This sesame-crusted tofu recipe is the perfect thing to whip out on those manic weeknights when time is precious. The creamy tofu blends beautifully with the crunchy sesame crust and savory marinade. A well-rounded meal that’s speedy, comforting, and oh-so-delicious!
I’ll be the first to say that smooth and silky tofu is one of my favorite things to pull out on Meatless Monday.
But sometimes, you just want next-level crunch, a sweet and salty marinade, and a glorious mouthfeel.
And the good news is, this crispy sesame tofu does ALL of that and more!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Tofu: Use extra firm tofu if you can as it won’t crumble. Otherwise, regular plain tofu is fine! Sometimes I also use smoked tofu for this recip, which makes it extra smokey and full of flavor!
- Soy sauce: You’ll use this in both the dipping sauce and the marinade for a touch of saltiness. Switch this out for tamari if you’re gluten-free!
- Rice wine vinegar: Perfect to marinate the tofu. It gives it a zingy flavor.
- Unsweetened soy milk: You can use virtually any plant-based milk for this recipe. But I find soy milk pairs well with the rest of the ingredients and isn’t too strong.
- White sesame seeds and black sesame seeds: You can use just one color if you like, but I appreciate the aesthetics of a mixture of sesame seeds!
- Chickpea flour: This is crucial for getting those sesame seeds to stick to the tofu (without using gluten flour or egg wash!). If you don’t have it, any other flour works perfectly fine.
Optional for serving
- Rice: I like using brown rice or cauliflower rice to serve!
- Salt & Chili Edamame: I adore pairing tofu recipes with salt and chili edamame as it adds protein, texture, and a pleasant kick of heat.
- Green onions: For a pop of color and a hint of healthy crunch!
How to Make Sesame Crusted Tofu
- Preheat the oven: Before you do anything, you’ll want to set your oven to 350F (180C). Just FYI, you should use untoasted sesame seeds here as they’ll get gorgeously toasted in the oven!
- Prepare the tofu: To get truly crispy sesame tofu, drain the extra-firm tofu slices and press them well until all extra moisture is squeezed out. This will prepare your tofu to absorb the marinade. Then, slice the tofu into ½-inch thick pieces and place them on a plate or in a shallow dish.
- Make the marinade: Whisk the soy sauce, grated ginger, minced garlic, and rice vinegar in a small bowl before pouring the marinade on the tofu pieces. Coat them well and let them sit for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Prepare the dipping sauce: While your tofu is marinating, add the chickpea flour and soy milk to a shallow bowl. Whisk to combine until you get a creamy consistency. Then, add the soy sauce!
- Coat the tofu: Place the sesame seed mixture on a small plate and remove each tofu slice from the marinade (make sure you let the excess drip off!). Dip each piece of tofu in the marinade and press the tofu into the seeds to coat them well.
- Cook the tofu: Place the tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Flip them halfway through for an even cook.
- Serve and enjoy: I love to eat this sesame crusted tofu with hot rice, a sprinkle of green onions, and a spoonful of delicious edamame! But the sky is the limit here! See below for more serving suggestions.
How to Store and Reheat
This sesame-crusted tofu is best served hot and eaten straight out of the oven (or pan/air fryer!). But it’s really good also eaten at room temperature if you have some leftovers (although it won’t be as crispy).
If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
You can then quickly reheat it with a little oil in a pan or pop it in a hot oven for 10 minutes!
Can I make it in a pan?
To make this recipe in a pan, heat oil (avocado or sesame are both great options!) in a large skillet on medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the tofu and pan fry until the tofu is golden brown and crispy (usually, all it takes is 1-2 minutes per side).
Can I make it in an air fryer?
If you’re air-frying these slices of delight, preheat your air fryer to 400F.
Then, cook them in an even layer in your basket for about 10 minutes until crisp.
Do I need a tofu press?
It certainly helps to get excess moisture out of the tofu for a super-crispy result.
But honestly, you can get rid of this with a clean tea towel and a heavy object (like a cast-iron skillet!).
But feel free to throw in stir-fried greens, a dash of peanut sauce, chili flakes, napa cabbage, or a bunch of hot sauce for extra flavor!
Why I Love Sesame Crusted Tofu
- The crispy sesame crust is a texture-filled sensation
- It’s packed with protein and glorious Asian flavors
- Super simple to make and ready in minutes (including prep time!)
- 100% vegan and loaded with nutrients
Also check 25 Easy Vegan Noodle Recipes Perfect For Dinner!
If you try this sesame crusted tofu recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!
Sesame Crusted Tofu
- 16 ounces block extra-firm smoked tofu - you can also use regular tofu
For the marinade
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar - or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic - crushed
For the dipping sauce
For the crust
- 5 tablespoons white sesame seeds - see note 1
- 3 tablespoons black sesame seeds - you can use all white
- Salt & Chili Edamame
- Green onions
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C) (note 2).
- Drain the tofu and press it well until all the excess moisture is squeezed out so that it is ready to absorb the marinade.
- Slice the tofu into ½-inch thick pieces (squares or rectangles) and place on a plate or shallow bowl.
- Prepare the marinade: In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and rice vinegar. Pour the marinade on the tofu, coat well, and allow it to marinate for at least 10-15 minutes.
- While the tofu is marinating, prepare the dipping sauce. Add the chickpea flour in a shallow bowl, slowly add the milk and whisk to combine until you get a creamy consistency. Then add the soy sauce.
- Place the sesame seeds on a small plate. Remove each tofu slice from the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off, then dip each piece in the marinade. Then dip in the sesame seeds and press well, coating each side and all around.
- Place the tofu on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Serve hot with cooked rice, edamame, and green onions, or use it as a sandwich filler or as a lunch bowl topper.
- Optional dipping sauce: You can use any dipping sauce you like. To make my favorite mix lemon juice, soy sauce, tahini, cold water, and maple syrup until combined. Add more water if you prefer it a bit runnier.
Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!