Sticky Sesame Tofu

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  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (or less)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, plus more (toasted) for serving
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • steamed rice or cauliflower rice, for serving


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sesame oil, honey, tamari, rice vinegar, chili paste, garlic, and ginger. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for 4-5 minutes, until it’s reduced and thickened and syrupy. Keep an eye on it – it can burn quickly. If it reduces too much, just add a little water to loosen it back up.
  2. Drain the tofu from the water it’s packed in and gently squeeze between several layers of paper towels. Alternately, you can press it under a couple plates or a cast iron pan to release even more of the liquid.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the tapioca starch, sesame seeds and salt. Whisk to combine. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and toss with the tapioca mixture until well coated.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add about 1/4 cup neutral tasting oil. Once it’s shimmering, add the tofu, being careful of splattering oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Without messing with it too much, cook the tofu until it’s golden brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove the tofu to a plate and return the skillet to the heat.
  5. Add the broccoli and half the sliced scallions and cook until it’s just starting to get brown a bit. Add the water and fish sauce and cook uncovered until the water evaporates and the broccoli is steamed and tender. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter.
  6. Return the tofu to the pan along with the sauce and toss to coat, cooking until the sauce is sticking to all the tofu cubes, less than a minute. Dump the tofu and sauce over the broccoli, and garnish with additional toasted sesame seeds and sliced scallions.
  7. Serve with steamed rice or cauliflower rice.


If you think you don’t like tofu, you’ve got to try it this way!

If you avoid soy, this recipe works great with diced chicken breast.

Chili pastes can vary in their spiciness from brand to brand, so adjust accordingly. Something like Sriracha will have less heat than one that’s more like a chili oil.