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pan fried sesame tofu

Sesame Tofu

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


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)!


  • 1 (14 ounce) package extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce (or coconut aminos, Tamari sauce for gluten-free)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • Sesame seeds


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Serve: serve warm, optionally over rice or noodles. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds before serving.


*How to press tofu: drain and press your tofu for 20 - 30 minutes before starting this recipe. Use a tofu press or 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) on top. This will remove moisture and help the tofu cook crispy. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired


  • Calories: 247
  • Sugar: 9.9
  • Sodium: 1208
  • Fat: 13.5
  • Saturated Fat: 1.7
  • Carbohydrates: 21
  • Fiber: 1
  • Protein: 12.4

Keywords: sesame, takeout, tofu