Tofu burger

Tofu burger

Tofu is well known in the world. You’ve probably made something with tofu. What do you usually make?

Today, I’m going to introduce a Japanese style burger which includes tofu. I’ve recently known that the Japanese so-called “hamburger” hambagu is different from a hamburger steak. I asked my American friend who knows about Japan very well what I should call this. He recommended me to say ”tofu hambagu” just like we call it. According to him, Japanese hambagu is more like a Salisbury steak than a hamburger steak. However, it’s not exactly the same as a Salisbury steak.

Ordinary Japanese homemade hambagu contains ground pork and beef, bread crumbs soaked in milk, chopped onions, salt and pepper as seasonings. Japanese hambagu is juicy and fluffy because of these ingredients. It’s very popular for kids.

The combination of using ground beef and pork together is more common than just using beef or pork. Pre-mixed ground beef and pork are always sold at the markets. This is just the Japanese tendency. You can use either one for this tofu burger depending on your liking.

Preparation of tofu

Tofu has a lot of moisture. Drain excess liquid beforehand.
Wrap the tofu with a kitchen towel. Put a flat plate or a cutting board on the tofu and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. This process is important when you cook tofu.


I use shiso leaves and grated daikon radish as a garnish. Both are very common garnishes in Japanese cuisine.

Shiso leaf is a representative of Japanese herbs. It’s widely used and goes well with many different type of foods. The flavor of shiso is similar to basil as they are the same species. It’s also used for Japanese style spaghetti. “I love them!”

Grated daikon radish is also used for many kinds of dishes such as tempura, grilled fish and steaks. Daikon radish helps refresh your mouth when you eat fatty food. When you grate daikon radish, use the part near the leaves. This part is hard and sweet, so it’s good for making grated daikon. On the contrary, the end part tastes spicy and bitter, so it’s not good to eat raw. This part is usually used in a miso soup or pickles.

When I use grated daikon radish for tofu burgers, I always serve it with ponzu. Ponzu is a very common Japanese condiment contains citrus, vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, and dashi. It looks like soy sauce but it sour and flavorful. Ponzu can be made at home but it’s more common to buy bottled ponzu on the market.


My daughter doesn’t like tofu. However, she didn’t notice that this burger included tofu the first time she tried it. She enjoyed eating this tofu humbagu as her favorite. If your family tends to only eat meat, it would be worth trying this healthy burger trick!


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Recipe by MikaDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Burger patties
  • 500g ground beef and pork mixture (7:3 or 6:4)

  • 350g cotton tofu

  • half onion

  • 1 large egg

  • pinch of salt and pepper

  • Vegetable oil

  • Garnish
  • 200g daikon radish

  • 15 shiso leaves

  • Ponzu sauce


  • You need these ingredients and ponzu.
  • How to make tofu burger patties
  • Wrap the tofu with a kitchen towel.
    Put something flat such as a plate or cutting board on the tofu. Put a thick book or something on that. Leave it for over 30 minutes.
  • As you can see in this photo, excess liquid is pressed out of the tofu.
  • Chop the onion. first, cut the onion horizontally. Next, cut it vertically. Then chop it. Cut the chopped onions into smaller pieces.
  • Combine the meat mixture, chopped onions, egg, salt and pepper in the bowl. Add the tofu while crumbling it.Mix them well.
  • Use about 60g of the mixture to make burger patties. It should make approximately 20 mini burgers.
  • Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat and put the oil in the pan.Place the burger patties in the pan and cook them for about 2 minutes.
  • Flip the patties over, then turn down the heat to low. Cook them for about 10 minutes.
  • How to prepare the garnishes
  • Grate the daikon radish. Drain excess moisture.Squeeze the grated daikon by your hand just before you use it.
  • Pile 5 or 6 shiso leaves on the cutting board and discard the stems.Roll up the leaves like this.
  • Cut the leaves into julienne. Soak the julienned shiso leaves in cold water.
    Drain and wipe the excess moisture with a kitchen towel.
  • Presentation
  • Place the ingredients on a large plate in order of shiso leaves, burgers, grated daikon, then put julienned shiso leaves on the top.
  • Drizzle ponzu just before eating.


  • This burger should be cooked through because pork is used. So you don’t need pre-saute the onion. It’s also cooked well together.
  • Please make your favorite size of tofu burgers!

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