Teriyaki Tofu. A delicious crispy tofu in a sticky teriyaki sauce. This pan-fried teriyaki tofu comes together in less than 30 minutes and is perfect as a main dish. This recipe is also vegan.
What is Teriyaki Tofu?
This Teriyaki Tofu dish features tofu coated in starch and fried until golden brown and stir fried in a sweet, savory sauce. The teriyaki sauce consists of soy sauce, mirin, sake, garlic, ginger, and honey. This teriyaki tofu hits every taste bud! It's savory, sweet, garlicky with a hint of ginger. Pairs delicious with cooked rice like white rice or brown rice topped off with any leafy greens of your choice!
After making this countless times, I have perfected the sauce and tofu seasoning ratios! I am so excited to share this tofu recipe with you. I love having this meatless dish with steamed rice and bok choy. The best part is it comes together in just 30 minutes so it's perfect for a weeknight dinner and great as leftovers! If you're a tofu lover, this is the dish for you.
Please scroll down to below recipe card for exact measurements.
- Extra-firm tofu: Extra firm tofu is our main ingredient and highly recommended for this recipe. If you use firm tofu or anything softer, it will easily break apart. It also won't get as crispy as extra firm tofu. Please do not use soft tofu, silken tofu, or medium tofu for this recipe.
- Cornstarch: or sub with potato starch or tapioca starch. This helps to thicken the sauce and also creates the crispy fried tofu after we coat our cubed tofu in it.
- Garlic powder: This will season your tofu, but we will add it after we coat it in cornstarch so that you can taste it.
- Onion powder: To season your tofu, but we will add it after we coat it in cornstarch so that you can taste it.
- Neutral oil: like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid olive oil, coconut oil or any heavy scented oils.
- Toasted Sesame seeds: To garnish your teriyaki tofu bowl and also offers a nutty aroma to your dish. It's optional but I highly recommend it!
- Green onions: To garnish your tofu teriyaki. This also optional but recommended.
- Sake: You can use normal or cooking sake. Whatever is available to you. This is needed to make the savory teriyaki sauce recipe.
- Mirin: A sweet cooking wine that tastes nothing like alcohol in my experience. It will make your teriyaki sauce sweet and thick. If you can't find this item, replace with 2 tablespoon brown sugar or maple syrup and 2 tablespoon water combined.
- Regular soy sauce: or substitute with low sodium soy sauce or light soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, substitute with tamari sauce, coconut aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce of your choice.
- Honey: Or sub with white sugar or maple syrup if you don't have honey. I find honey to add the perfect level of sweetness to balance out our salty homemade teriyaki sauce. You may also use cane sugar or coconut sugar.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch will be added to the sauce similar to how it's added in a cornstarch slurry but without the water since our sauce is pretty viscous.
- Ginger: To add another element of aroma and taste to the sauce to balance out the salty flavors.
Note: Most Asian grocers will carry these ingredients. You may find some at your select grocery store or online, like on Amazon.
How to make Teriyaki Tofu
In a small bowl, combine Teriyaki sauce ingredients and mix well.
Strain your tofu block of excess water. Pat dry the entire block of tofu of excess moisture with clean paper towels. It's important we remove as much moisture as possible. Slice the block of tofu into small equal sized cubes (about 1-inch cubes).
Spread corn starch on a large plate or baking sheet. In batches, coat tofu cubes in cornstarch using hands. Transfer coated tofu into a large bowl. Important: do not be tempted to dump cornstarch and mix tofu in a large bowl or the tofu will not coat properly.
Season coated tofu with garlic powder and onion powder by gently mixing with hands.
Pan Fry Tofu
Over medium heat, add oil into a non-stick large skillet or heavy pan like a cast iron skillet. Add tofu to the frying pan in a single layer and spread them apart. Pan frying tofu on both sides for 20 minutes in total. Do not constantly move the tofu, allow it to sit in the pan to fry for 10 minutes per side until crispy golden brown. Be patient with this. Remove tofu and set aside.
Lower heat to medium-low heat. Pour in sauce and let it bubble and thicken.
Toss back in Tofu
Once thick add in the cooked tofu and mix to combine. Once combined, immediately remove off heat.
Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions (optional). Enjoy!
Storage & Reheating
This dish will last up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, microwave for 2-3 minutes or reheat on the stovetop in a pan on medium heat until hot.
- Pat dry tofu with paper towels. We want to remove as much moisture from the tofu as possible. This is a simple method for removing moisture. You can also use a tofu press like a tofuture tofu press.
- Coat tofu generously with cornstarch. We want the tofu to be coated in cornstarch, so they look like dry powdered cubes. This allows for the tofu to become crispy.
- Be patient when frying tofu. This will need 20 minutes of your time to get the tofu all crispy so when the sauce hits it, it won't get all soggy! I like to fry the top and bottom of each piece of tofu for 10 minutes per side.
Can I also make the tofu in the air fryer?
Yes! Please follow the directions in the recipe card below in the Notes section.
Other tofu recipes you may like!
- Crispy Soy Garlic Tofu
- Sweet & Sticky Tofu
- Silken Tofu With Onions & Garlic
- Spicy Gochujang Sesame Tofu
- Air Fryer Sweet And Sour Tofu
- Chinese Braised Tofu
- Malaysian Curry Tofu
Quick & Easy Teriyaki Tofu
- In a small bowl, combine Teriyaki sauce ingredients and mix well.
- Strain your tofu block of excess water in packaging. Pat dry tofu of excess moisture with clean paper towels. It's important we remove as much moisture as possible.
- Slice the block of tofu into small equal sized cubes (about 1-inch cubes).
- Spread corn starch on a large plate or baking sheet. In batches, gently coat tofu cubes in cornstarch using hands. Transfer coated tofu to a large bowl. Important: do not be tempted to dump cornstarch and tofu in a large bowl to mix or it will become sticky and the tofu won't get crispy.
- Season coated tofu with garlic powder and onion powder by gently mixing with hands.
- Over medium heat, add oil into a non-stick large skillet. Add tofu to the pan in a single layer and spread them apart. Pan frying tofu on both sides for 20 minutes in total, 10 minutes on top and bottom. Do not constantly move the tofu, allow it to sear until crispy golden brown. Be patient with this. Remove tofu from pan and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium-low heat. Pour sauce into pan and let it bubble and thicken. Once thickened to your liking, add in the cooked tofu and mix to combine. Once combined, immediately remove off heat.
- Garnish with sesame seeds & green onions. Enjoy!
Can I also make the tofu in the air fryer?Yes!
- After coating the tofu in cornstarch, lightly spray your air fryer basket with oil.
- Place coated tofu into the basket in a single layer - do not overlap (you may need to air fry in batches)
- Lightly spray the tofu with oil.
- Air fry at 400°F for 10 minutes. At the 5-minute mark, flip the tofu over and continue air frying for another 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bubble the sauce in a sauce pan over low-medium heat and add in your crispy tofu to combine with the sauce.