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Crispy Sesame Garlic Tofu

Crispy sesame garlic tofu is an easy and guaranteed delicious way to prepare tofu that everyone will love. One simple trick makes it extra delicious!
Cuisine Dairy-free, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Vegan, Vegetarian
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword all seasons, almond butter, garlic, maple syrup, peanut butter, sesame oil, sesame seeds, tamari, tofu
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting Time 8 hours
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 -4

Equipment

  • Tofu Press

Ingredients

TOFU AND MARINADE:

  • 1 lb 454 grams firm or extra firm tofu
  • ¼ cup gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated with a Microplane
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot starch
  • ground black pepper, to taste

SESAME GARLIC SAUCE:

  • ¼ cup gluten-free tamari soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini (or peanut butter/almond butter)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely grated with a Microplane
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus extra for garnish

Instructions

  • Press the tofu for 15 minutes. Then, transfer it to a freezer-safe sealable bag or container. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tamari, sesame oil, chili garlic sauce, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, and garlic. Pour the marinade over the tofu. Tightly seal the bag and place it in the freezer for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
  • The next day, remove the tofu from the freezer and allow it to thaw completely in the refrigerator, about 8 hours. If you can, flip the tofu around every few hours so that all sides of the tofu block can soak up the marinade.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the tofu from the bag and pat it dry. Discard the remaining marinade. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place in a medium bowl. Toss the tofu cubes with the 2 teaspoons of avocado oil to coat. Then, toss with the arrowroot starch and pepper until evenly coated.
  • Arrange the tofu cubes on the prepared baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast until deep golden brown, about 30-35 minutes, flipping the cubes over at the halfway point.
  • While the tofu is roasting, make the sesame garlic sauce. In a sealable jar, combine the tamari, maple syrup, tahini, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic, and sesame seeds. Shake the jar to combine and set aside.
  • Serve the tofu hot with cooked rice/noodles, sautéed/steamed vegetables, or greens. Drizzle sesame garlic sauce on top to finish.

Notes

  • The pressing is the key to your success. I purchased a tofu press recently and it has been a game changer for us. It gets so much more water out than my previous stacked books/pots method and it’s a lot safer too.
  • Corn starch will substitute for arrowroot starch.
  • I tend to not use leftover marinades once they’ve been exposed to high protein foods. When I took a food safety course, this was something they went on about quite a bit in context to food borne illness, and it instilled the fear for real hehe.