Tofu Piccata. Rey Lopez for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

A year and a half ago, I started cooking every Monday with my pal Emmet Moeller. We have a prepared-food service we call Full Fridge Club. (Emmet came up with the name, and I love it so much.) Each week, we make a completely new menu of several locally sourced, beautiful dishes that our clients take home and enjoy.

The part of our work that makes me most proud is that, for every customer we cook for, we put at least one meal into one of the Community Fridges in Kingston, N.Y. Since September 2022, we have contributed more than 1,300 meals to those fridges, where people who need it can pick up free food.

One way we describe Full Fridge Club is that it’s like having a more affordable private chef. Another is that we make all the decisions about menus and ingredients so you don’t have to. Working with Emmet and the rest of our crew (Stephen helps cook and package, and keeps everything running smoothly; Timmy works with clients, and also sometimes delivers meals and just brings so much joy into the space) is such a wonderful anchor in my weekly schedule. We have a lot of fun cooking so much food.

I could go on and on about Full Fridge Club (and probably will a bit over the next few months!), but today I wanted to share that cooking for our clients has taught me so many ways to make and enjoy tofu. This is because we keep everything on our menus vegetarian and gluten-free, so the dishes work for as many people as possible. (We also offer an additional meat option every week.) So, yeah: We cook a lot of tofu.

I’ve always liked tofu, but I’ve never craved it. Learning different ways to prepare it has opened my eyes to how unbelievably flexible and versatile it is.

Enter Tofu Piccata, a dish I made for our clients a few months ago that I now make at home regularly. To prepare it, you season flour with salt, pepper and garlic powder, and dredge planks of tofu in it. Then you pan-fry the tofu in olive oil and set it aside, and next, to the hot pan, add sliced lemon, lemon juice, capers, white wine and broth, letting that all boil and reduce a bit. Then, while stirring, you add butter, a little at a time, to make a pan sauce so delicious, it would make a cardboard box taste good. Pour the whole thing over the tofu, and call it a day.


You’ve probably had chicken piccata, but I’ve found tofu to also be an ideal vehicle for this sauce because, like chicken, it doesn’t compete with the punchy, lemony flavor, plus it holds its wonderful texture. It’s a quick, surprisingly easy dinner to make at home that feels a little fancy to eat. I like serving it with pasta or rice on the side, plus a Caesar salad and/or garlicky broccoli rabe. If you’re looking for a way to love tofu, give this piccata a try.

Lemon, capers, white wine, broth and butter form the pan sauce. Rey Lopez for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Tofu Piccata

2 to 4 servings

Total time: 25 mins

This quick-cooking tofu dish comes together easily for a great vegetarian weeknight dinner. Serve with pasta, rice, mashed potatoes or garlic bread, plus a salad or vegetable such as broccoli rabe.

For more information on how to press tofu, see our corresponding story.


Storage: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.


1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, drained and cut crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) planks

1/3 cup all-purpose flour (regular or gluten-free)

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon fine salt


1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 lemon, halved

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons drained capers

1/4 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio (or vermouth)

1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth (see Substitutions)


1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter (regular or vegan), quartered


Place the tofu planks on one side of a clean kitchen towel and fold the towel over the tofu (or use a double layer of paper towels). Place a large sheet pan or cutting board on top of the towel-covered tofu and weigh it down with something heavy, such as a cast-iron skillet or a large can of tomatoes. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

On a large shallow plate, combine the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper and use your fingers to mix them together. Thinly slice one of the lemon halves and juice the other half.

In a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering.

Dredge the tofu planks in the seasoned flour and knock off any excess (discard any leftover flour or save for another use). Working in batches as necessary, carefully place the tofu pieces in the hot oil and sear until golden brown on each side, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the tofu to a serving platter.

Add the sliced lemon, lemon juice, capers, white wine and broth to the skillet and increase the heat to high. Bring to a boil and cook, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon to loosen any stuck bits, until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the butter one piece at a time, stirring to melt each addition before adding the next. Pour the sauce over the tofu and serve immediately.

Substitutions: In place of broth, use boiling water with Better Than Bouillon chicken-flavored or vegetarian No Chicken base. For more spice, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper to the flour dredge.

Nutrition per serving, based on 4: 227 calories, 7g carbohydrates, 12mg cholesterol, 16g fat, 3g fiber, 11g protein, 4g saturated fat, 161mg sodium, 1g sugar

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