Vegetarian Asian Tofu Cakes Recipe | Sesame, Ginger, Carrot, Peas, Soy Sauce

Asian Tofu Cakes

Vegetarian Asian Tofu Cakes Recipe | Sesame, Ginger, Carrot, Peas, Soy Sauce
Region / culture: Asia | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4 | Vegetarian diet


Asian Tofu Cakes
Asian Tofu Cakes

Asian Tofu Cakes are a delightful and nutritious dish that combines the rich flavors of the East with the health benefits of tofu and vegetables. This recipe is perfect for those looking to enjoy a vegetarian meal that doesn't compromise on taste or texture. The cakes are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with a savory sauce that ties all the flavors together. Whether you're a long-time tofu lover or just looking to try something new, these tofu cakes are sure to impress.


The concept of tofu cakes has its roots in Asian cuisine, where tofu has been a staple ingredient for centuries. Tofu, or bean curd, is made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into solid blocks. It is believed that tofu originated in China over 2,000 years ago and has since spread throughout Asia, becoming a key ingredient in many traditional dishes. The idea of transforming tofu into cakes by combining it with vegetables and seasonings and then pan-frying it is a more modern innovation, reflecting contemporary tastes and dietary preferences.


How to prepare

  1. 1. In a small skillet, toast sesame seeds until golden brown, stirring often, for 1 minute. Transfer to a small plate and set aside.
  2. 2. Pat dry the tofu with a paper towel and place it in a medium bowl. Mash the tofu with a fork until it resembles chopped eggs.
  3. 3. Mix in the egg whites, flour, ginger, scallions, peas, soy sauce, and salt and white pepper to taste until well blended.
  4. 4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tsp of sesame oil.
  5. 5. Add about 0.25 cup of tofu mixture per cake to the skillet, flattening with the back of a spoon to form small cakes. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. 6. Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and reserved scallion.
  7. 7. To serve the tofu cakes, sprinkle with sesame seeds and accompany with sesame-soy sauce on the side.


  • Add different vegetables to the tofu mixture, such as finely chopped bell peppers or mushrooms, for added flavor and nutrition.
  • For a gluten-free version, use gluten-free flour and tamari sauce instead of soy sauce.
  • Spice up the cakes by adding a pinch of chili flakes or a teaspoon of Sriracha sauce to the tofu mixture.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

To ensure your tofu cakes are perfectly cooked, follow these tips:

- Press the tofu before mashing it to remove excess water. This will help the cakes hold together better and achieve a crispier texture.

- Make sure the skillet is well-heated before adding the tofu mixture. A hot skillet ensures the cakes start cooking immediately, forming a nice crust.

- Don’t overcrowd the skillet. Cook the cakes in batches if necessary to ensure they have enough room to be flipped easily.

- Adjust the seasoning of the tofu mixture to your taste before cooking. Remember, the flavors will become more concentrated as the cakes cook.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the tofu cakes hot, garnished with the toasted sesame seeds and accompanied by the sesame-soy sauce on the side. They pair well with a side of steamed rice or a light salad for a complete meal.

Cooking Techniques

Pan-frying is the recommended cooking technique for these tofu cakes, as it provides the perfect balance of crispiness and tenderness. Ensure the skillet is well-oiled and heated to medium-high before adding the tofu mixture.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don’t have whole-wheat flour, you can use all-purpose flour or a gluten-free flour blend.

- Chickpea flour can be used as a binding agent instead of egg whites for a vegan version.

- Maple syrup or a pinch of sugar can be added to the sauce for a hint of sweetness.

Make Ahead Tips

The tofu mixture can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered. Form and cook the cakes just before serving to ensure they are fresh and crispy.

Presentation Ideas

Serve the tofu cakes on a platter with a drizzle of the sauce and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or sliced green onions for a pop of color and freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

These tofu cakes pair beautifully with a light, crisp white wine such as Sauvignon Blanc or a dry Riesling. For a non-alcoholic option, try a sparkling water with a squeeze of lime.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover tofu cakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through and crispy.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Asian Tofu Cakes contains approximately 180 calories, making them a light yet satisfying option that can fit into a variety of dietary plans.


