Hungry for takeout? This teriyaki tofu recipe satisfies that craving in under 45 minutes. It’s a mouthwatering crispy tofu recipe that’s always a hit in our house (and best of all, it only requires 5 ingredients!)
In my forever quest to show you how delicious tofu recipes can be, today we’re making a takeout style recipe that I’m obsessed with…teriyaki tofu!
Why you’ll love it
- It has just 5 ingredients
- The tofu is *actually* crispy
- It’s ready in less time than takeout
Teriyaki Tofu Ingredients
In an effort to make this teriyaki tofu as easy as possible, we’re using store bought teriyaki sauce. This keeps the total list to just 5 ingredients!
- Extra Firm Tofu: Tofu is the star of this dish. Extra firm tofu is used because it holds its shape well during cooking, providing a meaty texture.
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce adds a savory umami flavor to the tofu. It also contributes to the overall saltiness of the dish.
- Oil: Oil is used to help coat the tofu and promote browning during baking. It also enhances the richness of the dish.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch is a key ingredient for achieving a crispy texture on the tofu. It creates a light, crunchy coating when baked.
- Teriyaki Sauce: Teriyaki sauce is the main flavoring agent of this recipe. It imparts a sweet, salty, and slightly tangy taste to the dish. You can use store-bought teriyaki sauce or make your own. The sauce is heated and combined with the tofu to create a flavorful coating.
Press that tofu! Pressing the tofu removes excess moisture, allowing it to absorb flavors better while also ensuring a crispy texture when baked.
How to make Teriyaki Tofu
This recipe is so simple, you’ll basically just:
- Press the tofu
- Tear it into chunks
- Bake it until crispy
- Stir it into the sauce
Do you *actually* Need To Press Your Tofu?
Step 1 may seem like an easy step to skip, but I urge you not to! Pressing your tofu:
- Removes Excess Moisture: Tofu contains a significant amount of water, even the “extra firm” varieties. Pressing helps to expel this excess moisture, which can otherwise dilute flavors and prevent the tofu from absorbing sauces or marinades properly.
- Enhances Texture: Pressing makes the tofu denser and firmer. This altered texture allows it to hold its shape better during cooking. It also contributes to a more pleasing mouthfeel, akin to that of meat.
- Promotes Flavor Absorption: With excess water removed, the tofu becomes like a sponge, ready to soak up the flavors of sauces, marinades, or seasonings. This results in a tastier and more flavorful end product.
- Prevents Sogginess: Pressing is particularly crucial when you’re planning to bake, fry, or grill tofu. Without pressing, the tofu may release water during cooking, leading to a soggy texture instead of the desired crispy or firm consistency.
- Aids in Browning: Pressed tofu is more likely to brown nicely during cooking. This is especially important for recipes where you want a golden, crispy exterior.
Can I use a different type of tofu?
While extra firm tofu is recommended for this recipe, you can experiment with firm tofu (which is softer and more delicate) or super firm tofu (which is the sturdiest but can be hard to find – look for it in a vacuum sealed bag).
Is there a substitute for cornstarch?
Yes, if you’re looking to make this recipe without cornstarch, you can use arrowroot powder or tapioca starch as alternatives to cornstarch. They have similar crisping properties. Alternatively, you can air fry the tofu without any starch to get it crispy before mixing with the sauce!
Can I prepare this recipe in advance?
While the tofu is best enjoyed fresh for optimal texture, you can prepare it a few hours in advance and reheat it in the oven or on the stovetop. Keep the sauce separate until just before serving to maintain the tofu’s crispiness.
Serve It With
This teriyaki tofu pairs wonderfully with steamed rice and a side of stir-fried or steamed vegetables. You can also serve it over a bed of quinoa or alongside a fresh salad for a balanced meal. Check out all of our Japanese recipes for serving inspiration, but some of our favorites are:
- 1 14 to 16-oz package extra firm tofu 396 to 453 g
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce 15 mL
- 1 Tbsp oil 15 mL
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- ½ cup teriyaki sauce 110 g
- Press: Press tofu for at least 15 minutes, using either a tofu press or by wrapping it in a clean towel and setting a heavy pan on top of it, letting the moisture drain.
- Prep: Tear tofu roughly into bite-sized chunks. Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Bake Tofu: In a medium bowl, toss torn tofu with soy sauce and oil. Sprinkle with cornstarch and toss to coat. Arrange in a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu over halfway through cooking, until golden brown and crispy.
- Sauce: Heat teriyaki sauce in the microwave or on the stove. Stir in tofu pieces.
- Serve: Serve hot with rice and your favorite vegetable!