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Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu

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If you aren't totally 100% on board with tofu yet, this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu will have you head over heels in love with it! #tofu #tofurecipe #vegan #veganrecipes

If you’ve claimed yourself not a tofu fan, you probably just haven’t had tofu the right way.

I bet you if you had this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu, you would change your tune on tofu!

I have been loving tofu in my dishes lately.

It’s a great source of protein and low in fat.

It’s so tender too and it soaks up all the flavor of the dish.

It’s a great blank slate and super versatile.

Think of it like the vegetarian’s chicken, haha

I mean, kind of is. We add chicken to our dishes to flavor it up and have it soak up the flavors of the dish. Tofu is basically doing the same.

If you aren't totally 100% on board with tofu yet, this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu will have you head over heels in love with it! #tofu #tofurecipe #vegan #veganrecipes

What kind of tofu do you need?

I love getting extra-firm tofu.

If you get soft, it just falls apart completely in the skillet.

How do you get the tofu so crispy? What’s the secret?

You gotta drain it well and cornstarch!

So, kind of like my eggplant parmesan recipe where you pull the liquid out of the eggplant, you gotta pull the liquid out of the tofu.

Tofu comes in a package and it’s just sitting in water.

And like I mentioned above, tofu soaks up all the flavor in a dish so you can imagine how much liquid tofu is soaking up while sitting in the package.

To get the liquid of out of the tofu, you gotta press it.

It’s actually easier than you think; there’s hardly any work at all involved!

If you aren't totally 100% on board with tofu yet, this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu will have you head over heels in love with it! #tofu #tofurecipe #vegan #veganrecipes

How do you press the tofu to get the liquid out?

You start by opening the package of the tofu and then holding the tofu in place, tip the package upside down so all the water is drained.

Definitely do this over a sink!

Then, on a small plate, place two sheets of paper towels on the plate.

Place the tofu on top.

Then place two more sheets of paper towels on top of the tofu.

Find something heavy like a cast iron skillet and place it on top of the tofu.

Let that sit for about 30 minutes but coming back to check on it halfway through and change out the paper towel.

This essentially presses out the liquid of the tofu and gives you a much better way to work with it!

And ensuring it gets crispy and not soggy!

If you aren't totally 100% on board with tofu yet, this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu will have you head over heels in love with it! #tofu #tofurecipe #vegan #veganrecipes

Tips for getting crispy tofu

All the above ways will definitely help to ensure a crispy exterior but also what you use and the method you cook will help too!

First, definitely do the pressing.

Second, coat the tofu in cornstarch.

It’s messy but it’s worth it.

Third, once you get it in the skillet, DON’T TOUCH IT!

As with all things (browning meats, crisping up the bottoms of potstickers, making fall off the bone ribs), leave it alone and let it do its thing.

If you keep moving it around in the pan, it won’t have the time to brown at all.

The simple ingredients in this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu

There are only a handful of ingredients for the sauce that coats this tofu dish!

  • Soy sauce
  • Sambal oelek (spicy garlic sauce)
  • Rice vinegar
  • Honey
  • Sesame oil

If you aren't totally 100% on board with tofu yet, this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu will have you head over heels in love with it! #tofu #tofurecipe #vegan #veganrecipes

Grab the recipe below and make this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu tonight!

Serve it with a side of rice and vegetables or make a tofu bowl!

Or, pin this recipe and save it for later!

If you aren't totally 100% on board with tofu yet, this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu will have you head over heels in love with it! #tofu #tofurecipe #vegan #veganrecipes

If you aren't totally 100% on board with tofu yet, this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu will have you head over heels in love with it! #tofu #tofurecipe #vegan #veganrecipes
4.59 from 102 votes
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Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu

This crispy pan-fried sesame garlic tofu is going to change your mind about tofu almost instantly!
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian
Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 2
Calories: 313kcal
Author: Julie Chiou

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

For the sauce

  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (if you like it less spicy, stick with 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Instructions

  • Place two paper towels on a plate then place the entire block of tofu (drained from its packaging liquid) onto the plate. Place two more paper towels on top of the tofu then put a heavy item on top. Not TOO heavy that it would completely crush the tofu but heavy enough that it can squeeze out liquid.
    I like using a cast iron skillet.
    Leave for 30 minutes and halfway through, change out the paper towels.
  • Once the tofu has drained, slice in half then into cubes and place into a large bowl. Sprinkle cornstarch on top and gently toss with your hands to ensure all tofu pieces are covered.
  • In a large skillet, add sesame oil then bring up to medium-high heat.
  • Once oil is heated up, add the tofu to the skillet and let brown on all sides.
  • In the meantime, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.
  • Once the tofu has browned and crisped up on all sides, add the sauce to the skillet and it should start to thicken immediately. Toss the tofu around to coat then remove from heat.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Sesame seeds and scallions are garnish. You can add them if you want but they were mainly added for aesthetic reasons.
Nutrition Facts
Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 313 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Protein 19g38%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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Recipe Rating




Liz

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

This was so good! We air fried the tofu and then tossed it in the sauce with broccoli, it was such a delicious meal!

SARAH L ESTRANGE

Thursday 3rd of December 2020

What type/brand of chili garli sauce is used please?

HBT

Saturday 21st of November 2020

This recipe is our favorite. Thank you for posting it! We use super firm tofu and otherwise make exactly as instructed. My husband, who never liked tofu before, frequently requests this.

Julie

Wednesday 18th of November 2020

Mad this recipe tonight and ended need up eating cereal for dinner because this recipe was Terrible! Don't wast your time on money it!!!!!!

Dawb

Wednesday 11th of November 2020

Great to use as inspiration, but some tweaking definitely helps. As others have stated, use low sodium soy sauce, AND use a bit less and more water. Add the sesame oil INTO the sauce. Sesame oil has a very low burn heat. Use about a tbsp of other flavorless high heat oil to pan fry. Lastly, remove pan from heat just before adding sauce and tossing. Honey also burns easily. Lastly, this site has so many ads pop-up it's almost impossible to write a review and/or even read the recipe. Jeez. Lol.