Each serving of Asian Tofu Cakes contains approximately 15 grams of carbohydrates. The primary sources of carbohydrates in this recipe are the whole-wheat flour and vegetables. These complex carbohydrates provide energy and are accompanied by fiber, vitamins, and minerals.


The tofu cakes are relatively low in fat, with about 5 grams per serving. The fats present come from the sesame oil used in both the cakes and the sauce. Sesame oil is rich in unsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy fats.


Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein, and these cakes are no exception. Each serving contains approximately 12 grams of protein, making them a satisfying and muscle-friendly option for vegetarians and health-conscious individuals alike.

Vitamins and minerals

These tofu cakes are packed with vitamins and minerals, thanks to the tofu, vegetables, and sesame seeds. Tofu is a good source of iron, calcium, and magnesium, while the vegetables contribute vitamins A, C, and K, along with potassium and folate. Sesame seeds add a boost of calcium and magnesium.


The main allergens in this recipe are soy (from tofu and soy sauce) and gluten (from whole-wheat flour and soy sauce). Individuals with allergies to these ingredients should exercise caution.


Overall, Asian Tofu Cakes are a nutritious and balanced meal option, providing a good mix of proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, along with a variety of vitamins and minerals. They are relatively low in calories and can be adapted to suit different dietary needs.


Asian Tofu Cakes are a versatile and delicious vegetarian dish that combines the nutritional benefits of tofu with the rich flavors of Asian cuisine. Whether served as a main course or a side dish, these tofu cakes are sure to be a hit with both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. With a variety of serving suggestions and recipe variations, you can easily adapt this dish to suit your taste preferences and dietary needs.

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of discovering this recipe for the first time is a happy one. It was many years ago, when I was just a young girl, that I first learned how to make Asian Tofu Cakes. The recipe came to me from a dear friend of mine, Mrs. Wu, who was originally from China. Mrs. Wu was a wonderful cook, and she was always willing to share her recipes with me.

I remember the first time Mrs. Wu invited me over to her house to teach me how to make these delicious tofu cakes. The smell of the spices and herbs filled her kitchen, and I couldn't wait to learn how to make them myself. Mrs. Wu showed me how to prepare the tofu, how to season it just right, and how to fry it to perfection. As she taught me, she shared stories of her own childhood in China, and the memories she had of cooking with her own grandmother.

I watched Mrs. Wu's skilled hands as she mixed the ingredients together, shaping the tofu cakes with such precision and care. She explained to me the importance of using the freshest ingredients, and how each spice added its own unique flavor to the dish. I listened intently, wanting to absorb every detail of her recipe.

After we finished cooking, Mrs. Wu and I sat down to enjoy the tofu cakes together. The flavors were incredible – the tofu was crispy on the outside, yet soft and creamy on the inside. The blend of spices and seasonings created a symphony of flavors in my mouth. Mrs. Wu smiled at me as I took my first bite, and I knew that I had found a new favorite recipe.

From that day on, I made Asian Tofu Cakes regularly in my own kitchen. I experimented with different ingredients, trying to perfect the recipe just as Mrs. Wu had taught me. I shared the recipe with my family and friends, and they all loved it as much as I did. It became a staple in my home, a dish that brought warmth and comfort to those who shared it with me.

Over the years, I have continued to make Asian Tofu Cakes, refining the recipe with each batch I cook. I have added my own unique twist to the dish, incorporating flavors and seasonings that reflect my own heritage and experiences. But the core of the recipe remains the same – a tribute to Mrs. Wu and the lessons she taught me about cooking and sharing food with others.

Now, as I pass on this recipe to you, my dear grandchild, I hope that you will enjoy making Asian Tofu Cakes as much as I have. Remember the lessons of Mrs. Wu – use the freshest ingredients, season with care, and cook with love. And most importantly, share this recipe with those you love, creating memories and traditions that will last a lifetime. Happy cooking, my dear – may your tofu cakes always be crispy, flavorful, and filled with the warmth of shared meals and shared stories.


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