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Crispy Sesame Tofu in a white bowl

Crispy Sesame Tofu (Vegan, GF Option)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
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.


  • Tofu Press (optional)
  • Baking Pan
  • Parchment Paper (or silicone baking sheet)


  • 1 14 oz tofu - 14-ounce block organic extra-firm (or firm)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons raw sesame seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch - or arrowroot powder/starch (for gluten-free)


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chile sauce - check bottle to make sure it's vegan
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice - about 1/2 lime


  • Preheat oven to 400 F. Cover a medium sized baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • 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.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. To a medium bowl, add all sauce ingredients. Stir with a small whisk.
  • 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 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.
  • Transfer the diced tofu to the baking pan covered in parchment paper.
  • 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.
  • 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. 


  • 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.


Serving: 0.6g | Calories: 176kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.9g | Protein: 11.4g | Fat: 9.7g | Sodium: 424mg | Sugar: 4.4g
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