If you’re looking for an easy, nutritious, plant based entrée, it doesn’t get more delicious than Sweet and Spicy Roasted Tofu.
We’re sharing all our best tips for working with and cooking tofu at home so that it is not only crisp, but maintains its shape and has seriously big flavor. This recipe features an Asian-inspired marinade that makes this perfect for serving in rice bowls with your favorite blistered or roasted vegetables.
Simply put: it’s a dinner you’ll feel great eating!
*This post was sponsored by Kings Food Market. All opinions are my own. I only support and promote brands that I believe in and use in my own kitchen – I hope you’ll check them out! Thank you for supporting the brands that make Well Seasoned possible.
- Extra firm tofu: This is the firmest variety of tofu, and the one with the least amount of water. For crispy roasted tofu, look for extra firm.
- Sesame oil: This adds a nutty taste to the tofu that we love!
- Low-sodium soy sauce: Adds a salty flavor without adding too much salt.
- Cornstarch: Coating tofu in cornstarch will yield the crispiest results!
- Brown sugar: The sugar in the sauce is needed to counter all the Dijon mustard .
- Dijon mustard: This is the ‘spicy’ part of the sauce.
- Garlic: Adds a lot of flavor to the sauce!
- Ground ginger: This adds another level of richness and a bit of warmth.
- Scallions: Add lots of thinly sliced green onions for serving
- Sesame seeds: For serving
We grabbed all our ingredients from the new Kings Food Markets app, either for pick up or delivery, then run to the kitchen to make this asap! Well Seasoned readers can save $30 off your 1st DriveUp & Go order (over $75) with promo code KBSAVE30 – or save $20 off your first Delivery order (over $75) with code KBSAVE20 — yes, please!
You’ll also need a kitchen towel (more absorbent than paper towels, used for pressing the tofu to release excess moisture), a heavy weight such as a cookbook or heavy skillet, a rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, a medium saucepan, whisk, and mixing bowl.
Why You Need To Press Tofu
Plain and simple: tofu should be pressed before cooking to help absorb moisture. Think of a block of tofu kind of like a sponge. In order to create any type of texture — and also to prevent tofu from breaking apart or crumbling while cooking — press it to squeeze out water.
You can press an entire block or you can cut tofu into cubes (½-1 inch cubes) or slices and press that way. Place on a kitchen towel lined plate, then cover with the excess kitchen towel. Weigh down with something heavy, such as a large cookbook or a heavy pot.
You can also use a tofu press to speed up the process.
Use Extra Firm Tofu
This is your best bet for tofu that maintains its shape while cooking!
How To Make Roasted Tofu
Once you’ve pressed the tofu to release excess water, place the cubes in a large mixing bowl. Season however you like — for this roasted tofu recipe, we’re seasoning with sesame oil, soy sauce, and cornstarch.
Why is cornstarch needed? This is the key to crispy tofu. Cornstarch absorbs even more moisture from tofu, which leads to a crisp exterior. If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use potato starch, arrowroot starch, or tapioca starch.
Toss to thoroughly coat, then place in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook at 425F for about 30 minutes, flipping the tofu once halfway through to ensure it cooks evenly on both sides.
Make The Sweet and Spicy Sauce
This sauce is seriously so delicious!
Combine brown sugar, Dijon mustard, a little more soy sauce, sesame oil, chopped garlic, and ground ginger in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, then whisk until the sugar is fully dissolved. That’s it! Your sweet and spicy sauce is now ready to be tossed with crispy roasted tofu!
How To Serve
We love to expand on the Asian-inspired flavors of the sauce and pair this with perfectly fluffy white rice and sautéed baby bok choy. A drizzle of sriracha adds the best spice!
Other veggie ideas:
Alternatively, if you’re using store-bought marinades, or really any other tofu marinade, pair the side dishes to complement those flavors. This is a really simple and forgiving baked tofu recipe that is easily adaptable to many dishes.
Add crispy baked tofu to stir fries, salads, and grain bowls. It’s such a great source of plant-based protein!
- Buy extra firm! There are a variety of textures when it comes to tofu, from silken to firm to extra firm. While you might grab silken tofu to whip into a sauce or use in soup, extra firm is what you want for any dish that requires texture and for the tofu to maintain its shape.
- Press the tofu! We can’t stress enough how important this step is. Do not skip if you want roasted tofu that is actually crispy.
- Add a lot of flavor! The seasonings are so important. Tofu is naturally lacking flavor, so you’ve gotta make sure to both season it generously and to use big, bold flavors that come through in the final dish.
For meatless entrées, it doesn’t get much better than crispy baked tofu!
If you make this Sweet and Spicy Roasted Tofu recipe, please let us know by leaving a review and rating below!
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Other plant based recipes to try next!Hearty Farro Salad with Honey Mustard Vinaigrette Thick, Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup (with Grilled Cheese Croutons!) Sweet & Savory Wild Rice Salad 30-Minute Crispy Asian Brussels Sprouts Pan Fried Chickpea Patties (with Dried Chickpeas)
Sweet and Spicy Crispy Roasted Tofu
- 1 lb (16oz) block extra firm tofu cut into ½-1" cubes
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sesame oil
- ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce divided (or tamari, if making gluten-free)
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup tightly packed light brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 3 scallions thinly sliced
- Sesame seeds for serving
- Drain the tofu. Place cubes of tofu on half of a kitchen towel, then gently fold the other half on top. Place a heavy weight (such as a cookbook or pan) on top, then press and drain the tofu for 30 minutes.
- Prep the tofu. Preheat an oven to 425F, then line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the pressed tofu in a large bowl, then season with 1 Tbsp sesame oil and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. Toss well, then sprinkle on 1 Tbsp cornstarch, tossing gently to thoroughly and evenly coat the tofu.
- Roast the tofu. Pour the dredged tofu onto the baking sheet, ensuring it’s in a single layer with a little space between each cube. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu once halfway through cook time.
- Make the sweet and spicy sauce. Place ¼ cup brown sugar, 3 Tbsp Dijon, remaining 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 cloves chopped garlic, and ½ tsp ground ginger in a medium saucepan, then place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sugar is dissolved, then set aside.
- Toss, then serve. When the tofu is cooked and crispy, transfer it to a large mixing bowl, then pour the sauce on top. Give it a good toss, then serve over rice (or other grain) with sliced scallions and your favorite veggies or use however you like!
- Nutrition facts do no include rice or vegetables.
- Roasted tofu is best enjoyed fresh, but will keep for up to 4-5 days in a fridge in an airtight container.
- Reheat leftovers in a microwave until warm or for about 8-10 minutes in an oven preheated to 350F.
Method for cooking tofu inspired by Cookie and Kate.