Looking for a healthy meal for your lunch or dinner? Japanese healthy ingredients, tofu, is a great ingredient to make so many great meals! Tofu Hambagu is one of them and made from some simple ingredients. If you are vegetarian, on a diet, or feeling healthy, this is a really good recipe!
If you are looking for a healthy and delicious meal, this tofu Hambagu is a great recipe! Hambagu usually uses meat but this tofu Hambagu recipe completely replaces meat with tofu.
What is Tofu?
Tofu is known as one of the best superfood. It includes high protein, low calories, and gluten free. Tofu is eaten not only Japan, but also many Asia. Because tofu is loved and eaten in so many places, there are tons of tofu recipes (or recipes that include tofu) exist. Tofu is made from soybeans (大豆), water, and nigari (にがり). It has simple ingredients.
The characters of Tofu is 豆腐 and the pronounce is the same as English. The meaning of 豆腐 is “bean(豆)” and “ferment(腐)”, but there is no fermenting process involved. Then, why the Japanese writing character use 腐? It’s because there is another meaning as well. The other meaning of 腐 is “soft and bouncy mass”. This character, 腐, is used in negative way so some producers replace with 府 or 富 (wealth, fortune).
Where can I find tofu?
When It used to be there are so many tofu stores in Japan. It’s like 3 feet small store that only has counter where you can order only tofu. When you wanted tofu, you usually go there instead of grocery stores. Nowadays, there are tons of tofu only stores closed and people go to grocery stores to buy it. I hope some areas still have tofu only stores because it is one of beautiful parts of Japan.
Anyway, In the states, if you go to local grocery stores, vegetable section has tofu usually. I think any grocery stores have some types of tofu so you can pick any tofu you want.
Which tofu is the best for this recipe?
Tofu has some level of hardness and softness. So you should buy tofu depending on recipes or how you want. In this recipe, I recommend you use firm tofu.
Some similar recipes
Here are some similar recipes that you can enjoy!
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- 1 pack firm tofu
- 1/4 large onion 55-65g
- 1 cup panko
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 Tablespoon miso
- 1/2 Tablespoon Japanese mayonnaise
- 1/3 teapoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 teapoon salt
- 20 g spinach
- 30 g carrot
- 4 mushrooms Any mushrooms you want! I used white button.
- 200 ml water
- 1 teapoon dashi powder
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon mirin
- 2 teapoon katakuriko or corn starch
- 2 teapoon water
- shimeji mushrooms If you can buy, adding shimeji mushrooms is good.
Let's cook Hambagu
- Dice the onion finely.
- In a small bowl, add diced onion and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds.
- Dice the carrot and finely mince the spinach.
- Open the tofu pack and discard the water. Pat the tofu with a paper towel to get rid of excess water.*1
- In a medium bowl, add tofu, onion, spinach, carrot, panko, egg, miso, mayonnaise, salt, and black pepper and mix well.
- Divide the mixture into 4 or 6 portions.
- Shape the Patties 0.8 inch (2cm) thick .
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat and place the patties in the pan. Cook until one side gets brown (about 5 minutes).
- Turn the patties over and cook the other side until it is brown.
- Move the Hambagu to a plate. We will use the pan to make our sauce.
Let's cook sauce
- Cut the mushrooms into thin slices.
- In the pan, add cut mushrooms, dashi powder, 200ml water, soy sauce and mirin. Cook until boiling.
- After boiling, turn the heat to low.
- In a small bowl, add katakuriko (or corn starch) and 2 tsp water. Mix them up until katakuriko is dissolved.
- Add katakuriko in the pan and stir well.
- Add on top of the Hambagu. This sauce adds a really great flavor!
Omg this is a great recipe. I was looking for some healthy food and I am happy I found this!
Thank you!! Yes I love this recipe because it’s low-calorie and filling 🙂
I liked adding the kinoko sauce on top of it! It does complete the meal!
Yes Kinoko sauce really adds so much flavor to it!!
Delicious! First I bought different tofu and it was too soft so I bought the firm tofu that you recommend. I want to make this again.
I am glad you made this successfully and you are happy with it:) Thank you for the comment!
Is there any sauce I can use besides the mushrooms sauce?
That’s a good question and thank you for asking.
Here are the options that I would replace with:
1. a little bit of soy sauce
2. ponzu sauce (if you search “Japanese Mizkan Mitsukan Ajipon” on amazon, it will show up)
Let me know if you find your favorite sauce for it 🙂
mama J says
Kids love this recipe. Easy recipe
Thank you! I am glad that your kids love this!!