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Easy! Crispy Pan-Fried Sesame Tofu Recipe – Delicious!

This Crispy Sesame Tofu Recipe is quick, easy, and delicious! The pan-fried tofu only has 1 ingredient in the breading. Spice to your tastes!

Sesame tofu used to be one of my favorite take-out dishes, but after making it myself I’ve started to get really picky about the way the tofu is cooked. I like it perfectly crispy on the outside, while still tender and nicely chewy. Now that I’ve perfected my crispy tofu, I strongly prefer making it myself over take-out. I view this as both a win and a loss. I win because I get to eat this delicious tofu dish, but I lose because now I have to order something else from my favorite take-out place.

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This crispy tofu recipe is the best because it’s super easy to make, and the breading is only one ingredient. The rest of the recipe is just about as easy.

How to make Perfectly Crispy Sesame Tofu

  1. Cook the rice: Prepare the sushi rice according to this recipe. Set aside until ready.
  2. Press the tofu: Slice your tofu into 2 slices. Place slices of tofu on a plate, and put a paper towel between each slice. Balance a plate on top (I find it easier to flip the plate upside down) to press the water out of the tofu. Let the tofu press while you move on to the next steps. Pressing the water out of the tofu makes it so that your tofu soaks up the sauce and stays extra crispy without being soggy.
  3. Get your sauce ready: In a room temperature stainless steel saucepan, whisk together 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1/4 cup dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 1 clove minced garlic, and the chopped (optional) and whole chiles. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking frequently, until the sauce coats a spoon. Remove the sesame sauce from the heat while you prepare the tofu.
  4. Starch the tofu: Slice the pressed tofu into bite-size cubes and spread the cubes out onto a cutting board. Blot any water with a paper towel so that the tofu and cutting board is mostly dry. Sprinkle the tofu with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and gently toss the tofu together with the cornstarch to lightly coat it.
  5. Pan-fry: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and then carefully add the tofu. Use tongs to carefully rotate the tofu cubes frequently until the tofu is golden brown on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then use a spoon to carefully remove the tofu from the pan into a large heat-safe mixing bowl. Make it saucy: Whisk the sesame sauce. Carefully pour the hot sesame sauce into the mixing bowl with the tofu. Stir gently to combine the tofu and sauce.
  6. To serve: Serve the Crispy Sesame Tofu over Sushi Rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onion.

Techniques for this perfect Crispy Sesame Tofu Recipe

  • Tien Tsin peppers are the red peppers you will commonly find in Chinese-American food. They can be hard to find in the grocery store though, so feel free to use Thai chiles which are usually easier to track down. Don’t worry if you don’t like spice, you can easily omit these. 
  • Whisk your sauce ingredients together with the corn starch before heating. This guarantees no lumps. 
  • Use tongs to turn your tofu. Turning it frequently means even browning. 
  • Use the biggest pan you have to pan-fry the tofu. Give your tofu plenty of space to keep it from sticking together, and to help it crisp faster.
  • When I first started making this sesame tofu recipe I would try to make the rice and sesame sauce at the same time as I fried the tofu. I found it was easier to prepare everything before frying the tofu, but you can make the sauce and rice while the tofu is frying if you are a better multi-tasker than I am.
  • Make sure your tofu is pressed or it will get soggy.
  • Cook the tofu just to golden brown. Tofu can get tough if you overcook it.

More Delicious Tofu Recipes

Yield: 2 Servings

Crispy Sesame Tofu Recipe

Crispy Sesame Tofu Recipe Card Image

This quick and easy tofu is perfect for a weeknight dinner. Add some steamed broccoli to your plate to make sure to get your veggies.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Sushi Rice
  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, sliced into 2 layers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tien Tsin pepper or Thai Chile, chopped (optional)
  • 10 Tien Tsin peppers or Thai Chilies, whole
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions

  1. Sushi Rice: Prepare sushi rice according to the linked recipe. Set aside until ready. 
  2. Press the tofu: Place the tofu slices on a plate, and place a paper towel between each slice. Balance a plate on top (I find it easier to flip the plate upside down) to press the water out of the tofu. Let the tofu press while you move onto the next steps.
  3. Prepare the sauce: In a room temperature stainless steel saucepan, whisk together 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons water, 1/4 cup dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, 4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, 1 clove minced garlic, and the chopped (optional) and whole chiles. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes, whisking frequently, until the sauce coats a spoon. Remove the sesame sauce from the heat while you prepare the tofu.
  4. Starch the tofu: Slice the pressed tofu into bite-size cubes and spread the cubes out onto a cutting board. Blot any water with a paper towel so that the tofu and cutting board is mostly dry. Sprinkle the tofu with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and gently toss the tofu together with the cornstarch to lightly coat it.
  5. Pan-fry: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and then carefully add the tofu. Saute using tongs to rotate the tofu cubes frequently until the tofu is golden brown on all sides. Reduce the heat to medium-low and then use a spoon to carefully remove the tofu from the pan into a large heat-safe mixing bowl.
  6. Make it saucy: Whisk the sesame sauce. Carefully pour the hot sesame sauce into the mixing bowl with the tofu. Stir gently to combine the tofu and sauce.
  7. To serve: Serve the Crispy Sesame Tofu over Sushi Rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds and sliced green onion.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

2

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 842Total Fat: 49gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 39gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1786mgCarbohydrates: 64gFiber: 12gSugar: 32gProtein: 55g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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