Tofu Steak with Spicy Mussel Sauce | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Tofu Steak with Spicy Mussel Sauce

Tofu Steak with Spicy Mussel Sauce

Spicy, slightly saline plus some plump little bites of chopped mussels is what I like about this sauce. A simple, nice idea is to serve it with plain noodles. And here, this hot sauce is poured over crispy fried tofu, serving us as a main dish with rice. But I would have no objection at all if they are served like steak with knife and fork.

There are two foreign ingredients on my list: mussels from New Zealand and chili sauce from S. Korea. But they are among the ‘old’ residents in my fridge than new to my kitchen that I would otherwise make a separate trip to the supermarket. Tofu? I got them from the wet market where I bought my fresh vegetables and carrot.

The mussels, though inexpensive and frozen, have given a nice umami kick to the sauce. I even collect the juice leached from them on the cutting board to make the umami taste more assertive

You may pan fry tofu slices with crusts like this, making them crunchy on the outside and soft inside. If you prefer a quicker version, simply cut (or dice) the tofu into smaller pieces and briefly cook with the sauce as you would cook Mapo Tofu.

Tofu Steak with Spicy Mussel Sauce

  • Ingredients
  • ~400g firm tofu
  • 6 mussels, I used frozen ones, each measuring about 5cm each in length
  • 1/4 carrot
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 knob ginger, about half of thumb size, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 sprig green onion, thinly sliced
  • Sauce
  • 3/4 tbsp Korean chili sauce
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 tsp corn starch paste (corn starch : water = 1 : 2), optional


Thoroughly thaw mussels, de-bread if any. Wash and pat dry. If they don’t smell fresh (the clean ocean smell) enough, blanch them in boiling water for a few seconds. Drain and pat dry. Don’t buy or use mussels that smell fishy.

To chop the mussels, lay them flat on chopping board, slice each horizontally into two equal pieces. Cut the sliced mussels length-way into thin strips, then rotate them 90 degrees, lining up evenly, and chop, resembling about 1/3cm dices. Collect any juices leached from the mussels.

Peel and cut carrot into similar size of chopped mussels.

Mix chili sauce, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, sesame oil and any liquid collected from the chopped mussels with 1/2 cup of water; set aside.

Slice tofu into about 1 cm slices, prepare (salt, bolt dry) and pan-fry them like this. Dish up.

Heat oil in wok over medium heat, sautΓ© garlic and ginger until fragrant and lightly brown. Toss in carrots and mussels, stir-frying constantly, again until lightly brown, about 1-2 minutes.

Pour in chili sauce mixture, stirring well. Bring it to a boil, add salt to taste, thicken with corn starch paste to your desired consistency (or add remaining water if required). If you prefer to have the tofu (fried or not fried) completely coated in the sauce, do it (simmer them together) before the salt is added and the sauce is thickened.

Arrange fried tofu on dish and pour sauce over it. Garnish with green onion, serve hot.

Tofu Steak with Spicy Mussel Sauce


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  1. Juliana

    Looks delicious your tofu steaks…especially with the mussel sauce and the spicy chilli sauce. Great alternative for substituting meat.
    Have a wonderful week Maureen!

  2. Angie@Angie's Recipes

    This is definitely a must have! The mussel sauce would be great to serve with pasta too.

  3. Mary Moh

    That’s such a brilliant idea. Looks very delicious……mmmm. Love how your dish looks. Your tofu steaks look like toasts πŸ˜€ I’m sure your mussels sauce would be nice on toasts too.

  4. Lisa H.

    I see the word ‘Korean Chilli Sauce’.. that’s it, I am sold πŸ˜€
    Love the dish and definite ‘to try’ for me πŸ˜€

  5. TasteHongKong

    @Angie@Angie’s Recipes,

    @Mary Moh,

  6. tigerfish

    I was also thinking the mussel sauce would be so good for pasta ! A nice alternative to bolognese sauce esp for the seafood lovers.

    Recently, I have used such similar “bolognese-style” sauces over non-traditional dishes, and loving the new combination πŸ™‚

  7. noobcook

    your food always look restaurant-quality =) your sauce looks so good and versatile enough for many dishes. I will try it out one day!

  8. Lena

    hi maureen, i find the way you cook the sauce with chopped mussels are very special! the korean chili sauce that you used is it the same as gochuyang paste?

  9. TasteHongKong

    Right, a nice alternative to bolognese, as it is said that mussel is a good source of iron and Vitamin B too.

  10. TasteHongKong

    It is versatile. Thanks!

  11. TasteHongKong

    Yes Lena,
    You are right, ‘Gochuyang / Gochujang κ³ μΆ”μž₯’.

  12. Lori

    Another example of your gorgeous fried tofu. It looks so great! I’ve never cooked with mussels at home, but I think this recipe is a good reason to try.

  13. mycookinghut

    This looks absolutely delicious!! I am big fan of tofu. πŸ™‚

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