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Spicy Black Bean Asian Cutlets

In the mood for a spicy, flavor-intense Asian dinner and avoid take-out establishments? These spicy, black bean Asian cutlets need to be part of your menu!

These easy to prepare, spicy black bean Asian cutlets come together quickly though marinating over-night reaps the best results; the sauce is wonderfully aromatic and will infuse the tofu cutlets in 20 minutes. Are you feeding many mouths or a fan of leftovers? If so double the recipe for these cutlets are fabulous and taste even better the next day as part of a Buddha bowl, stir-fry, in wraps or as a salad topper.

Often in the vegan world, many forget to ensure they include a sufficient amount of whole food protein with their main meals. Whole food organic soy, as in tempeh, tofu, or miso is a nutrient dense, nourishing source of protein for vegetarians and carnivores alike, and research reveals its benefits with hormonal balance and cancer prevention.

Convinced you don’t like tofu? Could it be you simply didn’t enjoy the way it was prepared? Give this recipe a taste test, and let us know what you think. Culinary creations that are flavor intense are my objective, and my intent is to enjoy every meal feeling a sense of “oh, wow, that was fabulous” afterwards. I wish the same for you!

Note: An ingredient you may not be familiar with are the fermented dried black beans. Find them in China town or the international section of many grocers.

tofu cutlets black bean close up_pic

Spicy Black Bean Asian Cutlets

Prep time: 10 minutes. Marinating and bake time: 40 minutes

Vegan, gluten free

Serves 3–4


  • tofu cutlets black bean marinating_pic1 lb block organic tofu, firm (La Soyaire is a great brand)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • ¼ cup tamari: low sodium/gluten free or coconut aminos
  • 1–2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey or other sweetener, or to taste
  • ¼ cup organic orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • ½–1 teaspoon dried chili flakes, or to taste
  • 1.5 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons fermented dried black beans, roughly chopped (I actually like to add an extra teaspoon or two)
  • 3–5 cups baby spinach or any other greens or veggies that appeal to you
  • Garnish:
  • Zest from one organic orange
  • 2 tablespoons hemp or sesame seeds and cilantro sprigs


tofu cutlets black bean baking sheet_pic1. Pre-heat oven to 350F. Cut tofu into 8 even slices (rectangles) and wrap in a clean tea towel to remove excess moisture. Set aside while preparing marinade.

2. Mix together all other ingredients (except garnish) in a shallow glass baking dish large enough to hold tofu in a single layer or in a large freezer bag to make a marinade. Cover tofu in marinade until all sides of each piece is covered. Let stand at least 20 minutes or several hours in the fridge. Overnight is best if you have the time.

3. When ready to bake, drain and reserve marinade. Arrange tofu in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a pre-heated oven for approx. 20–25 minutes or until bronzed and firm, turning over halfway through baking time. When the tofu is ready, pour the reserved marinade over tofu pieces, let warm a minute or so then cut each rectangle diagonally.

4. Serve over a bed of spinach and rice if desired and accompany with your favorite seasonal vegetables.

5. Garnish with hemp or sesame seeds, orange zest, and cilantro.

Teri’s Tip

Condiment queen that I am, I often double the sauce recipe, generously douse each cutlet during and after baking then serve the remaining sauce on the side. It’s great if you do have leftovers and plan to make a Buddha bowl.

Check out other great Asain dinner options like this Nori Roll recipe!

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