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Seared Tofu with Spicy Cabbage Saute

Servings: 4

Packed with flavor, this combo of tofu and cabbage makes for an easy meatless weekday option. It’s also vegan and gluten-free. If you like a crunchy component, crumble salted sesame rice crackers over the top.


  • 1 14-oz. block extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tsp. chili powder (mild or spicy)
  • 2 Tbs. rice flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Tbs. neutral oil, such as safflower
  • 1/4 head green or savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (about 4 loosely packed cups or 8 oz.)
  • 1 to 3 tsp. minced jalapeños (or other fresh green chiles)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (about 5-1/8 oz.)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, white and light-green parts only (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems (about 3/8 oz.)
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
  • 4 lime wedges, for serving

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 280
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 19
  • Saturated Fat (g): 1.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 140
  • Carbohydrates (g): 15
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Sugar (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 12


  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a double layer of paper towels. Put the tofu on the baking sheet, top with a double layer of paper towels, and then top with a cast-iron skillet. Press the tofu for about 10 minutes, and then remove the skillet and paper towels. Slice the tofu crosswise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slabs.
  • In a shallow bowl or pie plate, combine the chili powder, rice flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Dredge the tofu cutlets gently in the spice mixture, patting as needed to coat each piece. Sprinkle with any remaining spice mixture. Set aside.
  • Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the green cabbage and jalapeño and 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes; the cabbage should be wilted but still crisp-tender. It’s OK if the edges of the cabbage brown a little. Stir in the red cabbage, scallions, half of the chopped cilantro, and the lime zest and juice. remove the pan from the heat, and divide the cabbage mixture among four plates.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, and return the pan to the heat. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu, and fry until lightly browned, about 4 minutes per side. Place two cutlets on each mound of cabbage. Garnish with the remaining cilantro, and serve with lime wedges on the side.


Rate or Review

Reviews (3 reviews)

  • sinjawns | 03/09/2021

    I really enjoy this for a quick and easy vegan dinner. I used sweet (glutinous) rice flour for a crispy coating, and I tossed in some chopped ginger as recommended by another reviewer- it was an enhancement.

  • user-4811830 | 01/26/2020

    So fast and so flavorful. I don't think it took 20 minutes total. I expected to like it, but it was even better than I hoped. I also subbed cornstarch, and I think it's crying out for some ginger, but I'm definitely making this again. The husband complimented it right off the bat.

  • User avater
    Alpine406 | 01/24/2020

    This was so good for such a simple recipe! There’s a variety of textures and flavors and it’s versatile. I followed the instructions with the exception of rice flour. I didn’t have any so I used corn starch instead; it worked just fine. Next time, I will use fish instead of tofu, as I think a flaky texture will compliment the cabbage slaw well. But, I think a chicken cutlet would work well too. I did add a little garlic powder to the chili powder mix. If you have the time, a garnish of toasted cumin seedS might also be nice a nice compliment, just a pinch though. I garnished with more green onion, lime and lots of cilantro. It’ll be a regular in the rotation.

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