Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu

Pan-Fried Sesame Garlic Tofu


  • 14 ounzes extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons honey (sub. maple syrup)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sambal oelek*, (if you like it less spicy, stick with 1 teaspoon) *chilli paste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste, (see notes)
  • ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


  1. Place two paper towels on a plate then place the entire block of tofu (drained from its packaging liquid) onto the plate. Place two more paper towels on top of the tofu then put a heavy item on top. Not TOO heavy that it would completely crush the tofu but heavy enough that it can squeeze out liquid. I like using a cast iron skillet. Leave for 30 minutes and halfway through, change out the paper towels.
    ALTERNATIVELY and more eco-friendly: place a wire baking rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet. Place tofu on top and then put a heavy object on top and let drain for 30 minutes.
  2. Once the tofu has drained, slice in half then into cubes and place into a large bowl. Sprinkle cornstarch on top and gently toss with your hands to ensure all tofu pieces are covered.
  3. In a large skillet, add sesame oil and vegetable oil then bring up to medium-high heat.
  4. Once oil is heated up, add the tofu to the skillet and let brown on all sides.
  5. In the meantime, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce.
  6. Once the tofu has browned and crisped up on all sides, add the sauce to the skillet and it should start to thicken immediately. Toss the tofu around to coat then remove from heat.
  7. Serve and enjoy!