Perfect for a busy weeknight dinner, this teriyaki tofu recipe features crispy baked tofu tossed in a deliciously sweet, savory sticky teriyaki sauce! It’s also customizable to your tastes – add in any veggie of your choice (broccoli, snow peas, bean sprouts, bell peppers, etc) and serve it over steamed rice for complete meal. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and super easy to make and is sure to become your go-to when you’re craving teriyaki takeout!
If you’ve never been a fan of tofu I can understand, it’s something of an acquired taste. For most people it’s largely a texture thing. But if you fall into that camp I’ve found a workaround for the texture issue that I think will change your mind. It uses a simple method of tossing the tofu with a little oil and cornstarch and baking it in the oven. That process turns that otherwise squishy stuff into delightfully crispy-chewy nuggets that have a great texture and hold up well under the sauce without becoming soggy. This tofu teriyaki recipe really showcases those yummy tofu nuggets.
This vegan teriyaki tofu is also gluten free if you use tamari, something we recommend over soy sauce anyway because it has a richer, more complex flavor.
For nutrition, flavor and color, feel free to add in any veggie of your choice. Broccoli is always a favorite of ours. Other good options include snow peas, bell peppers, bean sprouts and onions. Serve everything over steamed rice for a complete meal and garnish it with some sliced scallions and a light sprinkling of sesame seeds for a delicious and visually beautiful meal!
Teriyaki Tofu Recipe
Let’s get started!
First you’ll need to make the baked tofu.
Place the cubes on clean, lint-free cotton dish towel or on paper towels, place another cloth on top, and set something heavy on it (e.g., a cast iron pan) to press down on the tofu cubes to press some of the water out of them. Let them drain like this for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 400 F.
Spread tofu cubes in a single layer on lined baking sheet so they are not touching each other.
Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of the cubes), carefully flipping the cubes over with a spatula halfway through, until dark golden. You can test the tofu at any point during the baking process to determine when it reaches the texture that you prefer.
While the tofu is baking make the teriyaki sauce by combining all the ingredients, except for the cornstarch slurry, in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch slurry, whisking continually until the sauce is thickened.
Add the baked tofu and stir to coat and warm through. If including cooked veggies, add them at this point as well.
Serve the teriyaki tofu over steamed rice and garnish with some sliced scallions/green onions and a light sprinkling of sesame seeds.
For more delicious vegan Asian favorites, use this same method for baked tofu to make the following recipes:
- Mongolian Chicken
- Orange Chicken
- Mongolian Beef
- Kung Pao Chicken
- Beef and Broccoli
- Orange Beef
- Sesame Chicken
- General Tso’s Chicken
- For the Baked Tofu:
- 1 pound extra firm tofu , cut into cubes (size according to preference)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- For the Teriyaki Sauce:
- 1/2 cup tamari (can substitute soy sauce but we prefer the flavor of tamari)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- OR brown sugar alternative (for diabetics/low sugar option)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
- 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
- 3 tablespoons mirin (can substitute sherry)
- 2 tablespoons pineapple juice , fresh or canned (optional but great for flavor)
- 1 tablespoon honey (vegans: use agave nectar or liquid sweetener of choice)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water
- finely sliced green onions/scallions , for serving
- sesame seeds , for serving
- Note: Feel free to add 1 cup or more cooked broccoli or veggies of choice if you want some vegetables in your teriyaki tofu. Other great options include snow peas, bean sprouts, onions, and/or bell peppers.
- 2 cups steamed rice
- To make the baked tofu: Place the tofu cubes on a clean, lint-free tea towel or on paper towels, place another cloth on top, and set something heavy on it (e.g., a cast iron pan) to press down on the tofu. Let the tofu cubes drain like this for about 20 minutes. In the meantime preheat the oven to 400 F.Transfer the tofu cubes to a bowl, drizzle over the olive oil, and toss to coat. Sprinkle half of the cornstarch and salt evenly over the tofu, toss to combine, then repeat with the remaining half of cornstarch and salt. Spread the tofu cubes in a single layer on lined baking sheet so they are not touching each other. Bake for 20-25 minutes (depending on the size of the cubes and how firm you want them), carefully flipping the cubes over with a spatula halfway through, until dark golden.
- To make the teriyaki sauce: Combine all of the sauce ingredients, except for the cornstarch slurry, into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in the cornstarch slurry, whisking continually until the sauce is thickened. Add the baked tofu cubes to the saucepan and stir to coat the tofu. (If adding vegetables stir them in also.) Serve over steamed rice and garnish with some sliced green onions and a light sprinkling of sesame seeds.
Originally published on The Daring Gourmet November 11, 2021