Incredibly Easy Sesame Sticky Tofu

plant-based diet recipes May 15, 2022

Want a Satisfying Protein-Packed Meal Booster?

If you’ve been searching for a simple way to cook and enjoy tofu, then look no further. Try this Incredibly Easy Sesame Sticky Tofu dish! Many recipes out on the Internet for sticky tofu either use too many ingredients or are high in salt, oil and/or sugar. That’s why I wanted to create a healthier version that is just as tasty but lower in salt and sugar, as well as extremely low in oil.

This Incredibly Easy Sesame Sticky Tofu dish only uses 8 main ingredients (you can leave out the sesame seeds garnishing at the end if you want) and 3 main steps -- pressing the tofu, baking it, then making the sauce. The best part? It’s almost oil-free because the only oil in this entire recipe comes from a half teaspoon of sesame oil. Need a gluten-free version? Simply use tamari sauce or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. 

The key to this low-oil recipe is to use baked tofu (instead of pan-frying the tofu to get it crispy) so it also becomes an easier, more hands-off method. That’s because pan-frying can be more challenging and time-consuming if you don’t have or want to use a non-stick pan, and loathe to waste time flipping tofu and cleaning up the pan afterward. Let’s face it, there are other things you would rather do, right? That’s why it’s a win-win situation to bake the tofu instead. This protein-packed, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free and low-oil dish makes a great addition to any entrée at mealtime and can also make an appetizer at a party function or dinner gathering. So, try making it today!

Incredibly Easy Sesame Sticky Tofu

Each serving of this Incredibly Easy Sesame Sticky Tofu gives you 15 grams of protein, 1 gram of fiber, 70 milligrams of calcium and 319 milligrams of potassium. Make this nutrient-dense protein-packed dish today!

Prep Time: 15 mins (includes pressing time for tofu)
Cook Time: 20 - 25 min
Total Time: 35 - 40 min
Servings: Serves 2

Recipe by:  Anna Tseng | PlantNourished

Main Ingredients

  • 1 block of extra firm tofu [340g]
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch (or corn flour)

 Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (see recipe notes)
  • 1/3 cup water [80ml]
  • ½ teaspoon maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 rounded tablespoon cornstarch (or corn flour)

 Optional Garnishes

  • ½ teaspoon of raw or roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped spring onion


  1. Preheat the oven to 425oF or 218oC.
  2. Press the block of extra firm tofu: Remove the tofu block from the package and press it gently between your hands over the sink to remove some of the water. Then sandwich this block of tofu between 3 pieces of paper towel (or use a kitchen towel) under some heavy plates, and let the tofu block sit for at least 15 minutes. This will remove any excess liquid. Change out the paper towels once or twice during this period once the towels are completely wet through. At the end, the paper towel wrapping the tofu block should be only slightly wet.
  3. Now cut this pressed tofu block into small cubes (approximately ½-inch in size).
  4. Put 3 tablespoons of cornstarch (or corn flour) into a large lidded Tupperware container, then add in the tofu cubes. Close this container and shake the container a few times to coat the cubes evenly with the cornstarch.
  5. Next, spread these tofu cubes evenly in a single layer on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake the tofu cubes for 10 minutes on one side, then use tongs or a spatula to flip the tofu cubes over. After doing so, bake these tofu cubes for another 5-10 minutes or until the tofu cubes are lightly browned and crispy.
  7. Now remove this tray from the oven and set it aside for about 5 minutes while you make the sauce. These tofu cubes will further harden and crisp up as they cool during this time.
  8. After you have mixed the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, heat up a small saucepan on medium heat until hot. Once the saucepan is hot, turn down the heat setting to low-medium, before adding in the sauce mixture (note: first stir the mixture very well to combine all the sauce ingredients before pouring it into the saucepan).
  9. Now stir this sauce in the saucepan continuously for about a minute. It should darken in color and thicken up slightly during this time. Once it does, quickly add in the baked tofu cubes and stir to coat all the tofu cubes with the sauce. Finally, turn off the heat and sprinkle on the sesame seeds and/or chopped spring onion (if desired), then enjoy these sticky tofu cubes as a snack or with your main meal!

Recipe Notes:

Make sure to get extra firm tofu to use in this recipe for the best results. Once made, these Incredibly Easy Sesame Sticky Tofu cubes can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

As you can see, most of the time involved in this recipe is just the tofu block being pressed and then baking it in the oven. So, you can use that time to get the other parts of the meal together. For a gluten-free version, use tamari sauce or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Also, if you would like to make this dish lower in salt, use low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos which would be lower in sodium content.

I would love to see your recipe creations. Reach out to me on Facebook at @plantnourished or on Instagram at @plant.nourished if you try this recipe!

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