In less time than it takes to order and bring home take-out, you can pan-fry tofu until crisp, simmer broccoli florets, and bring them together with a lightly sweet soy and sesame sauce (which is generous enough to spoon over rice). Whether you’re cooking vegetarian or gluten-free, or you just want a healthy choice, this one’s a keeper for weeknight dinners.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with this easy-to-make recipe for Crispy Sesame Tofu and Broccoli.
1. Info for Crispy Sesame Tofu and Broccoli
- Cook Time: 55 min
- Total Time: 55 min
- Servings: 4
- Calories: 365.32 kcal
2. Ingredients for Crispy Sesame Tofu and Broccoli
- 1 lb. block extra-firm tofu (or a bit less, depending on package size)
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 inch fresh ginger
- 1/3 cup water (for sauce)
- 2 tsp. cornstarch
- 1/3 cup tamari (gluten-free if you like)
- 3 Tbsp. light brown sugar (packed)
- 4 tsp. rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
- 2 scallions
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. neutral oil (canola, safflower, or grapeseed, for first batch of tofu)
- 1 Tbsp. neutral oil (canola, safflower, or grapeseed, for second batch of tofu)
- 3/4 lb. broccoli florets (4-5 cups)
- 1/4 cup water (for broccoli)
- 2 tsp. sesame seeds
Drain any water from the package of tofu. Wrap the block of tofu in 3-4 layers of paper towels, tucking in the sides so the block is fully wrapped. Set on a work surface, place a heavy-bottomed pan on top of the block, and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
To make the sauce: Mince the garlic and finely grate ginger. Whisk together the water and cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl until cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add the tamari, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper (if using). Set sauce aside. Thinly slice the scallions and set aside.
Unwrap tofu and discard paper towels. Cut tofu into rectangles approximately 1 inch long, 3/4 inch wide, and 1/2 inch thick. Put tofu in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt, black pepper, and cornstarch. Toss with a spatula to coat.
Set a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once oil is shimmering, add half the tofu pieces, using tongs to ensure they lie flat in a single layer on bottom of pan. Sear tofu until bottoms are golden brown and crisp, 3-4 minutes. Flip tofu and sear the opposite sides until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
Transfer tofu to a plate. Repeat with more oil and the remaining tofu.
Reduce heat to medium. Add the broccoli to pan and pour in the water. Cover pan and simmer broccoli until it is bright green and tender-crisp, 2-3 minutes.
Transfer broccoli to a plate and discard any residual water from pan.
Return frying pan to stove over medium heat. Pour sauce into pan and cook, stirring, until it begins to bubble and thicken, 1-2 minutes. Add broccoli to bubbling sauce and stir to coat, then stir in tofu. Continue cooking just until the ingredients are fully heated through, 1-2 minutes longer.
Sprinkle reserved scallions and the sesame seeds over tofu and broccoli and serve immediately.