This Crispy Sesame Tofu is incredibly easy to make and tastes amazing! The tofu is baked in a unique way to make it extra crispy and then drenched in a sweet and savory sesame sauce. Serve with rice and steamed broccoli for a delicious dinner!

chopsticks grabbing tofu from bowl

We are huge fans of tofu in my house, and we eat it at least once a week. Some of our favorite dishes are Vegan Butter Chicken, Crispy Baked Orange Tofu or Peanut Tofu with Coconut Rice. And now this Sesame Tofu.

If you think you don’t like tofu, I’m pretty sure I can change your mind. When I cut out meat years ago, tofu was scary to me, and it took me quite some time to warm up to it. But that’s because I was cooking it all wrong.

You can pan fry or bake tofu to get it crispy and perfect, but I actually prefer baking and I’ll tell you why. It’s much easier for tofu to stick to a pan when frying, even if you use a lot of oil. There is nothing more frustrating than tofu that won’t stop sticking!

When you bake it, you can mostly just put it in the oven and forget it for 25-30 minutes while you make the sauce it’s going to be mixed with. So much simpler, and perfectly crispy (way less oily, too)!

close up of a lot of sesame tofu in a bowl on top of rice

Ingredients needed

  • Firm or extra-firm tofu – The tofu does need to be pressed first. I use this tofu press, but you can also simply use some paper towels and a few heavy books. 20 minutes should do it.
  • Sesame oil
  • Low sodium soy sauce – For gluten free, use gluten free tamari instead.
  • Cornstarch – Arrowroot should work just as well.
  • Garlic
  • Agave – May also use pure maple syrup or brown sugar.
  • Seasoned rice vinegar
  • Sriracha hot sauce – to taste, depending on how spicy you like it.
  • Cooked rice – white or brown
  • Chopped green onions, sesame seeds – for serving
  • Steamed broccoli – optional for serving

How to make Sesame Tofu

It’s easy! (For the full recipe, scroll down to the bottom of the post, this is simply an overview.)

  1. Toss the pressed tofu cubes with a little sesame oil, soy sauce and cornstarch. Place on greased pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  2. While the tofu bakes, make the sauce on the stovetop.
  3. When the tofu is done baking, mix with the sauce.
  4. Serve with rice, green onions, sesame seeds and maybe some steamed broccoli.

cast iron pan full of tofu in sauce

Can I pan fry the tofu instead?

Sure, you can if you prefer! You still want to coat the tofu in the sesame oil/soy sauce/cornstarch mixture. Then add about 1/4 cup of oil to a large pan (non-stick preferred) and place the tofu in a single layer on the pan. You may need to fry in batches. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes on one side before gently flipping and crisp on all sides.

If you pan fry the tofu this way, then you can simply add the sauce ingredients to the tofu in the pot, then the cornstarch/water mixture to thicken.

How to store leftovers

Place leftover sesame tofu in a covered container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Re-warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

To meal prep for lunches, divide rice, tofu and broccoli into containers. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped onions and store in the refrigerator for quick grab and go meals!

side shot close up of tofu and sauce

Want more mouthwatering tofu recipes?

bowl with white rice and tofu with sauce and sesame seeds

square image of a bowl of rice and saucy tofu, sesame seeds and green onions on top
4.73 stars (37 ratings)

Crispy Sesame Tofu

This Crispy Sesame Tofu is incredibly easy to make and tastes amazing! The tofu is baked in a unique way to make it extra crispy and then drenched in a sweet and savory sesame sauce.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
tofu pressing time: 20 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Servings: 6 servings


For the Tofu

For the sesame sauce

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup agave, maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce, more or less to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

For serving

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • chopped green onions
  • sesame seeds
  • steamed broccoli


  • Press the tofu: Wrap each block of tofu in paper towels. Place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, and put a couple of heavy books on top of that. Let the tofu press for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a large baking sheet with oil or line with parchment paper.
  • Slice the pressed tofu into cubes, then add them to a large ziplock bag (or large bowl), along with the sesame oil, soy sauce and cornstarch. Close the bag, and shake gently to coat. Arrange the tofu evenly on the prepared pan, and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  • While the tofu bakes, cook your rice and make the sauce. In a large pan, add the soy sauce, garlic, agave, seasoned rice vinegar and Sriracha hot sauce. Stir and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water together until smooth, then pour into the pan. Stir constantly until the sauce thickens, then turn off the heat. Stir in the sesame oil.
  • When the tofu is done baking, add it to the sauce and stir to coat the pieces. Serve with rice, sesame seeds, chopped green onions and some steamed broccoli. Enjoy!


  1. Nutrition information is for the tofu only, and does not include rice or broccoli.
  2. To pan fry tofu instead of bake: After mixing the tofu with the sesame oil/soy sauce/cornstarch, in a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu in a single layer. Let cook for 2-3 minutes on one side, then carefully flip the pieces with a spatula and cook for a few more minutes on each side, until the tofu are golden and crispy on all sides. Then simply add the sauce ingredients to the pan, then the cornstarch slurry and sesame oil.
  3. How to store leftovers: Store in the refrigerator in a covered container for 3-4 days. Re-warm in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. You could also meal prep the dish for the week by dividing it into containers with a serving of rice and steamed broccoli.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 911mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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    1. Hi Kathy! How awesome that you loved the tofu recipe! Thanks for your encouraging review and feedback! Happy cooking!

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