This pan fried sesame tofu uses the BEST sticky, sweet sesame sauce. It's made with fresh garlic and ginger for lots of flavor and is naturally sweetened with maple syrup. This recipe is a lighter, vegan version of a takeout favorite (sesame chicken)!
For a tasty takeout-style meal at home, this sesame tofu is always delicious. The sauce is thick, sticky, and just the right balance of garlic, ginger, and sweetness. It's a classic sesame sauce that coats the tofu and flavors it perfectly.
Plus this is a quick and easy dinner: it's ready in less than 30 minutes and can be served over rice or noodles. You can make this as a busy weeknight dinner or as meal prep for the week.
Here's what you'll need to make this recipe. The full recipe card and ingredient list can be found at the bottom of the page.
- Extra-firm tofu
- Soy sauce
- Maple syrup
- Rice vinegar
- Sesame oil
- Sesame seeds
Here's how to make this recipe in 5 simple steps:
- Prepare the tofu: drain & press the tofu. Cut it into 1" cubes and then toss it in a large bowl or Ziploc bag with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Set aside.
- Make the sauce: in a small bowl, stir together garlic, ginger, soy sauce, syrup, rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Set aside.
- Cook the tofu: add 1 tablespoon sesame oil to a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook for 2 - 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
- Simmer the sauce: add the sauce to the skillet. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, until thickened. Gently stir the tofu into the sauce.
- Serve: serve warm, optionally over rice or noodles. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds before serving.
Here's some of the most popular substitutions and additions for this recipe:
- Cornstarch: substitute arrowroot flour or tapioca flour if preferred
- Ginger: you can use ¼ teaspoon ground ginger instead
- Soy sauce: swap this out for Tamari sauce or coconut aminos to make this recipe gluten free
A tofu press can be used for this recipe but isn't necessary. Before you cook the tofu, you'll want to drain and press it for 20 - 30 minutes.
If you don't have a tofu press, wrap your tofu in paper towels or a kitchen towel and then press it between two cutting boards with a weight (like a heavy book or two) on top. This will remove moisture from the tofu and help it cook crispy.
- In the fridge: cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 - 5 days.
- In the freezer: it's not recommended to freeze this recipe.
If you prefer crispier tofu, cook your tofu cubes for a couple minutes more on each side. You can also add a tablespoon more oil to your skillet or toss your tofu in a tablespoon more cornstarch for more crispiness.
More Takeout-Inspired Recipes
If you like this recipe, you’ll love these other plant-based, takeout-inspired favorites!Print