Broccoli is polarizing. I know fully-fledged adults who will only touch it if it’s buried under a blanket of melted cheese, or raw and dunked in a vat of ranch dressing. And I get it. Broccoli is often overcooked, mushy, and bland. And a lot of people have textural issues with broccoli, finding the stalks to be almost inedibly tough. My Broccoli Tofu Patties are here to redeem broccoli’s reputation. These irresistible little patties are packed with protein, super fast to make, and are a perfect part of a Meatless Monday meal.
Tofu patties of all sorts are very popular in Japan. Whether mixed with protein, flavored with seasonings, or sandwiched between slices of vegetables, tofu patties show up in school lunches, bento boxes for office workers, or as part of a tasting on menus. Tofu gives moisture, springiness, and helps to bind the mixture. Plus it’s protein packed, low in calories, and economical. Billions of Asians love it…so let’s get you on board and started.
Broccoli Tofu Patties Prep
We’re making use of the whole broccoli in this recipe, florets and stalks. I always peel the toughest outer layer of the stalks. This keeps them from being tough and stringy. If you’ve never peeled your broccoli stalks before, this will be a revelation! Some varieties peel right off using a small peeling knife. Others might require a little more work with a peeler. Either way, please do not throw the stalks away. You’re wasting free food.
Often, the complaint about vegan food is that it’s not flavorful and tastes bland, particularly if you’re not a veggie lover. But many people are not naturally veggie lovers. So the secret to incorporating more veggies into your diet regularly, is to have variety and robust flavor. Even changing the shape of vegetables into something unexpected can work too. I used this technique with my kids when they were little and my husband even now. The kids were easier to convince than my husband! When you serve veggies that have loads of flavor and look different, you will notice fewer complaints and more enthusiasm at the table.
For these patties, we pack in scallion, garlic, miso, sesame oil, and just enough salt. Seasoning is key to tasty veggies. Just a little salt can take a dish from bland to exceptional.
Form the Broccoli Tofu Patties
Once the broccoli has been processed, I transfer it to a large mixing bowl. There I will add those powerful little flavor boosters, like miso and toasted sesame oil. I use medium firm tofu in these patties, they do a great job of give them structure while keeping them tender. I quickly squeeze out any excess water from the tofu before breaking it up into the bowl.
I realize that 8 softball sized patties is a large serving, particularly since we are now empty nesters. But sometimes I feel like it’s easier to give you a recipe that uses ingredients out completely. Rather than a half tub of this or a quarter package of that, you have delicious and easy leftovers for another day. For me, those small amounts of ingredients too frequently get left in the fridge until they go bad. But if you are a more disciplined person or you’re only cooking for 1 or 2, feel free to make half the recipe.
Cook the Broccoli Tofu Patties
One of the best thing about these patties is how nicely they crisp up. That is achieved by getting your pan really hot first. You should hear the patties sizzle when placed in the pan. Also they should be cooked in a large enough pan so the patties do not touch and are not overcrowded.
You can place the cooked patties in the oven at 250 degrees to keep warm while you cook the rest. These patties are highly seasoned and don’t require any sauce. But if you’re one of those who lives for condiments, feel free to breakout a couple to serve at the table.
Broccoli Tofu Patties can be the main event or served with a variety of other small dishes to make a plant based feast. Try them with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Stir Fried Mushrooms, and Mango Sago for a fun and flavorful meat free meal. You could even serve them as sliders!
I hope you give these Broccoli Tofu Patties a try and convert all the broccoli haters (and tofu haters to boot) in your life. Let me know what you think and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen; we love hearing from you!
- 1 bunch broccoli (the way it’s packed at the grocery with 2-3 heads in a bundle)
- 1 block medium firm tofu (about 14–16 ounces)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bunch scallions (about 5 stems) trimmed and minced
- 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons white miso
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3.5 ounces (100 grams or ¾ cup) all purpose flour
- 3 Tablespoons neutral oil
- Cut the broccoli florets from the stalks. Using a knife or peeler, trim and peel the stalks. Roughly chop the broccoli so it can more easily fit the food processor bowl. Add the broccoli to the bowl of a food processor (do it in batches if needed) and pulse 8-10 times until the broccoli is chopped into small bits (like cauliflower rice).
- Transfer the broccoli to a large bowl.
- Add the minced garlic, scallions, sesame oil, miso, salt, and all purpose flour to the bowl.
- Using a clean kitchen towel or some paper towels, squeeze the tofu, eliminating as much liquid as possible. Place the tofu into the bowl.
- Use clean hands to mix the ingredients well, like you would meatloaf. Portion the mixture into 8 soft ball sized mounds.
- Heat a large 12” non-stick or well seasoned pan over medium high heat for several minutes. Add the oil and swirl the oil to coat the pan.
- Place four of the broccoli portions onto the skillet (it should sizzle when it hits the pan) and lower heat to medium. Cook for 3 minutes, using a spatula to shape the balls into patties.
- Gently flip over the patties and cook for 1 minute then cover with a lid and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Flip again and cook for an additional minute. Both sides should be nicely browned and crisp.
- Place the patties onto a plate and continue cooking the remaining patties. (You can place the first batch of patties into a 250 degree oven to keep warm while you cook the next batch).
- Transfer broccoli tofu patties onto a serving plate and serve immediately.
*This batch makes a hefty amount of patties. You can cut the quantity in half easily. You can also store any leftover patties in the fridge and reheat for a couple minutes on the stove over medium heat, microwave, or air fryer.
Keywords: tofu, vegan, broccoli, meatless monday, plant based