Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu

  • 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

    Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu
    Prep Time
    30 mins
    Cook Time
    15 mins
    Total Time
    45 mins
     

    This crispy pan-fried sesame garlic tofu is going to change your mind about tofu almost instantly!

    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Asian
    Servings: 2
    Calories: 313 kcal
    Ingredients
    • 14 ounces extra firm tofu
    • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    For the sauce
    • 1/4 cup soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1 teaspoon 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
    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. In a large skillet, add sesame oil then bring up to medium-high heat.

    4. Once oil is heated up, add the tofu to the skillet and let brown on all 4 sides.

    5. In the meantime, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.

    6. 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.

    7. Serve and enjoy!

    Recipe Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu
    Amount Per Serving (1 g)
    Calories 313 Calories from Fat 144
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 16g 25%
    Total Carbohydrates 17g 6%
    Protein 19g 38%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

    There is an affiliate link in this post.

  • 12 Comments
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    Comments

  • Jennifer says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never said this about tofu, but OMG, this looks delicious! Do you think the leftovers would keep, or would they get soggy? Thanks!

    • Julie says:

      Thank you!! I actually had leftovers in the sense of like 8 hours later (I made them in the morning, saved them to eat in the evening) and they were fine…not super crispy but definitely not soggy either.

  • Tammy Poitras says:

    The actual recipe ingredients seem to be missing the garlic.

    • Julie says:

      The sambal oelek is a spicy garlic sauce :)

  • Lauren @ Lemon & Mocha says:

    I think THIS tofu would definitely make me love tofu!!

  • christie says:

    sambal oelek doesn’t contain garlic. i’m looking at the ingredients and it’s ground chilis, vinegar, salt, and preservatives. is it possible you mean huy fong chili garlic sauce?

    • Julie says:

      AHH omg, you are right!!! That is exactly what I meant. They’re so similar in packaging that I just thought they were interchangeable names :(

  • Janet Berg says:

    Hi!
    Cubes have six sides, not four….:-)….

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Lol thanks!

  • Jade says:

    There are 6 sides to a cube, not 4…..

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yes, someone has always pointed that out to me. I haven’t gotten around to changing it in the recipe; it doesn’t affect the recipe in any way that I can’t get my shapes right ;)

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