Spicy Griddled Tofu “Steaks”

Spicy Griddled Tofu “Steaks” are a delicious vegan option inspired by the flavors of the street food in Xi’an. The tofu was “tieban dofu,” or griddled, and seasoned with cumin and chili, two common flavors in Xinjiang. This meal has fantastic flavor that you won’t miss the meat at all, and it’s good for you too!

If you’re not counting carbs, serve this with some greens and some rice. The dish’s textures and flavors were very great, especially considering how great the fresh tofu is at our neighborhood store. However, store-bought firm tofu will do just well!

If you like this recipe and want to see more like it, check out our other tofu recipes.


  • 1 pound of firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (+ 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped scallion
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of red chili pepper powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground Sichuan peppercorn powder; optional
  • ¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of soy sauce


  1. Tofu should be removed from the package and left to drain for 10 minutes. Cut it into segments that are .75 inches thick. Crush the cumin seeds coarsely with a mortar and pestle before adding the Sichuan peppercorn powder, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Maintain a healthy blend.
  2. Mix the hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon of oil in a little bowl. Place the tofu in a cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan and cook it over high heat with two teaspoons of oil.
  3. The next step is to equally distribute half of the dried spices over the tofu and cook it for another three to five minutes. Turn the tofu over once the bottom side is brown.
  4. Sprinkle the remaining seasonings and sauce over the tofu after it has been brushed with half of the sauce. Tofu should be flipped after 3 minutes of cooking.
  5. Swipe the remaining sauce over the opposite side, top with the scallion and cilantro, and serve.
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