Sticky tofu is coated in a sweet salty sesame sauce then pan fried until crispy and served alongside rice noodles and crunchy vegetables, all dressed in a fresh and zingy Vietnamese dressing. This delicious and healthy vegan dinner is ready in under 30 minutes!
Why we love this recipe
- Sweet and salty sticky tofu is a delicious way of eating tofu – and a way that is enjoyed by meat eaters too!
- Sautéing the tofu is a great way to add flavour and texture to tofu.
- Vegan and gluten free.
- Easy to make.
- Healthy and delicious!
Ingredients Notes for Tofu Marinade
- Tofu – use firm or extra firm tofu.
- Soy sauce – light soy sauce. Use tamari for gluten free.
- Brown sugar – you can also use maple syrup, or if not vegan, honey.
- Rice wine vinegar – or use fresh lemon juice instead.
- Sesame Oil – adds a lovely toasted sesame flavour.
- Olive oil – use a light olive oil or neutral oil such as grapeseed oil.
- Ginger – provides a fresh fiery flavour.
You didn’t press enough of the moisture out before cooking. Try cutting it into smaller pieces, and then freezing before cooking – this will help change the texture.
Tofu is pretty bland. It has a slight nutty taste, and is more sweet than savoury or salty. But this makes it an excellent ingredient for soaking up masses of flavour from marinades!
Use a non stick frying pan, and leave it to fully cook in the pan before flipping it over to cook the other side.
My Recipe Tips
- Use firm or extra firm tofu for the best result as they keep their shape.
- You need to pat the tofu dry as this will help it to firm up when cooking.
- Gluten free: Swap the soy sauce for tamari. Check the packet of the rice noodles to make sure they are gluten free.
- Making for toddlers/kids: Heating the ginger in the sesame oil takes the sharpness out of the ginger.
- Non vegan: use ½ – 1 teaspoon honey instead of the brown sugar.
- Spicy sticky tofu: use a pinch more chilli flakes or these easy pickled chillies.
Other ways to serve this sweet sesame tofu:
- Over rice.
- On top of stir fried Asian veggies.
- Leave the noodles out and serve with the crunchy salad for a low carb option.
- It’s also delicious in a bowl by itself, as a protein rich snack – I eat it this way alot 😉
More Tofu Recipes
For other delicious tofu recipes, take a look at these great recipes from some blogger friends of mine:
Tofu Sesame Toasts from Its Not Complicated Recipes – vegan sesame toasts, beware they are seriously addictive!
Spicy Chipotle Tofu Burrito Bowl from Whole Food Bellies – packed with flavour and loved my meat eaters too!
Truly Crispy Baked Lemongrass and Ginger Tofu from Whole Food Bellies – packed with flavour and keeps in the fridge for a few days – perfect weekend meal prep idea!
Tofu Fried Noodle Salad from Sweet Caramel Sunday – packed with delicious flavours and textures, a great lunch idea!
Tofu Pad Thai from Sweet Caramel Sunday – so fresh and SO much better than take out!
More easy and healthy vegan dinner recipes
Sticky Tofu & Vietnamese Noodle Salad
- 1 cm ginger finely grated
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce or tamari for gluten free
- ½ – 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar depending on taste
- 3 tablespoon olive oil – or a neutral tasting oil
- ½ tablespoon sesame seeds
- Chilli – fresh or dried optional *
Vietnamese Noodle Salad
- 100-120 g Rice noodles
- 1 carrot grated
- 10 cm cucumber cut into half moons
- Handful fresh mint roughly chopped
- Handful coriander roughly chopped
- 225 g firm tofu cut into 1 cm slices and then 1 cm strips
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 3 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
Make the salad
- Whisk together the ginger, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, olive oil, sesame seeds and chilli, if using. Set aside.
- **If you don't like raw ginger, please see optional step in notes below**
- Cook the rice noodles according to packet instructions (usually soak in boiling water for 5 minutes)and leave to one side to cool.
- Prepare the vegetables and place into serving bowls with the noodles.
Make the sticky tofu
- Pat the tofu dry with some paper kitchen towel to remove as much moisture as you can.
- Heat a no sticky frying pan over a high heat, add the oil and fry the tofu until golden, around 3 minutes each side.
- Meanwhile, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil and honey/brown sugar.
- When the tofu is cooked turn off the heat then add the soy sauce mixture to the pan and stir until the tofu is thoroughly coated and the sauce has evaporated.
- Serve the tofu straight away on top of the noodles with the vegetables and herbs.