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Asian Garlic Tofu

Asian Garlic Tofu- marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce and seared until crispy.


Asian Garlic Tofu cooks up crispy with tons of salty, sweet, and spicy flavor. Serve with broccoli and rice for a fantastically delicious vegetarian meal.

My daughter has been a vegetarian for 2 years. Or maybe it has been 3 years. I can’t even remember. Every now and then I like to share some of her favorite things to eat like Orange Cauliflower and Vegetarian BBQ Nachos.

Asian Garlic Tofu- marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce and seared until crispy.


She doesn’t like beans so tofu is a major source of protein for her. I actually really like to cook with tofu and eat it as well. I love that it has a very neutral flavor that lends itself to being paired with all kinds of seasonings and ingredients.

Asian Garlic Tofu- marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce and seared until crispy.


It’s hard to get tofu crispy but it is possible if you start with super firm tofu and wrap it in paper towels (lots of them) and set something heavy on top. I use a cast iron pan (they are so handy!)

The longer you let it sit, the better. And replace the paper towels a few times. They will get completely wet.

Asian Garlic Tofu- marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce and seared until crispy.


A quick marinade in a mixture of Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, and a little sugar gives the tofu plenty of flavor.

Asian Garlic Tofu- marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce and seared until crispy.


One more trick to crispy tofu is cooking it in a cast iron pan and heating it well before you add the tofu. Move the tofu around as little as possible. I let it get a nice sear on the bottom and then flip the pieces and let them get a sear on a second side.

Asian Garlic Tofu- marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce and seared until crispy.

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Watch the video below to see how to make Asian Garlic Tofu

Asian Garlic Tofu- marinated in a sweet and spicy sauce and seared until crispy.

Asian Garlic Tofu

Asian Garlic Tofu is a vegetarian meal full of salty, sweet, and spicy flavor.
PREP: 1 hr
COOK: 10 mins
TOTAL: 1 hr 10 mins
SERVINGS: 2 servings


  • 1 package super firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • green onions for garnish
  • rice for serving


  • Remove tofu from packaging. Place about 4 paper towels on a plate. Set tofu on top of plate and cover with more paper towels. Place a cast iron pan or something else that is heavy on top. Let sit 30 minutes.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together Hoisin sauce, soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  • Cut tofu into bite-sized pieces. Place in bowl with sauce and toss to coat. Let sit 30 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in a medium cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Once really hot, add tofu. Once nicely seared on the bottom, flip over. Continue to cook until seared on bottom.
  • Drizzle with sesame oil and remove from heat.
  • Sprinkle with green onions and serve with rice.


Calories: 352kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Course

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205 thoughts on “Asian Garlic Tofu”

  1. Debra Rolfe

    Flavors were good, but I would recommend a saucier preparation. It was a bit dry for my liking and of course, that is a personal preference. So if you like a saucier stir fry, after stir frying the marinated tofu, add some broth and thicken with cornstarch dissolved in water to create a sauce. Definitely add the sesame oil. The picture of the finished dish showed of broccoli, which would have been nice as an honorable mention in the recipe ingredients as an addition to the presentation of the dish.

  2. I added roasted butternut squash cubes with the tofu. The sauce tied the tofu and the squash together quite well.

  3. Made this today (only added green beans at the end) and loved it! The sauce was *delicious*. Thank you!

  4. Karen Anderson

    This is absolutely the BEST marinade for tofu that I have ever tried…and I’ve tried a lot of them. Was expecting to be somewhat disappointed, as ususal, but the taste was amazing. Love it – thank you!

  5. We make this so many times! It’s just beautiful! I put a lot more soy sauce in cause we’re obsessed with it!

  6. I love this so much.

    I’m always looking for new sauces to make with tofu. This is my favorite, and I’ve tried so many recipes that I’ve found online!

  7. Great article. it really a complete guideline for delicious cooking. it also helps me a lot when I have an interest in cooking by using different appliances as mention in my article www. kettlesboiler.com/ and your article helps me to work more efficiently on my domain

  8. Made this for our main meal today — was okay, but nothing amazing. Won’t use this recipe again.
    Also, the full package of tofu is HUGE for 2 servings, especially as the label says it’s 5 servings.

  9. Really enjoying this recipe. Have made it several times now and I add steamed broccoli at the end.
    The tofu I use is very firm tofu (japanese) which does not need pressing which I purchase from Tesco in UK.
    Naked XL Extra Firm Tofu, Organic, The Tofoo Co. (450g). IT IS READY TO USE … so I make this recipe often.
    Thanks very much.

  10. Ronald J. Robinson

    Hello Christin,
    In this article so informative article about Asian Garlic Tofu. keep your good job.
    Thank you.

  11. This was a great recipe to me because I would never have thought of cooking tofu in cast iron. It really does give you the result of frying (with much less oil) along with firming (without the oven). Some suggestions:

    –The instructions say heat oil “until really hot” which is all I read and then “on medium high heat”. Between the hoisin and the sugar (which I won’t add next time because it was a little too sweet for me) things can burn on high heat–quickly.
    –Don’t forget that because we’re dealing with tofu, the left over marinade is completely safe. When the tofu is done, stir in the green onions and left over marinade to create a sauce.

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe.

  12. Thanks for the tip about coating the tofu in flour and cornstarch. I wondered how to get that little crust on the tofu. This dish looks delicious I’m going to have to have a go at making it.

  13. Susan Dubose

    This was so flavorful and amazing! We added some fresh broccoli and bok choy, and ate it with steamed jasmine rice. Absolutely delicious and will go in our rotation.

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