SIGN UP TO RECEIVE MY 6 TIPS FOR STARTING A PLANT-BASED DIET.

Crispy Sesame Tofu in a white bowl
Easy, Gluten Free, Nut free, Side dishes, Under 400 calories, Vegan Basics, Vegan Recipes

Crispy Sesame Tofu

Last Updated on

This Crispy Sesame Tofu is baked until crispy with sesame seeds and spices, then covered with a sweet sticky Asian sauce. It’s a great addition to many stir-fries or Asian dishes.

Crispy Sesame Tofu in a white bowl.

Do you love tofu as much as I do? My younger self would never have guessed that my future self would actually CRAVE tofu, but look at me now.

My favorite way to enjoy tofu is making it with Asian flavors. In this crispy baked tofu recipe, the tofu is coated with sesame oil (I really like this Kevala Organic Toasted Sesame Oil– yum!) and sesame seeds, then baked to perfection.

Finally, it’s drenched in a sticky sweet sauce, similar to what you would find at a Chinese restaurant.

And the best part is- this baked tofu is MUCH healthier than fried tofu- but just as flavorful.

I highly recommend serving this Crispy Sesame Tofu with your favorite Asian dish, such as this Cauliflower Rice Stir Fry Bowl (shown in the photo below). These two together create a meal so incredibly flavorful that it’s sure to impress even yourself!

Crispy Sesame Tofu on top of cauliflower rice in a white bowl.

Tips for making this crispy baked tofu a success:

  • I recommend using extra-firm or firm tofu only for this recipe.
  • If you have a tofu press, great! For easier preparation, add the tofu block to the press the night before. If you don’t have one, no biggie. But you’ll need to go through the steps of getting the moisture out of the tofu, which is a super important step for this tofu to get crispy.
  • You can also freeze the tofu beforehand and thaw. This makes it easier to get the moisture out, and it gives it more of a meaty texture after cooking. I recommend checking out this article on “How to Freeze Tofu” to learn how.
  • Cornstarch tends to work better than arrowroot starch for this recipe. Arrowroot starch still works, but tends to get a little slippery/clumpy if you are adding it to a dish with a lot of liquid. But if you are gluten-free, or if you are just adding it to a less-liquidy dish like this Sesame Broccoli Noodle Salad, feel free to use arrowroot starch.
A white bowl filled with crispy sesame tofu.

How to make this Crispy Sesame Tofu:

To begin, preheat your oven to 400 F. Then cover a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper.

Next, we’ll remove the moisture from the tofu. Note: you can also put the tofu in a tofu press overnight (or at least a few hours) to skip this next step.

First, drain the liquid from the package of tofu and transfer the tofu block to a cutting board. Cut into 3 sections lengthwise (STEP 1 below, from left). Then cut each section into strips (STEP 2). Then cut the strips into cubes (STEP 3).

Transfer the tofu cubes to another cutting board covered in a few layers of paper towels (STEP 4).

A series of 4 photos showing the process of getting moisture out of tofu.

Add a few more paper towels to the top of the tofu and then add something heavy on top, such as a cast iron skillet or a couple heavy cutting boards or pots.

Let it sit for about 15 minutes until as much moisture as possible is removed from the tofu.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. To a medium bowl, add all sauce ingredients. Stir with a small whisk and set aside.

To a large mixing bowl, add the sesame oil and swirl around to coat the sides of the bowl. When the tofu is ready, add the tofu cubes to the large bowl with oil and gently stir until coated. Then add the sesame seeds, garlic powder, salt, ground ginger and cornstarch. Stir gently until coated.

A bowl of tofu coated with sesame seeds and spices.

Transfer the diced tofu to the baking pan covered in parchment paper. Bake at 400 F for 25-30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Note: I generally cook it the full 30 minutes but oven times/temperatures may vary. Remove from oven.

A baking sheet covered with diced tofu.

Stir the sauce in the medium bowl with the whisk once more to combine, and then add the cooked tofu (to make it easier, you can carefully pick up both sides of the parchment paper to transfer from the baking pan). Stir with a large spoon to coat.

