For an easy weeknight dinner, look no further than this baked sesame tofu! It’s so easy to make, requires only 10 minutes of prep time and is completely vegan and gluten free.
It’s no secret around here that I’m a big, ok huge, fan of sesame anything. Sesame noodles, chickpeas, cauliflower, now sesame tofu?! Sesame salmon is next on my list but I’m always open to suggestions!
Easy dinners are my favorite kind of dinners. Easy dinners that are so flavorful are the absolute best. This baked tofu recipe is exactly that and I cannot wait for you to try it!
Tofu does not contain sesame as it is just made with soy beans, but this recipe contains sesame oil for a delicious sesame flavor. If you love this recipe, try my crispy garlic tofu next!
Tips for crispy tofu
I’ll admit, I totally understand why some people are so turned off by tofu. It doesn’t look all that great straight out of the package, and without any sauce, it doesn’t have much of a flavor.
However, (and a big however!), if you know how to cook tofu properly, then you can make it taste seriously delicious. Crispy, flavorful, easy to make, high in protein… basically everything you could want.
The key to baking tofu is to bake it plain and with some sort of flour or starch. Baking it without any sauce ensures the tofu on its own is able to crisp up and without burning the sauce.
The flour/starch works to absorb any excess moisture to give us a super crispy exterior and soft interior. We’ll then coat it in the sauce after it bakes so it stays crispy!
Cut tofu. Cut a slit in the side of the tofu container and drain out all of the excess liquid. Remove the tofu from the package and wrap it in a towel just to get off as much liquid as possible without having to press the tofu. Once it seems dry, cut the tofu into 1 inch cubes.
Prep tofu. Once the tofu is cubed, add it to a large bowl and toss with the soy sauce. Next, toss in the cornstarch then the breadcrumbs. I like to just shake the bowl so the tofu doesn’t break (sometimes it breaks if you use a spoon) and toss until every piece is well coated.
Bake. Add to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and try to ensure none of the tofu pieces touch each other. I know that seems annoying, but the space between really helps it get crispy.
Make sauce. Add the tofu to the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. While the tofu is baking, we’ll prepare the sauce on the stove.
Serve. Once the sauce and tofu are done, toss both together until well coated and enjoy! I like to serve it with brown or white rice and some steamed broccoli.
Do you need to press tofu?
Yes and no. You can absolutely get away with not pressing the tofu for this recipe. I don’t list it in the instructions because this recipe turns out really well without any pressing. Plus, it saves a lot of time!
Tofu is basically a sponge that sits in water and absorbs all of it. Pressing out the excess water does help make it more crispy and ensures it cooks evenly through the center.
If you’re trying to get flavors into the tofu, you do want to press it. In the case of this sesame tofu, we’re trying to get a crispy outside so the sauce will stick on the outside, so pressing isn’t necessary.
Moral of the story, nothing bad will happen if you don’t press tofu, but if you want the crispiest and most flavorful tofu around, press away!
Does it keep?
Once prepared, this sesame tofu will keep in the fridge for 3 days. It is best served fresh, but you can pop everything back in the oven at 200 for 10 minutes to crisp it back up. The microwave also works, but tends to make things a bit soft/soggy.
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Garlic Sesame Tofu
by: claire cary
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 3 tbsp breadcrumbs I used gluten free
- Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
- Drain the excess liquid from the tofu and dry it off with a towel*.
- Cut into 1 inch cubes and add to a large bowl. Toss with the soy sauce.
- Toss with the cornstarch, then the breadcrumbs until all pieces are evenly coated.
- Add to the baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
- During the final 10 minutes, prep the sauce.
- Mince the garlic and saute with 1 tbsp neutral oil in a small saute pan for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Add in the soy sauce, honey or maple syrup, rice vinegar, 2 tbsp of water and sesame oil.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and other 2 tbsp of water in a bowl and add to the pan.
- Heat over low heat for 3-5 minutes or until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
- When the tofu is done, toss with the sauce. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli or enjoy as is!