Sesame-Crusted Tofu

March 15, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by The Cooking of Joy
  • Serves 2-4
Author Notes

Back in grad school, I had a friend who was a vegan, and I was so fascinated (and honestly, a little horrified) by the concept. But then she taught me how to make this dish, and the first time I tasted it I realized it's possible to be vegan and still eat really yummy things.

The marinated tofu is so moist and full of flavor you really don't need an extra sauce to go with it, and the sesame and cornstarch crust adds a nice crispy texture. I like to serve this over brown rice with some sauteed greens.

The only things I changed to her simple recipe was to press the tofu first so that it's a little sturdier and can absorb more of the soy sauce and orange juice marinade. I also like to add a little sesame oil to the marinade to bring out the sesame flavor a little more. If I had had black sesame seeds, I would have used a 1:2 mix of black to white sesame seeds in the crust for more visual contrast. —Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy

What You'll Need
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 5 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil, for pan frying
  1. Drain the tofu and set on a plate lined with a couple of layers of paper towels. Place another couple layers of paper towels on top and another plate on top of that. Add some weights (I usually use some canned goods) to the top plate and press the tofu for 30 minutes, replacing the paper towels after 15 minutes.
  2. Discard the wet paper towels, and slice the tofu half and then into 1" wide sticks.
  3. Combine the soy sauce, orange juice, and sesame oil in a large Ziploc bag and add the tofu sticks. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour or overnight.
  4. Mix 2 tablespoons each of sesame seeds and cornstarch in a small plate. Add enough oil in a small saucepan to reach 1/4" height and start heating over medium heat.
  5. Remove a few tofu sticks from the bag and coat all over with the sesame seed mixture.
  6. Fry in batches until golden brown on all sides. Add more sesame seeds and cornstarch to the plate as needed to continue coating the tofu. When done, remove tofu from the pan and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jo Anna Rothman
    Jo Anna Rothman
  • Devangi Raval
    Devangi Raval
  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy
    Joy Huang | The Cooking of Joy

7 Reviews

Jo A. June 13, 2017
This was delicious. Thank you!! I put it over a couscous salad, and it went well with the balsamic dressing I made.
Joy H. June 14, 2017
That sounds like a wonderful meal! Glad you liked it!
Devangi R. March 31, 2016
This looks like a great dish.
Joy H. March 31, 2016
LeBec F. March 16, 2016
This is so intriguing! I wonder if it would be possible to use soft tofu (my fav.).I know it's delicate but i wondered if it could be pressed and then marinated....
Joy H. March 16, 2016
I love soft tofu too, but I have to admit I had a hard enough time handling the pressed firm version that I don't think I'm brave enough to try it with soft tofu!
LeBec F. March 16, 2016
joy, that's exactly what I needed to know. I will try this as written-soon!
It surely deserves to be chosen for the semi finals!