This quick sticky tofu is packed with flavour, deliciously crisp and chewy. On the table in under 20 minutes, a protein-packed midweek meal.
🍴Why you will love this recipe
Cooking tofu can be a bit intimidating if you haven't tried it before. Will it end up soggy, flabby and tasteless? No!
This easy-peasy recipe produces perfect sticky tofu every time. Packed with flavour, sticky and crispy, and as spicy as you like. A dusting of cornflour helps to get a crisp golden crust to the tofu, and a simple sticky sauce with just three ingredients ensures a punchy coating.
I serve this sticky tofu with rice and steamed greens, but you can use is in many ways - in a wrap or pitta, topping a salad or with noodles and soy sauce.
📝 What you need
Extra-firm tofu Choosing the right type of tofu is the most important step in this recipe - it can be confusing! You need extra-firm (not firm or silken) which is found in the chiller cabinets in supermarkets - usually in the vegan//vegetarian section. I usually choose the Tofoo brand pictured above, which doesn't need pressing like other brands.
Cornflour gives a lovely crispy crust to the tofu, but if you don't have any to hand don't worry - just leave it out.
Soy sauce is the main ingredient in the sticky sauce, with its salty, deeply savoury flavour. If you prefer, you can use a lower salt variety so you have more control over the seasoning.
Ketchup is my top secret ingredient to make the sauce super-sticky. When I have time I use rice vinegar, maple syrup and tomato purée in my tofu marinade, but ketchup does all three jobs in one - adding vinegar, sweetness and tomato all in one go. Easy peasy!
👩🏽🍳 How to make your Sticky Tofu
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Cut the tofu into strips 1cm thick, then pat them dry with kitchen paper.
Toss the tofu strips in cornflour and season with salt, then fry them gently until crisp and golden.
Finely chop the garlic, ginger and chilli. Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil and ketchup in a small bowl.
When the tofu is golden and crispy, add the ginger, garlic and chilli and cook for a minute or two, then pour in the sauce and bubble until the tofu is sticky and fully coated. Serve immediately with rice and green vegetables.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
Pat the tofu dry as much as possible. Too much moisture released during cooking will stop the tofu crisping up.
If the sticky sauce becomes too dry, add a splash of water to the pan and let it bubble off.
Make the sauce more spicy by adding 1tbsp sriacha or chilli sauce, or if you prefer you can leave out the chilli altogether.
The tofu is definitely at its best when served straight from the pan. If it is left to sit around it can become a bit chewy.
Yes this works well too. Toss the tofu pieces in oil after coating in cornflour, and bake for 20 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy. Toss them in the sticky sauce then return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until sticky and golden.
If your tofu isn't crispy enough, it is probably that too much moisture was released during cooking. Make sure your tofu is patted dry as much as possible before coating in cornflour, and give it a bit of space in the frying pan. If your frying pan is small you may need to cook it in two batches.
🍽 If you liked that...
.... you might also enjoy these vegan recipes from The Veg Space:
Sticky Tofu with ginger
For the tofu:
- 450 g extra-firm tofu I like the Tofoo brand
- 2 tablespoon cornflour
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 2 cm fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 red chilli
For the sticky sauce:
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoon water
- 2 spring onions
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- handful fresh coriander finely chopped
- Cut the tofu into strips 1cm thick, then pat them dry with kitchen paper.
- Tip the cornflour onto a plate and sprinkle it with salt. Toss the tofu pieces in cornflour.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the tofu slices for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and crispy all over.
- Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the ginger and peel and crush the garlic. Remove the seeds from the chilli and slice it finely.
- In a small bowl or mug, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, ketchup and water and mix to a smooth sauce.
- When the tofu is cooked, add the ginger, garlic and chilli to the pan and cook for a minute or two.
- Pour the sauce into the pan and bubble for a minute, turning over the tofu until it is fully coated and sticky all over.
- Scatter with the sesame seeds, then serve sprinkled with sliced spring onion and finey chopped coriander.
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