Spicy Sesame Crusted Tofu

This tofu is lightly pan fried in a honey-sesame-sriracha-glaze, perfectly sweet and spicy. These crispy morsels are served piping hot straight from the pan with more lime wedges and sriracha on the side. A few drops of sesame oil, a sprinkling of chopped scallions and fresh Thai basil or fresh mint on top and you’re set.
By Jill Nammar

hot-sesame-tofu

There are those who love tofu and those who hate it. And then there’s a small minority who fall somewhere in the middle. To me, wok-tossed tofu with a feisty sauce is good eating. Because tofu is pretty bland, it needs lots of flavor to get my attention. This tofu is lightly pan fried in a honey-sesame-sriracha-glaze. The sweet and spicy combination is always hit at my house. These crispy morsels are served piping hot straight from the pan with more lime wedges and sriracha on the side. A few drops of sesame oil, a sprinkling of chopped scallions and fresh Thai basil or fresh mint on top is also welcome here.

If you’re on the fence about tofu, I think you’ll find yourself enjoying it in a whole new way. If you’re interested in plant-based cooking, take a culinary exodus with this recipe. A simple meal can be had by serving it with some freshly steamed jasmine rice and a few sliced cucumbers tossed with a little lime juice and sea salt. My Persian chopped salad is a great sidekick too.

Spicy Sesame Crusted Tofu
 
This tofu is lightly pan fried in a honey-sesame-sriracha-glaze, perfectly sweet and spicy. These crispy morsels are served piping hot straight from the pan with more lime wedges and sriracha on the side. A few drops of sesame oil, a sprinkling of chopped scallions and fresh Thai basil or fresh mint on top and you're set.
Author:
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1-15 ounce package of extra firm tofu, I use organic.
  • 1-2 limes, cut into wedges
  • A couple of good drizzles of honey (swap the honey with agave for a vegan option)
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked Spanish paprika
  • Small drizzle of sriracha sauce or a pinch of ground red chili pepper
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, I use a mixture of blond and black for interest. But all blond will work fine too.
  • 1 tablespoon of neutral tasting oil, plus more for cooking
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Serving suggestions: steamed jasmine rice, sliced cucumbers, lime wedges, fresh mint, fresh Thai basil, diced scallions, sriracha sauce, a few drops of sesame oil
Instructions
  1. Slice the block of tofu horizontally in half and press it to remove some of the water. I press tofu by putting it between paper towels and placing a plate on top of it. Then I put some of my heavy cookbooks on top of the plate. Press the tofu for about 5-15 minutes to remove some of the water in it.
  2. Remove the paper towels and chop the tofu into small cubes.
  3. Put the cubed tofu in a bowl with the sesame seeds, one tablespoon of oil, a small drizzle of honey, the smoked paprika and a drizzle of sriracha sauce. Season with salt and toss. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Preheat a wok or a nonstick pan with some oil on medium heat. I use my non-stick scanpan for this recipe to prevent the tofu from sticking. Pan fry the tofu until it’s golden brown on all sides. Adjust the heat and toss the tofu as it cooks, keeping a watchful eye so that the heat is not too high causing the sesame seeds and honey to burn. The tofu cooks very quickly.
  5. Once the tofu is golden brown on all sides, put it into a bowl and toss it with more drizzles of honey and a couple of squeezes of fresh lime juice.
  6. Serve with sriracha sauce and any of the other above suggestions.
Notes
The paprika gives the tofu some smoky back notes. It also enhances the color.
Don’t be shy with the honey and lime juice at the end of cooking. But be careful not to add too much honey before the tofu cooks to avoid burning.
Serve with more sriracha sauce on the side and lots of fresh lime wedges.
 


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