This Sesame Garlic Tofu features crispy, oven-baked tofu paired with a delicious homemade sesame garlic sauce that is the perfect balance between sweet and savory.
This sesame garlic tofu is sure to make a regular appearance on your weekly dinner rotation.
Crispy baked tofu is coated in a delicious sweet and savory sauce made from low-sodium soy sauce, garlic, maple syrup, and sesame oil.
Pair it with jasmine rice and veggies like this air fried broccoli and cauliflower for a satisfying dinner.
So thankful for RAVE reviews I've gotten over this recipe! It was originally created March 2022 but I thought it deserved more love and new pictures.
This sesame garlic tofu is sweet, salty, and easy to make. Made with simple ingredients that you probably have in your pantry and fridge!
Extra-Firm Tofu: Drain and press the tofu. This helps improve the texture of the tofu and get extra crispy.
Cornstarch: Coating the tofu in cornstarch helps it get extra crispy in the oven.
Seasonings: The tofu is coated in garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and a tiny pinch of salt.
Vegetables: I added a mix of red bell peppers, green bell peppers, shallot, and garlic. You can toss any vegetables you like into this dish.
Low-Sodium Soy Sauce: Soy sauce or gluten-free tamari is the base of the sauce.
Maple Syrup: Adding pure maple syrup to the sauce adds a sweet flavor that balances the savory and salty soy sauce.
Chili Sauce: You can add sambal oelek, sriracha, or hot sauce of your choice to add a bit of heat to your sauce.
Toasted Sesame Oil: This is a finishing oil and should be added after the tofu has been removed from the heat.
See recipe card for quantities.
I highly recommend investing in a tofu press if you make a lot of tofu recipes. It has completely changed the way I cook tofu!
How to Make This Recipe
Bake tofu until crispy and then coat it in a tasty sweet and savory sauce made of few simple ingredients that you probably have in your fridge and pantry!
The full written recipe can be found in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Cube the tofu into small pieces and toss in a shallow bowl. Pour the soy sauce over the tofu and toss until evenly coated.
Step 2: Sprinkle the cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and a pinch of Kosher salt over the tofu and toss carefully to evenly coat.
Step 3: Transfer the tofu to a parchment lined baking tray, drizzle or spray with avocado oil.
Step 4: Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
Step 5: Whisk together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside. Add a small splash of avocado oil on to a frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the peppers for about 3-4 minutes. Then, add minced shallot and garlic and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Step 6: Pour in the prepared sauce and bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 7-10 minutes.
Step 7: Add the baked tofu and toss in the sauce to coat. Allow the tofu to simmer in the sauce for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has reached your desired thickness.
Step 8: Turn off heat and drizzle in the toasted sesame oil.
Serve sesame garlic tofu over jasmine rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
Note: Before you begin cooking the tofu, make sure to prepare a pot of rice so that it's ready when the tofu is done. While I prefer jasmine rice, feel free to use any type of rice you prefer.
Substitutions & Variations
Feel free to customize this sesame garlic tofu to fit your preferences or use what you have on hand.
Tofu: Instead of tofu, feel free to use tempeh or vegan chicken.
Make it gluten-free: Simply use a certified gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.
Sambal Oelek: This is a chili sauce. You can use sriracha or red chili flakes.
Maple Syrup: Agave syrup will work as well as organic cane sugar.
Peppers: You can leave the peppers out or replace it with your favorite stir-fry veggies.
I often serve this vegan sesame garlic tofu over a bed of jasmine rice and topped with green onions. Simple yet satisfying dinner!
Rice or Noodles: Serve over a bed of jasmine rice, rice noodles, or udon noodles.
Stir-Fry Veggies: I often add sautéed shallot and green and red peppers but stir-fried broccoli, bok choy, and snap peas would be great as well.
Cucumber Edamame Salad: My absolute favorite side is this simple cucumber edamame salad. It pairs perfectly with this dish!
Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.
Reheating: Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat until hot.
Freezing: I do not recommend freezing this recipe as it will change the texture of the tofu. You can however freeze the sesame garlic sauce and thaw when desired.
Tips & Tricks
Before you begin cooking the tofu, make sure to prepare a pot of rice so that it's ready when the tofu is done. I prefer white jasmine rice but feel free to use any type of rice you prefer.
Press your tofu. Pressing improves the texture of the tofu and will also help the tofu crisp up in the oven.
Use cornstarch. Coating the tofu in cornstarch is key to getting the best crispy tofu. When combined with a little moisture it creates a coating that gets perfectly crisp and golden brown.
Frequently Asked Questions
I always recommend pressing your tofu when it comes to making dishes like this one. I helps the tofu get crispy in the oven and improves the texture.
Baking removes the moisture so the texture becomes chewy. It has a crisp exterior and a chewy but soft interior.
Tossing your tofu in cornstarch helps it get crispy in the oven but you can omit it. Check out my recipe for air fryer tofu without cornstarch.
Yes, you can. Follow the same seasoning ingredients but pan-fry over medium-high heat until golden and crispy.
More Tofu Recipes
Looking for other tofu recipes recipes? Try these:
Sesame Garlic Tofu
- Block of Extra-Firm Tofu drained and pressed
- 1 tablespoon Low-Sodium Soy Sauce or gluten-free tamari
- ½ tablespoon Cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Pinch of Kosher Salt
- Drizzle of Avocado Oil for cooking
Sesame Garlic Sauce:
- ½ cup Red Bell Peppers diced
- ½ cup Green Bell Peppers diced
- 1 small Shallot minced
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- ¼ cup Low-Sodium Soy Sauce or gluten-free tamari
- ¼ cup Water
- 1 tablespoon Lime Juice or more rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
- 2 ½ tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek or Sriracha more to taste
- 1 teaspoon Cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil finishing oil
- Sesame Seeds for garnish
- Green Onions for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Press the tofu for at least 15 minutes to remove excess water. You can do this by using a tofu press or by making a DIY tofu press. To do so, simply wrap the block of tofu in paper towels or clean dishcloths and place it in a shallow bowl. Then, stack heavy items on top to drain the excess water.
- Cube the tofu into small pieces and toss in a shallow bowl. Pour the soy sauce over the tofu and toss until evenly coated.
- Sprinkle the cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper and a pinch of Kosher salt over the tofu and toss carefully to evenly coat.
- Transfer the tofu to a parchment lined baking tray, drizzle or spray with avocado oil, and bake for 20-25 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
- While the tofu is baking, prepare the sauce.
- Whisk together the low-sodium soy sauce, water, lime juice, rice vinegar, maple syrup, sriracha, and cornstarch in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Add a small splash of avocado oil on to a frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Dice the green and red bell pepper and add them to the pan. Cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add the minced shallot and garlic and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the prepared sauce and bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 7-10 minutes.
- Add the baked tofu and toss in the sauce to coat. Allow the tofu to simmer in the sauce for an additional 2-3 minutes or until the sauce has reached your desired thickness.
- Turn off heat and drizzle in the toasted sesame oil.
- Serve sesame garlic tofu over jasmine rice. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!
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