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Silken tofu is a quick and flavorful side dish often served as a complement to your favorite Asian main dish. This easy side dish has a delicate and silky texture combined with bright ingredients like green onions, agave nectar, and cilantro to balance the spicier ingredients like chili flakes and minced Thai chilies.

A block of tofu is topped with green onions, cilantro, sesame seeds, and a homemade oil.
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I’m a fan of all kinds of tofu, but silken tofu definitely has a special place in my heart because this recipe is extremely similar to one that my mom used to make for us when we were growing up. It’s one of the easiest slap together recipes that she would make it often, and I remember during hot summer nights, it was the best way to cool off.

The best part of this silken tofu recipe is that you can eat it straight out of the fridge. No baking, frying, or air frying required! This chilled dish is simply topped with a mouthwatering combo of ingredients and enjoyed as is. And yes, you can eat silken tofu without cooking it.

The Difference Between Silken Tofu and Regular Tofu

Silken tofu has a soft, extremely delicate, and as its namesake, silky texture. It falls apart easily if you are handling it too roughly and slices through like butter. It’s most common in Japanese-style cuisines. Silken tofu most usually is packaged in a white plastic container with water in it and rarely does it come wrapped in just plastic.

Regular tofu is firmer and more of a bean-curd Chinese style. It usually is packaged in a white plastic container with water and often times it also can be packaged in a thicker style plastic wrap with water.

Both types of tofu may be bought in soft, medium, firm, and for the regular tofu, extra-firm consistencies.

silken tofu ingredients

Ingredients for Silken Tofu

Let’s cover what you need to make this easy tofu recipe. Note that you can find exact measurements in the recipe card below!

  • Silken Tofu – Most major grocery stores offer silken tofu, but if you’re out of luck, you may need to head to your local Asian market.
  • Tamari – Keep this recipe gluten free with tamari! Or, if you don’t mind gluten, regular soy sauce also works.
  • Sesame Chili Oil – If this ingredient is too spicy for you, feel free to swap it for plain sesame oil.
  • Agave Nectar – This ingredient adds a note of natural tasting sweetness to help balance the spice.
  • Rice Wine Vinegar – Try not not replace this vinegar with anything else.
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds – You can use un-toasted sesame seeds if you’d prefer, but you’ll miss out on some incredible flavor.
  • Chili Flakes – Add more or less of this ingredient to control the spice level.
  • Green Onion – Make sure it’s fresh! You don’t want any discoloration or soft spots on the green onion.
  • Thai Chili – These peppers are spicier than jalapeños, so keep that in mind when mixing it into your sauce. Also, after you chop it, don’t touch your eyes!
  • Cilantro – Garnish your silken tofu with some fresh cilantro. It’s not just pretty, it also adds a great fresh flavor.

How to Make Silken Tofu Step by Step

  • Whisk. In a medium bowl, whisk everything together except for the tofu and the cilantro.
silken tofu being topped with soy sauce mixture
  • Assemble. Place the silken tofu in a bowl (or deep plate) and pour the sauce mixture right on top of it. Garnish with cilantro, and enjoy!


Can I use another type of tofu?

You must use silken in this! You don’t want to be chewing through regular firm tofu. It’s all about the silky, tender texture!

Can you eat tofu raw?

Yes, absolutely. There’s nothing wrong with that and I’ve been doing it nearly my entire life. It’s technically not “raw” – it has been pressed and packaged – it just hasn’t been cooked, but it’s absolutely safe to eat it “uncooked.”

How spicy is the sauce?

It definitely has some heat from the chili flakes, minced Thai chili, and sesame chili oil! You can add more or less of those spicy ingredients as you see fit.

Storage Instructions

Once the sauce has been poured on top of the block of tofu, it’s best to eat it right away. It won’t hold up too well in the fridge.

More Easy Tofu Recipes

Tofu is so versatile! There are a number of different ways to make it:

5 from 1 vote

Chilled Silken Tofu

One of my favorite childhood dishes gets a glow up with a spicy, savory topping!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 14 ounce (397 g) block silken tofu
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) tamari, or regular soy sauce if not gluten-free
  • 2 teaspoons sesame chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon light agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Thai chili, minced
  • A few sprigs of cilantro, for topping
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  • In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the tofu and cilantro. Place the tofu in a bowl or deep plate and pour the sauce over the top. Top with a few springs of cilantro and serve.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 124kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 18mg, Potassium: 297mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 9g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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