Sesame Tofu

by Grace Boyle on May 5, 2011

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I grew up with tofu as a staple in our diet. I was never scared of tofu and if you’re smart, you will realize that it’s a healthy alternative to meat (always, in moderation) and tofu can adopt almost any flavor (much like chicken).

One of my fallbacks for a tofu dish is crispy sesame tofu. It’s simple and doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. It’s good with stirfry, on it’s own or with a side of kale or bok choy.


  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
  • 1 package (14 oz.) firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic
  • vegetable oil or peanut oil to fry


First, remove the tofu from the package and drain. Press the tofu wrapped in a paper towel, and place the wrapped tofu between two plates. Set books or something heavy on the top plate, to drain the moisture from the tofu. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. The less water/moisture, the crispier your tofu will be.

While your tofu is “drying”, heat a frying pan over medium heat to toast the sesame seeds and toast until golden. Remove from the heat and let sesame seeds cool in another small bowl.

Once the tofu has dried, slice into small rectangular or square pieces. Spread the toasted sesame seeds across a flat plate or surface, then press both sides of the tofu into the sesame seeds.

Heat the oil in the frying pan and when hot, add the tofu slices covered in sesame seeds. Be sure to not crowd the pan – frying in batches is okay. You want to ensure each piece cooks the same. Fry until the tofu is a light golden color (2-3 minutes) and then turn it over to cook on its other side.

Add the chopped garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil until it has absorbed all the liquid.

Try seasoning with crushed red chili flakes for an extra kick. It’s also delicious served cold over a salad, soba noodles or just on their own.

How do you like to make your tofu? Be on the lookout for more tofu recipes here!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare - Never Niche May 5, 2011 at 9:58 am


Have you ever had sesame tofu at Moongate Bistro? To die for.


grace May 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

I haven’t yet! I go to Chez Thuy a lot (SO good and huge page of vegetarian Vietnamese food) and get their sesame tofu. Will have to do Moongate’s!


Katherina May 5, 2011 at 11:53 am

I used to consider tofu something with a rather boring taste… but adding the sesame and peanut oil… I’m sure its delicious! I must try!


grace May 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I totally understand and I might have a different palate since I have been eating tofu for 20+ years. I also don’t eat red meat, so I’m not trying to say it will TOTALLY replace red meat, it just cannot. It’s simply an option or substitute. Let me know what you think of the sesame tofu. I love putting BBQ on tofu and grilling it and also like just soy sauce with green veggies for a satay!


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