Crispy Teriyaki Tofu Recipe

By Jessica Hylton -

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!

Teriyaki tofu with broccoli and white rice.

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.
Ingredients for teriyaki tofu.

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 cornstarch 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!
Plate of tofu with teriyaki sauce and broccoli.

Serving Suggestions

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.
Teriyaki tofu cooking in a frying pan.

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!

Bowl of teriyaki tofu with rice and broccoli.

 If you try this Teriyaki Tofu, please let me know in the comment section below, or tag me on instagram with the hashtag #jessicainthekitchen!

Teriyaki tofu with broccoli and white rice.

Teriyaki Tofu

This Teriyaki Tofu is a quick, incredibly flavorful, make-ahead dish! It's WAY better than takeout, and perfect for weeknight dinners. Enjoy this sweet and savory tofu recipe!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian
Ingredients

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
Instructions

Instructions

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!
NOTES
This recipe is gluten free and vegan.

Nutrition

Calories: 190kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1133mg | Potassium: 70mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 2mg
by Jessica

More Tofu Recipe to Try

If you’re a big tofu fan, I’ve got a few more easy tofu recipes to share!

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Recipe Rating




31 comments

  1. We love having tofu like this, especially in wraps with some Asian slaw.

  2. I love tofu dishes! I have yet to try teriyaki so I know I’ll be trying this soon!

  3. Eliza says:

    Made the sticky sesame cualiflower wings and they were delicious. Used canola spray on parchment paper. Still burned toward the end of cooking but they were good. Would recommend this one.

  4. Yes yes – there are days where I am definitely too tired for anything fussy! This tofu looks and sounds fantastic!

  5. Isn’t teriyaki amazing?!! This looks totally yum.

  6. Mm, talk liquid aminos to me. This tofu looks so good! I am not a tofu person but clearly i need to make some changes in my life 🙂

  7. This looks heavenly!

  8. Kelly says:

    This looks SO delicious, Jessica! I love tofu and easy and quick meals are a favorite around here 🙂

  9. Samantha says:

    Oh i feel the same way! Sometimes too often on weeknights and don’t get me started on the weekends. I feel I’m all into cooking a delicious and involved meal when i wake up but then the day turns into night and i turn into my track pants and hoodie and I’m done! But this looks delicious! I love using tempeh, I’m new to using it and this looks like a great recipe for me to try, thanks for sharing! x

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks so much Samantha and you’re so welcome! Haha yes so true!

  10. Ailene says:

    So glad I found this recipe! Very tasty and easy to make. Bookmarking for future reference! I used tamari instead of soy and added broccoli. Next time I might try it with noodles! Thanks!

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