The Washington Post

Tofu Steak Veracruzana

Tofu Steak Veracruzana 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Jul 5, 2020

Seared tofu cutlets get a classic coastal Mexican treatment usually reserved for seafood. Serve with rice and/or a green salad, if you’d like.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

  • One (14-ounce) package water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
  • 1/4 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red onion (10 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper (8 ounces), stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño chile pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup capers (from one 3.5-ounce jar), drained, rinsed and chopped
  • 3 large plum tomatoes (12 ounces to 1 pound total), seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter, such as Miyoko’s or Earth Balance


Wrap the tofu in paper towels or a clean dish towel and microwave on high for 1 minute. Unwrap, rewrap with fresh towels, and repeat. (This gets rid of excess liquid and is faster than pressing the tofu.) Unwrap, let cool, and cut into four planks.

Combine the tofu, half the garlic, the stock, lime juice, oregano, salt and pepper in a large bowl or zip-top bag. Cover or seal and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally. (If desired, you can marinate the tofu in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.) Drain the tofu and reserve the marinade for another use.

In a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the drained tofu and sear it without disturbing until well browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Turn each piece over, and sear on the other side until browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion, bell pepper and jalapeño to the skillet and cook, stirring, until they start to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the olives, capers and the remaining garlic and cook, stirring, until all the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and wine. Reduce the heat to medium, return the tofu to the skillet, and cook until the sauce reduces slightly and the tofu is heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, then taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. To serve, either leave the tofu planks whole or slice them on the bias, and spoon over the sauce and vegetables. Serve hot.

Recipe Source

Adapted from “¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook” by Eddie Garza (Rockridge Press, 2016).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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