Crispy Teriyaki Tofu Recipe
This Teriyaki Tofu is a quick, incredibly flavorful, make-ahead dish! It’s JUST as good as takeout, and perfect for weeknight dinners. Enjoy this sweet and savory tofu recipe!
What Makes this Tofu Recipe So Good?
There is endless depth to this recipe. And, once cooked, the tofu’s texture becomes the perfect amount of crispy – all in all, trying this classic Asian recipe is a must! My favorite part about this dish is the flavour profile from the Teriyaki Tofu marinade. I’m talking soy sauce or liquid aminos, crushed red peppers, raw unrefined sugar, ginger, and rice wine vinegar. All the good stuff.
Here are a couple more reasons to love this tasty tofu recipe:
- It’s Quick: Teriyaki tofu is easily marinated from up to two days before. So, all you need to do is heat it all up in a pot until cooked through, after you take it straight out of the fridge. Tofu is quick, easy, and perfect for a weeknight dinner.
- It’s Healthy: Tofu is great for adding protein to a dish, and it’s also pretty affordable. On top of that, it is packed with all nine of the essential amino acids!
- It’s Make-Ahead: Making this dish ahead of time is a great way to save time in the evenings during the week! Add the teriyaki to the tofu mix, and marinate it for at least 20 minutes, and up to 2 days. You can do this meal prep on a Sunday night, and then on Monday you can come home to a delicious, quick home-cooked meal.
Notes on Ingredients
The most important ingredient in this recipe is obviously tofu, so I’ve got a couple of details on which kind to pick out, and what else you’ll need to make this dish:
For the Crispy Tofu
- Extra-Firm Tofu: Use 1 16-ounce block of tofu, pressed for at least 30 minutes, and chopped into cubes or triangles.
- Soy Sauce: I generally use light soy sauce, but liquid aminos will also work.
- Seasoning: Combine with garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Cornstarch: This is what gives the tofu its crispy texture.
- Sesame Oil: Regular oil is fine too, if you don’t have sesame oil.
For the Teriyaki Sauce
- Soy Sauce: For added savory flavor – you can also sub in liquid aminos here if needed.
- Sugar: I like to use raw unrefined brown sugar or coconut sugar.
- Cornstarch: Form a cornstarch slurry by adding a little water to the mixture.
- Ground Ginger: It can’t be teriyaki sauce without ground ginger!
- Sesame Seeds: These add great texture and can be a garnish for when you finish the meal, too.
- Vinegar: Round up some rice wine vinegar before getting started.
- Water: I generally use room temperature water, but it doesn’t matter all that much.
- Garnish: Chopped scallions are great for this.
How to Make Teriyaki Tofu
Preparing teriyaki tofu breaks into two basic categories: making the tofu and making the teriyaki sauce. After that, you mix both components together, let the flavors marinate for a bit, and the enjoy!
Make the Crispy Tofu
Marinate the Tofu: In a medium-sized bowl place the pressed and cubed/triangled tofu. Add in the light soy sauce or liquid aminos and toss to coat. Add in the garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper and cornstarch and toss to thoroughly combine.
Cook the Tofu: Heat a pan or wok over medium-high heat, and add the oil. When hot, add the tofu and toss to crisp up on all sides until the tofu is cooked and crisped on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the tofu and set aside until needed.
Make the Teriyaki Sauce and Put Everything Together
Mix the Teriyaki Sauce Together: In a pan over medium low heat, mix all the sauce ingredients, whisking together to help dissolve the cornstarch slurry. Bring to a boil, then a simmer for about 4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up. Whisk frequently so the cornstarch doesn’t thicken up in spots but instead mixes evenly throughout the sauce. Taste test and add more sugar, soy sauce, or water depending on your preference.
Combine with the Tofu: Turn the heat off. Add in the tofu. Stir to coat everything in the sauce, then and allow to sit in the hot sauce for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from stove top and top with extra sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Serve and enjoy!
Expert Tips for Making the Best Teriyaki Tofu
Looking for some tips to perfect your tofu-making skills? You are most definitely in the right place, then! Here’s what you need to know to cook fantastic tofu every time you make it:
- How to Press Tofu: I always recommend pressing tofu to remove the water from it and to get the best quality tofu for your dish. I cover how to do it in detail in my How to Cook Tofu 101 post! (The prep time here includes the time to press the tofu.)
- If Your Tofu is Sticking: Often times tofu sticks in your pan if you’re trying to flip it too early, the heat is too low, or your non-stick coating is gone. If your tofu is sticking, consider one of these and adjust accordingly – it’s usually that you’re trying to flip it too quickly!
- Use Firm or Extra-Firm Tofu: Silken tofu is delicious, but this isn’t the recipe for it. If you want firm cubes of tofu, you’ll need to use firm or extra firm. Either works!
What goes on top of/with teriyaki tofu? I usually keep the side dishes simple with this meal because the star of the show is the flavorful tofu! That said, I do have a few topping/side dish suggestions:
- Garnishes: As mentioned above, chopped scallions are great for this, as are sesame seeds. I like to add both to the tofu at the end. 🙂
- Grains: You can keep it simple and just serve this tofu over a bed or white or brown rice (this works great for using up the extra sauce on your plate!). You could also make a quick serving of quinoa or couscous instead.
- Vegetables: Any steamed vegetable works well with this meal – asparagus, broccoli, carrots, etc.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Tofu is best eaten the day you make it, because that’s when it’s the crispiest. However, you can refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 4 days if you have leftovers.
To reheat, put the tofu and any extra sauce in a pan over medium heat. If the sauce is too thick, add a splash of water to thin it out.
Can I Freeze This?
Sure you can! Freeze leftover tofu in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Make sure you leave it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw before eating it again!
If you try this Teriyaki Tofu, please let me know in the comment section below, or tag me on instagram with the hashtag #jessicainthekitchen!
For the Crispy Tofu
- 1 16- ounce block extra firm tofu, pressed for at least 30 minutes and chopped or triangle
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce or liquid aminos
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch sea salt and black pepper, about ¼ teaspoon each
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons sesame or regular oil
Teriyaki Sauce Ingredients
- ¼ cup light soy sauce or liquid aminos
- ¼ cup raw unrefined brown sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 teaspoon water stirred together
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- ¼ cup water
- chopped scallion to garnish
For the Crispy Tofu
- In a medium-sized bowl place the pressed and cubed/triangled tofu. Add in the light soy sauce or liquid aminos and toss to coat. Add in the garlic powder, sea salt and black pepper, and cornstarch, and toss to thoroughly combine.
- Heat a pan or wok over medium-high heat, and add the oil. When hot, add the tofu and toss to crisp up on all sides until the tofu is cooked and crisped on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the tofu and set aside until needed.
For the Teriyaki Sauce/Putting It All Together
- In a pan over medium low heat, mix all the sauce ingredients, whisking together to help dissolve the cornstarch slurry. Bring to a boil, then a simmer for about 4 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken up. Whisk frequently so the cornstarch doesn't thicken up in spots but instead mixes evenly throughout the sauce. Taste test and add more sugar, soy sauce, or water depending on your preference.
- Turn the heat off. Add in the tofu. Stir to coat everything in the sauce, then and allow to sit in the hot sauce for another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from stove top and top with extra sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Serve and enjoy!
Disclaimer: Although jessicainthekitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Jessicainthekitchen.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.
More Tofu Recipe to Try
If you’re a big tofu fan, I’ve got a few more easy tofu recipes to share!