is there a reason you use flax/chia egg instead of just plantbased milk? I used ground up chia but it was too thick to stick to the tofu, and it just pushed away the flour when I tried to press it on, so I subbed it for oat milk.
Still, delicious tofu 😋
We ate it in a poke bowl with soybeans, mango, pickled red onion, rice and avocado. Made a peanut based sauce to go on top of everything. Thanks for posting!
    I found that the sesame seeds adhere to the tofu batter when I use flax egg instead of just plant milk. If it is too thick, all you need to do is add more water until you reach the consistency you prefer. I didn't have any issues with it other than messy fingers, of course. Glad you enjoyed the taste and the general idea. x Ania
Yvette McPhail:
You have switched me onto tofu in a big way Ania! I love the option to marinade, then bake, then coat with sauce as per the peanut sate recipe but this is also a great way to eat tofu. I cut the tofu into small cubes as I love getting the fried/baked crunch. Sesame seeds are an awesome substitute for breadcrumbs as well. The flax seed coating worked really well. P.S. You photos of the meals are really spectacular!
    Thanks so much, Yvette! I'm delighted to hear that! I am a firm (pun unintended :) ) believer that tofu is very misunderstood in the West and most people do not know how to prepare it well. I'm so happy to hear that you have changed your mind about it. And thanks so much for complimenting my photos, lovely to hear that you enjoy them. Ania
This was delicious, I subbed fried shallots for black sesame seed (I still wanted it to look pretty) and the flavours worked a treat!!
The only thing I would say is that I found the tofu a tad bland in the middle however it may have been due to the thickness of my steaks; either way, a quick soy and sesame dipping sauce cleared that right up!
Super easy and definitely looks gorgeous
    Thanks Tori, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Yes, the thickness of the steaks and how long you leave them to marinate for definitely do have an impact on the flavour intensity. Perhaps it's worth to make some extra marinade next time. Ania
I love sesame seeds so think I was quite liberal with the amount I used. I also bought in black sesame seeds for this as you suggested using both and so glad I did it gave it something extra.
We made these this evening and used more sesame seeds than stated but that's ok because sesame seeds rock! Also when frying they spat quite a bit so we decided to bake them, they weren't as golden as the few we fried but jwere crispy and ust as tasty. The marinade is yummy. Thanks for posting.
    Hi Pauline,
    Glad to hear that you enjoyed them. The amount of sesame seeds given is approximate as it depends on the surface area of the tofu steak and how generous one is when coating. As for splattering, that's pretty common when frying so it's nothing to worry about, you just need to stand back a little. Ania
Min Hui Lim:
can i store it in freezer?
    Hi Min,
    I have not tried myself, but I am pretty sure you can. I would recommend coating in sesame seeds and then freezing and you could probably fry straight from frozen if you use a little bit more oil. Please be aware that freezing tofu does change its texture though - many people do that on purpose as they prefer the texture so it's not a bad thing just thought you should be aware. Hope that helps! Ania
It was really good ! Thanks for the recipe!
    That's great to hear, Heidi! Thanks for letting me know! x Ania
Samantha Richardson:
I tried this recipe today - really delicious. Thank you for posting it on your site. I used chia seeds instead of flax but found they didn't stick to the tofu perfectly (edible but not as pretty as yours!) so will try flax next time, maybe I did something wrong?.. Thank you I love trying Lazy Cat vegan recipes and receiving the latest email with recipe suggestions. Thank you for such lovely recipes and ideas x
    My pleasure and I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it, Samantha! In my experience chia seeds are usually more gelatinous than flax so no idea why you had trouble. Were they ground? I assume so. Maybe a touch too much water was added by mistake? Let me know and I hope that we will be able to demystify this together. x Ania
I hope you will feel better soon!!
    Thank you so much. Ania
Hi Ania,
as soon as I see a new recipe on instagram I jump to the blog, because I just love your recipes. I also love your writing, I really do.
In the last few weeks I've read about your struggle and I noticed that I was jumping to the blog posts not just for the recipes and the photos but to know how you are. I really hope that this difficult time will lead to something beautiful and true. I feel very close to anyone who is struggling right now, maybe because of what is happening here in Italy.
May the force be with us :)
    Aw, thank you for your such kind words, Silvi. I am really touched!! <3 I have started my therapy sessions and I am hopeful that they will help me overcome things but I know that I will continue to have lows sometimes so all good. I want to keep on showing up here and sharing recipes but sometimes I don't have much optimism to bring to the table and I don't want to make this blog all about my issues. It's a bit of a balancing act, but thank you for checking in with me, you are so sweet. My heart goes out to you, I keep on reading about the situation (was booked to visit Naples in May, but looks unlikely now) and I hope the situation will be contained soon and I hope you and your nearest and dearest are free from harm. x Ania
Terri Carr:
Could this recipe be AIR FRIED?? Maybe thinner cutlets? Any suggestions as I try to be fried-free, and as much, oil-free. Thank you!
    Hi Terri,
    I would love to help, but I don't have an air-fryer so it's difficult for me to say. I am pretty sure they could be baked in 200° C / 390° C oven, on a tray brushed with a small amount of oil. Hope that helps! Ania
Cindy Lewis:
I've tried something similar but your ingredients look delicious so I will definitely try these. Hope your day improves. I know I mentioned to you Dr. Joe Dispenza before... and no I don't make any money from sharing his work, and I haven't healed my body - yet, but I'm doing the work (meditations, and more) but hundreds have. Recently I listened to this testimonial from someone named Amy and it was freaking amazing, and might help you, I hope so.
    Thanks, Cindy. I hope you'll enjoy these! Again, thank you for the suggestion, but I already have a plan of healing (including meditation twice a day) that I follow and it is realistic to expect some worse days in a process like that so I am keeping at it. I believe this will work eventually. Good luck with your healing! Ania
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