Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli Bowls
I’m starting to gain a fresh perspective on tofu and I’m trying to find more ways to incorporate it into my dinners.
These teriyaki tofu and broccoli bowls are a fresh new way to incorporate tofu into a meal (including this pan-fried sesame garlic tofu).
You won’t miss the meat and the teriyaki tofu is so much better than calling your local take-out place. It takes no time to put these bowls together.
Easiest dinner: teriyaki tofu and broccoli bowls
I have always loved tofu. I was never the one who refused to eat it.
Growing up, my mom would prepare tofu for us all the time so I’m sure that plays a big part of why I love it and am not averse to it.
Additionally, the way you prepare the tofu also contributes to its texture and edibility. I talk about that more below.
Teriyaki tofu and broccoli bowls are a take on my 20-minute teriyaki chicken and broccoli recipe.
It’s just as flavorful and filling, but this is plant-based recipe is definitely on brand right now.
How to make teriyaki tofu and broccoli bowls
It’s really three big steps broken up.
You first drain your tofu (see below) then you make the sauce then you put everything together.
What is the best kind of tofu to use?
The firmer the better!
If you can find extra firm tofu then that’s the best kind to cook with so the tofu doesn’t lose its shape.
If you were making mapo tofu, then softer tofu works for that dish, but generally for most tofu bowl dishes, the firmer the better so the tofu cubes keep their shape.
Tips for cooking tofu and getting it crispy!
You gotta drain it well and the cornstarch exterior helps it, as well!
In my eggplant parmesan recipe, I teach you how to make the best eggplant parm out there (not soggy but actually crispy eggplant). So just like 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.
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 out of the tofu, you gotta press it out.
I know it sounds crazy but it’s actually easier than you think; there’s hardly any work at all involved!
How to get the liquid out of tofu
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.
Then, you can choose whether you want to do this on a plate with paper towels or a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
If you do this on a plate with paper towels, 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.
If you want to do this with a wire rack on top of a baking sheet, just put the tofu on top of the wire rack and the heavy object on top of the tofu. The liquid should drain onto the baking sheet below.
Can I substitute the tofu for another protein?
Again, this recipe is based off of my 20-minute teriyaki chicken and broccoli so chicken would be a great alternative to tofu if you are so inclined.
Tofu recipes that you’ll love:
Teriyaki Tofu and Broccoli Bowls
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 ½ cups fresh broccoli florets
- Cooked brown rice
For the sauce:
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ½ – 2 tablespoons cornstarch, start with ½ tablespoon then if your sauce is not thickening as you would like, add another ½ tablespoon with some water to make a slurry then pour into skillet, continue until desired consistency
- 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.Leave for 30 minutes and halfway through, change out the paper towels.Alternatively, if you want to do this with a wire rack on top of a baking sheet, just put the tofu on top of the wire rack and the heavy object on top of the tofu. The liquid should drain onto the baking sheet below.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and add the broccoli. Blanch the broccoli for 5 minutes then immediately transfer the broccoli to an ice bath (a large bowl of water with ice in it) to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
- 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 and get crispy 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 and broccoli around to coat then remove from heat.
- Serve with brown rice.
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.
Photography by Ari Laing