Crispy pan-fried tofu glazed with hot honey garlic sauce! Learn how to make this easy honey garlic tofu recipe with tips and tricks to make tofu taste good.
About sesame garlic tofu
Honey glaze sticky tofu can be tricky to make. It may turn out either bland or a soggy mess if not done properly.
I’ve been there and have failed multiple times. That was until I figured out this great way to make honey soy garlic tofu.
Not a tofu person?
This sesame garlic tofu will change your mind. It is not only an easy recipe to make but also one of the healthiest ways to eat tofu.
Honey glazed tofu can be paired with rice and stir-fried vegetables for a sumptuous plant-based tofu dinner. A simple cozy dinner that wouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes of active cooking time.
Why you’ll love this easy honey glazed tofu
- Healthy one pan tofu stir fry.
- Simple ingredients you probably have in your kitchen.
- Super quick dinner for busy weeknights.
- Easy 5-ingredient savory sauce with tons of flavor.
- Crispy honey garlic tofu bites, achieved with minimum amount of oil.
- Lots of sticky honey garlic sauce to eat with steamed rice.
(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)
- Extra firm tofu (also called tau kwa)- 2 blocks, 200 grams each.
- Corn flour, pepper and salt to coat tofu.
- Peanut oil– for frying. Any cooking oil is fine as long as it has a high smoking point.
- Fresh Garlic cloves.
- Toasted sesame seeds and green onions for garnish.
- Sauce ingredients:
- Raw honey
- Hoisin sauce– a soy based sauce that gives the characteristic flavor to this recipe. It can be replaced with oyster sauce if you’re not on a vegetarian diet.
- Soy sauce– opt for healthier low sodium soy sauce.
- Vinegar– Rice vinegar is fine, or you can use apple cider vinegar instead (a personal preference).
- Chili flakes, pepper and salt.
- Splash of water.
How to make honey garlic tofu: step by step
How to press tofu
Unlike the chili garlic tofu, for this recipe, tofu has to be pressed to remove excess liquid. This is the secret to crispy tofu.
Use 2 absorbent kitchen towels, one on top and the other below the tofu blocks. If you don’t have a tofu press, place a flat heavy object like a cast iron pan on top. Keep aside for 20 minutes.
How to slice tofu
Slice each tofu block horizontally into half. Slice each half into 9 pieces.
Slicing tofu into thinner pieces like this instead of perfect cubes makes them easier to flip and fry.
More surface area exposed to oil = crispier tofu.
How to pan fry tofu
Place cubed tofu in a large bowl. Sprinkle corn flour, black pepper and salt on the tofu slices and toss gently until all the pieces are covered.
It’s a tiny step, but seasoning the corn flour adds to the flavor.
Heat oil in a wide pan. Place tofu in hot oil in a single layer without overcrowding the pan. Pan-fry on medium-high heat and do not stir for 4-5 minutes.
Flip and cook the other side for 5 to 6 minutes, again without stirring. If they’re not fried to a golden brown, flip again and fry 3-5 minutes more. This way the tofu cubes turn out perfectly browned and crispy.
At this stage, the fried tofu will be hard and seem not-so-appetizing (as one of my readers pointed out in the comments). But you’ll have to finish the recipe with the sauce to realize its awesomeness!
Transfer the fried tofu to a bowl. Pour out the excess oil from the pan.
How to make hot honey garlic sauce
Mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Keep aside.
Heat the same pan used for frying tofu. A little oil sticking to the bottom of the pan is enough to fry garlic.
Fry the garlic on low heat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the prepared sauce and bring up the flame.
Once the spicy honey garlic sauce comes to a rolling boil, gently drop in the tofu pieces and mix.
Simmer until the sauce thickens.
Once it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, turn off the heat.
Garnish the sticky tofu with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.
Tips to make the best sticky tofu
- Wok: This recipe requires a good quality non-stick wok or pan. Or else the corn flour tends to stick to the bottom. (Thanks to Sam, one of the readers, for pointing it out!)
- Oil: If you’re using a regular pan (without non-stick coating) use double the quantity of oil, 1/4 cup for this recipe.
- Pressing: If you’re in a hurry, you can save 10 minutes of pressing time by first slicing tofu as mentioned above and then pressing the slices. Water can be pressed out of sliced tofu faster than with the whole block.
- Honey: Though everyone else is happy with the level of sweetness in this recipe, I personally feel that honey can be reduced by ½ tablespoon. You can do that if you feel the same, too 🙂
- Soy sauce: For a deeper color and flavor, replace 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with dark soy sauce.
- Sesame oil: Add a teaspoon of sesame oil to the sauce for more flavor and glaze.
What to serve with crispy pan fried tofu
Sesame garlic tofu is a flavorful dish that pairs well with a variety of side dishes.
- Steamed Rice or Rice Noodles: This is a classic choice that provides a neutral base for the flavorful tofu. Brown rice, jasmine rice, or even quinoa can work well.
- Stir-Fried Vegetables: A colorful mix of stir-fried vegetables like broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, and snap peas would be a great addition. You can stir-fry them with a light sauce or simply steam them for a healthier option.
- Steamed Bok Choy: This mild, leafy green vegetable complements the bold flavors of the tofu and adds a nice crunch. That’s the reason tofu bok choy stir fry tastes so good.
- Edamame: A simple preparation of steamed or boiled edamame sprinkled with a little sea salt can be a nutritious and easy-to-make side dish.
- Soba Noodles: Soba noodles with a sesame sauce can be a great alternative to rice. They’re hearty and provide a nice contrast to the tofu.
- Cucumber Salad: Sliced cucumbers tossed with a light vinaigrette or soy-based dressing can provide a refreshing element to the meal.
- Miso Soup: A warm bowl of miso soup with some tofu cubes and seaweed can add a comforting element to the meal.
- Fried Rice: Whip up a quick batch of healthy fried red rice with vegetables for a more substantial side dish.
- Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls: You can dip them into the sweet and savory honey garlic sauce for a fun and tasty experience.
More tofu recipes
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Hi! I’m Sheeba, welcome to Go Healthy ever after!
I have a passion for cooking delicious nourishing food that’s easy to cook with fresh natural ingredients free from additives or preservatives. The easy healthy recipes you find here will inspire you to cook with creativity.