Pan Fried Honey Garlic Tofu

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 so good!

About the recipe

Pan-fried tofu can be tricky to make. It may turn out either bland or a soggy mess, depending on what recipe you are trying to follow. I’ve been there and have failed multiple times. That was until I figured out a few ways to make tofu taste so good that even the meat lovers among my family and friends loved this recipe!

Not a tofu person?

This honey soy tofu stir fry will change your mind. It is not only an easy recipe to make, but also one of the healthiest ways to eat tofu. My other popular tofu recipe is the chili garlic tofu which is a spicy and scrambled version with vegetables.

The 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.

closeup view of sesame garlic tofu on a white plate.

Why you’ll love this easy honey glazed tofu

  • Healthy one pan tofu stir fry.
  • Crispy tofu bites, achieved with minimum amount of oil.
  • Simple 5-ingredient sauce with tons of flavor.
  • Lots of delicious sauce to eat with steaming boiled rice!

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Ingredients

  • 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.
  • Garlic
  • Toasted sesame seeds and green onions for garnish
  • Sauce ingredients:
    • 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.
    • Water
ingredients for honey garlic tofu recipe.

How to make honey garlic tofu- step by step

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this page.)

How to press tofu

Unlike the chili garlic tofu, for this recipe, tofu has to be pressed to draw out all the water. This ensures that tofu turns out crispy when pan-fried. 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.

tofu being pressed in a tofu press for honey soy tofu stir fry.

How to slice tofu

Slice each tofu block horizontally into half. Slice each half into 9 pieces. Slicing tofu like this instead of cubes makes it easier to fry and flip.

More surface area exposed to oil = crispier tofu!

How to pan fry tofu

Sprinkle cornflour, pepper and salt on the tofu slices and toss gently until all the pieces are covered. A tiny step, but seasoning the cornflour adds to the flavor. Heat oil in a wide pan and pan-fry tofu in batches, without overcrowding. Cook on medium-high flame and do not stir for 5 minutes.

Flip and cook the other side for 5 to 8 minutes, again without stirring. If they’re not well browned, flip again and fry 3-5 minutes more. This way the tofu slices turn out perfectly browned and crispy. Drain the fried tofu into a bowl. Pour out the excess oil from the pan.

How to make honey garlic sauce

Mix all ingredients for the sauce and keep aside.

Heat the same pan used for frying tofu. The oil sticking to the bottom of the pan is enough to fry garlic. Fry the garlic on a low flame 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 with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.

honey soy tofu stir fry with rice in a blue bowl with chopsticks.

Recipe tips

  1. 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.
  2. 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 πŸ™‚
  3. For a deeper color and flavor, replace 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with dark soy sauce.
honey garlic tofu on a white plate with chopsticks.

If you love this recipe, you might want to try the marinated chicken stir-fry recipe or Singapore fried bee hoon.

More vegetarian recipes

pan fried honey garlic tofu with rice in a blue bowl.

Pan Fried Honey Garlic Tofu Recipe

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 so good!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course dinner, LUNCH, Main Course
Cuisine Asian, Chinese
Servings 4
Calories 315 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 400 gms Tofu (14 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped

Sauce ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup water

Garnish

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion

Instructions
 

Press tofu

  • Remove tofu blocks from the packaging and place them on a kitchen towel. Place another towel on top of tofu. If you don't have a tofu press, place a heavy flat object like a cast iron pan on top. Keep it aside for about 20 minutes.

Prepare the sauce

  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce and keep aside.

Slice and season tofu

  • Slice each block horizontally into half and then each half into 9 pieces. (check out the pictures in the post above)
    Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with cornflour, pepper and salt. Toss until all the pieces are coated with the cornflour mixture.

Pan fry tofu

  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the tofu in batches. Fry the tofu slices until both the larger sides are browned. Drain and keep aside.
  • Remove the excess oil from the pan and add garlic. (the oil stuck to the pan is enough to fry the garlic). Fry on medium-low flame for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the sauce and bring it to a boil. Add the fried tofu, mix well and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. The sauce is done when it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions. Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Do this to reduce tofu pressing time to 10 minutes: Slice tofu first and then lay the slices flat and press as mentioned above. Water can be pressed out of sliced tofu faster than with the whole block.
  2. Honey can be reduced by ½ tablespoon if you want to reduce the sweetness.
  3. For a deeper color and flavor, replace 2 tablespoons of soy sauce with dark soy sauce.
Pan Fried Honey Garlic Tofu
Keyword honey garlic tofu recipe, honey glazed tofu, honey soy tofu stir fry, hot honey garlic sauce, pan fried tofu, sesame garlic tofu, soy garlic sauce

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Thank you and happy cooking!

– Sheeba.

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