20-Minute Crispy Teriyaki Tofu Recipe

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This delicious crispy teriyaki tofu is the perfect recipe to whip out when you don’t have much time to play with. The creamy but firm tofu works beautifully with the umami teriyaki sauce for the ultimate midweek meal. It’s a super-comforting Asian-inspired meal that’s ready in 20 minutes flat!

Love this? Check out this Sesame Crusted Tofu and this Easy Fried Tofu!

Why You’ll Love It

This crispy teriyaki tofu is my new go-to recipe for nights when I’m too exhausted to cook. 

It’s bursting with rich, savory flavors and works amazingly well with crunchy veggies and a pile of fluffy rice.

It’s not just the glossy teriyaki sauce that gets me salivating. The cornstarch gives each bite the perfect amount of crispness that contrasts perfectly with the soft tofu.

You can even make it gluten-free by switching out the soy sauce for tamari.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the tofu

  • Extra firm tofu: This type of tofu won’t be overly wet and holds up well under heat. 
  • Cornstarch: Coats the crispy teriyaki tofu and gives it a gorgeous texture.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Any frying oil with a high smoke point will work for this recipe, but I love the healthy fat in olive oil!

For the teriyaki sauce

  • Low-sodium soy sauce: For an amazing umami flavor. To make it gluten-free, try tamari!
  • Rice vinegar: Mirin works just as well, but rice vinegar has a delicious sweet and acidic taste that balances the teriyaki sauce.
  • Brown sugar: For a rich, almost caramel-like sweetness.
  • Ginger: Cuts through the salty soy sauce with a warm and peppery flavor.
  • Garlic: I recommend using fully minced cloves of fresh garlic to keep your sauce smooth.
  • Cornstarch and water: Stir these together to thicken up your teriyaki sauce!

For serving

  • Toasted sesame seeds: Offers healthy fat and a pleasant crunchy texture.
  • Spring onions: For a hint of color and crunch.
  • Greens: Kale, spinach, collard greens, or bok choy are all excellent picks.
  • Rice: Either fluffy white rice, brown rice, or sticky sushi rice.
Laid out ingredients of crispy teriyaki tofu: garlic, soy sauce, ginger, tofu, brown sugar, cornstarch, rice vinegar.

How to Make Crispy Teriyaki Tofu

Step-by-step overview. Full ingredients and instructions are in the recipe card below.

Dry and prep the tofu: Pat your tofu dry with paper towels and cut it into chunky 2-inch pieces (photo 1). Then, add the cornstarch and salt to a shallow bowl and use it to coat the tofu evenly (photo 2).

Prepare the teriyaki sauce: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, minced garlic, rice vinegar, and grated ginger. Mix until combined and set aside (photo 3).

Fry the tofu: Heat enough oil to cover the base of the skillet or pan over medium-heat. Then, add the tofu cubes to the hot oil and fry until it’s crispy and golden brown on all sides (usually 2-3 minutes) (photo 4)

Soak off the excess oil: Remove the tofu using a slotted spoon and let the excess oil soak off on a paper towel-lined plate.

Make the teriyaki sauce: Remove the excess oil from the pan and wipe it down with paper towels. Place back on the heat and add the sauce (photo 5). In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch and water and add it to the sauce. Mix it until the homemade teriyaki sauce begins to thicken.

Finish off the tofu: Turn down the heat and add the tofu to the mix, tossing gently until it’s well-coated (photo 6).

Serve and enjoy: Sprinkle the crispy baked tofu with toasted sesame seeds and garnish it with spring onions. Serve over steamed rice and your choice of crispy veggies!

Close up of crispy Teriyaki tofu.

Notes and Tips

  • Baking: You can also bake the tofu instead of frying it (although it will take a bit longer). Spread the tofu evenly on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 F (200 C) for about 10 minutes, flip the tofu over, and bake for another 5 minutes. Remove the tofu from the oven, prepare the sauce on the stove, and coat following the instructions above.
  • Air-Frying: Airfry at 400 F (200 C) for about 8 minutes, flip the tofu over, and bake for another 8 minutes.

Serving Suggestions

How to Store

This crispy fried tofu recipe is best eaten on the day it’s cooked to maintain its texture. But if you have any leftovers, move them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for 3-4 days.

You can technically freeze it, but the texture is guaranteed to change (so I wouldn’t recommend it!).

A bowl of rice with crispy teriyaki tofu topped with chopped onions and sesame seeds with broccoli.

If you try this crispy teriyaki tofu recipe, please leave a comment and a rating and let me know how much you liked it!

A bowl of rice topped with crispy teriyaki tofu and broccoli.
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20-Minute Crispy Teriyaki Tofu Recipe

This delicious crispy teriyaki tofu is the perfect recipe to whip out when you don’t have much time to play with it. The creamy but firm tofu works beautifully with the umami teriyaki sauce for the ultimate midweek meal. It’s a super-comforting Asian-inspired meal that’s ready in 20 minutes flat!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Servings: 3
Calories: 314kcal
Author: Sara Trezzi

Ingredients

For The Tofu

For the Teriyaki Sauce

  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce - or tamari for a gluten-free option
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar - or mirin
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar - or maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon ginger - grated
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch - + 1 tablespoon water stirred together

For Serving

Instructions

  • Pat dry the tofu with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Cut into chunky 2-inch pieces. Add the cornstarch and salt to a shallow bowl and coat the tofu evenly.
  • Prepare the teriyaki sauce: In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, minced garlic, rice vinegar, and grated ginger and set aside.
  • Heat up enough oil to cover the base of a skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Carefully add the tofu cubes to the hot oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  • Fry the tofu until it's crispy and golden brown on all sides. It should take about 2-3 minutes per side (see note 1).
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the crispy tofu from the oil and place it on a plate lined with paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Remove the excess oil from the pan and wipe it down with some paper towels (or use a new pan). Heat the pan and add your teriyaki sauce. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch and water and add it to the sauce, mixing until the sauce begins to thicken.
  • Turn off the heat and add the tofu, tossing gently until it is well coated.
  • Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and garnish with spring onions.
  • Serve over steamed rice and your choice of vegetables.

Notes

Note 1 – Alternative cooking methods:
  • Baking: Try baking the tofu as an alternative to frying. Spread it on a baking sheet, bake at 400°F (200°C) for 10 minutes, flip, bake for 5 more minutes, then coat with sauce as instructed.
  • Air-Frying: Air-fry at 400°F (200°C) for 8 minutes, flip, and air-fry for an additional 8 minutes.
 
How to store: Tofu is best eaten hot on the day it’s cooked, but if you have any leftovers, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in a pan or in the microwave until hot. You can freeze it, but I would not recommend it as the texture will change.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate per serving.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 8g | Sugar: 12g

Did you make this recipe? Tag @gatheringdreams on Instagram. I want to see it!

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