Learn how to make vegan ‘salmon’ flakes with this easy recipe!

Ingredients for Vegan ‘Salmon Flakes’ (+Substitutions)

To mimic the texture of flaked fish, I used a combination of both yuba and tofu for texture purposes. I borrowed this idea from my Teriyaki ‘Salmon’ recipe where I found dried yuba sticks to really mimic that appearance. I combined that with my Tofu Fish Fillet marinade for flavour and the final result looks pretty close to salmon flakes, if I do say so myself 😅. Here’s a rundown of what you’ll need:

  • Dried yuba sticks: I HIGHLY recommend using the firmer dried yuba for this recipe as it gives it more texture.
  • Extra firm tofu: Easiest to grate and has the best texture for this recipe. However, you can also use firm tofu.
  • Kombu dashi (granules or broth): for umami and seafood-like flavour.
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Mushroom stock powder: or msg, for umami and flavour.
  • Beetroot powder: to give it that pink salmon colour.
  • Nori: for a seafood flavour.
  • Flax oil: this is the KEY ingredient to making it really taste like salmon, thanks to the omega-3.

How to Make Vegan ‘Salmon Flakes’

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add yuba sticks. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Drain and rinse with cold water. Alternatively, you can rehydrate them overnight in warm water. In the meantime, press extra firm tofu to remove excess liquid for 15-30 minutes. 
  2. Finely cut the yuba into small bits with scissors. Using a grater, grate the extra firm tofu. At the end, you’ll be left with a small piece in which you can crumble into the bowl. 
  3. Optional: Torch the yuba and tofu for a smoky flavour. It won’t give off too much colour of charring but adds a smoky cooked flavour to the tofu and marinade. 
  4. Add the kombu dashi broth, rice vinegar, sugar, mushroom stock powder, salt and beetroot powder and nori to a shallow container. Add the yuba and shredded tofu and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. 
  5. Remove from fridge and remove the nori. Drain the marinade in a bowl (save the marinade) and press out as much liquid as you can. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tbsp of neutral oil (I used canola). Now, you have three options:
    1. Torch: torch until you get some smoky-flavour. Again it won’t brown too much but adds flavour!
    2. Pan fry: over medium high heat until you get some colour.
    3. Bake & broil: at 400 for 12-15 minutes and then broil for 2 minutes, toss and another 2 minutes or until you get some nice charging. You don’t want them to be too dried out or they become chewy. 
  6. Remove from heat and drizzle in flax oil, and toss it all together. Now your ‘salmon’ flakes are ready!

Ways to Use Salmon Flakes

Salmon flakes are often enjoyed with rice and onigiri but they’re also great for sushi bowls, onigirazu (rice ball sandwiches), dumplings and more!

If you’ve been keen on trying the whole spicy salmon trend that has been popularized by Emily Mariko on TikTok, you can totally use this salmon recipe! Simply add the salmon flakes to some rice and then drizzle mayo and sriracha. Mix it all together and enjoy with seaweed.

More Vegan Seafood Recipes to Try

SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓

If you recreate this Vegan ‘Salmon’ Flakes recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Vegan ‘Salmon’ Flakes


Description

Learn how to make Vegan ‘Salmon’ Flakes with simple ingredients like yuba and extra firm tofu. Perfect for sushi bowls, onigiri and more!


Ingredients

Units Scale

‘Salmon’ Flakes

  • 40g dried yuba sticks, rehydrated
  • 180200g extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 cup (240ml) kombu dashi broth*
  • 1 tsp (5ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp (5g) sugar
  • 1/4 tsp (1g) mushroom stock powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2g) salt
  • 1 tsp (5g) beetroot powder**
  • 1 nori sheet, torn
  • 1 tsp (5g) flax seed oil

Spicy Mayo ‘Salmon’

  • 1/2 cup (125g) ‘salmon’ flakes
  • 2 tbsp (32g) kewpie mayo, to taste
  • 35 (15g) tsp sriracha, to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add yuba sticks. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until softened. Drain and rinse with cold water. Alternatively, you can rehydrate them overnight in warm water. In the meantime, press extra firm tofu to remove excess liquid for 15-30 minutes. 
  2. Finely cut the yuba into small bits with scissors. Using a grater, grate the extra firm tofu. At the end, you’ll be left with a small piece in which you can crumble into the bowl. 
  3. Optional: Torch the yuba and tofu for a smoky flavour. It won’t give off too much colour of charring but adds a smoky cooked flavour to the tofu and marinade. 
  4. Add the kombu dashi broth, rice vinegar, sugar, mushroom stock powder, salt and beetroot powder and nori to a shallow container. Add the yuba and shredded tofu and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight. 
  5. Remove from fridge and remove the nori. Drain the marinade in a bowl (save the marinade) and press out as much liquid as you can. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tbsp of neutral oil (I used canola). Now, you have three options:
    1. Torch: torch until you get some smoky-flavour. Again it won’t brown too much but adds flavour!
    2. Pan fry: over medium high heat until you get some colour.
    3. Bake & broil: at 400 for 12-15 minutes and then broil for 2 minutes, toss and another 2 minutes or until you get some nice charging. You don’t want them to be too dried out or they become chewy. 
  6. Remove from heat and drizzle in flax oil, and toss it all together. Now your ‘salmon’ flakes are ready!

Notes

  • *Mix 1 tsp of kombu dashi granules with 1 cup water
  • **Optional, for colour. You may also use beetroot or carrot juice.
  • Helpful Equipment: grater
  • Nutritional Information Disclaimer: Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated on an online tool (Cronometer). 

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Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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24 Comments

  1. Question: in the instructions it says to save the marinade, but doesn’t say what for. Should it go back in, or is this to marinate future batches?

    I set the marinade aside but did not reincorporate after cooking the flakes, and they were great! Love the texture and flavor.

  2. Really yummy and good texture! I used a bit of red food colouring instead since I didn’t have beetroot or carrot. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly 🙂

  3. So delicious and great texture! I used a tiny bit of red food colouring since I didn’t have beetroot or carrot on hand. Otherwise followed recipe exactly (but doubled).

  4. If you are a tofu lover ayayay!! This is absolutely delicious and can simply eat it with rice. Lisa had the most amazing tasty and adventurous recipes specially when I am craving Japan in my blood 🙂
    Thank you Lisa.

  5. Phenomenal recipe!! You can use this recipe in so many ways. It provides that fix for salmon without any guilt of animal cruelty. Kudos, Lisa. Delicious!!

  6. This is delicious! I made it today, and it had so much flavour, I think I nearly prefer it to regular salmon!! I couldn’t find beetroot powder so I used a mix of chilli and cayenne powder instead, which also made it spicy (I love spicy though 🤤). Highly recommend everyone to make this… it was so easy too!

  7. So, so good! I used this to veganize the viral salmon bowl and they were amazing. Thank you Lisa!

  8. I recreated the salmon flakes and used them in the viral salmon rice recipe and they are sooo amazing. The texture and taste are really good. I substituted mushroom powder with msg and the beetroot powder with beetroot juice but it couldn’t have turned out any better. Love this <3

  9. So soooo Good – really easy and very delicious – I just love your recipes 💖💖🤞🏽

  10. I have this wonderfulness baking in the ovem as I write.
    Curious to know what to do with the marinade, as you mention to save it?

    Thank you!