2 photos showing a bowl of Asian sauce and a bowl of baked tofu mixed with the sauce.

This tofu is best served immediately to maintain crispiness, but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. 

Crispy Sesame Tofu in a white bowl with a side of cauliflower stir fry

Helpful Tools:

  • Small Whisk– This is my favorite tool for whisking sauces.
  • Lemon Squeezer– you’ll need one of these to squeeze the lime.
  • Tofu Press– I love using this tofu press to save time.
  • Parchment Paper– this is one of the most used items in my kitchen. If I’m putting something in the oven, 9 times out of 10 it’s going on parchment paper. =)

Try this Crispy Sesame Tofu in the following recipes:

If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your photo with #veggie__chick on Instagram. I just love to see my recipes being made in YOUR kitchen!

Print

Crispy Sesame Tofu (Vegan, GF Option)

Crispy Sesame Tofu in a white bowl

This Crispy Sesame Tofu is baked until crispy with sesame seeds and spices, then covered with a sweet sticky Asian sauce. It’s a great addition to many stir-fries or Asian dishes.

  • Author: Christin McKamey
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Asian
Scale

Ingredients

Sauce:

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. To remove the moisture from the tofu, follow these steps*: First, drain the liquid from the package of tofu and transfer the tofu block to a cutting board. Cut into 3 sections lengthwise. Then cut each section into strips. Then cut the strips into cubes. Transfer the cubes to another cutting board covered in a few layers of paper towels. Add a few more paper towels to the top of the tofu and add something heavy on top of the tofu, such as a cast iron skillet or a couple heavy cutting boards or pots. Leave for about 15 minutes until as much moisture as possible is removed from the tofu.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. To a medium bowl, add all sauce ingredients. Stir with a small whisk.
  4. To a large mixing bowl, add the sesame oil and swirl around to coat the sides of the bowl.
  5. When the tofu is ready, add to the large bowl with oil and gently stir until coated. Next add the sesame seeds, garlic powder, salt, ground ginger and cornstarch. Stir gently until coated.
  6. Transfer the diced tofu to the baking pan covered in parchment paper.
  7. Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. I generally cook it the full 30 minutes but oven times/temperatures may vary. Remove from oven.
  8. Stir the sauce in the medium bowl with the whisk once more, and then add the baked tofu (to make it easier, you can carefully pick up both sides of the parchment paper to transfer). Stir with a large spoon to coat the tofu with the sauce. This tofu is best served immediately to maintain crispiness, but can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. 

Notes

  • For step by step and detailed photos, see post above.
  • I recommend using extra-firm or firm tofu only for this recipe.
  • *If you have a tofu press, great! For easier preparation, add the tofu block to the press the night before. If you don’t have one, no biggie. But you’ll need to go through the steps of getting the moisture out of the tofu, which is super important for this tofu to get crispy.
  • If you want, you can freeze the tofu beforehand and thaw. This makes it easier to get the moisture out, and it gives it more of a meaty texture after cooking. I recommend checking out this article on “How to Freeze Tofu” to learn how.
  • Cornstarch tends to work better than arrowroot starch for this recipe. Arrowroot starch still works, but tends to get a little slippery/clumpy if you are adding it to a dish with a lot of liquid. But if you are gluten-free, or if you are just adding it to a less-liquidy dish like this Sesame Broccoli Noodle Salad, feel free to use arrowroot starch.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: about 2/3 cup cubed tofu
  • Calories: 176
  • Sugar: 4.4
  • Sodium: 424.9
  • Fat: 9.7
  • Carbohydrates: 10.9
  • Protein: 11.4

Keywords: crispy sesame tofu, asian tofu, crispy asian tofu, baked tofu

Hi, I'm Christin- thanks for stopping by my happy place! Here you will find healthy, original meat-free recipes. No matter where you are in your health journey, I hope I can help and inspire you. Read more...

Write a comment

Free PDF

Subscribe to receive my
{FREE} 6 Tips for Starting a Plant-Based Diet + 
recipes direct to your inbox.