This sticky teriyaki tofu is my favourite tofu recipe ever – so easy to make, but such an incredible flavour! This dish will convert any tofu hater.

Aerial shot of sticky teriyaki tofu in a bowl with rice and Tenderstem broccoli.

If you think you’re a tofu hater… think again. This sticky teriyaki tofu will convert you, I promise! It’s beautifully firm and chewy, in an insanely good homemade teriyaki sauce, made with just a few simple ingredients. It’s sweet, it’s salty, it’s unbelievably sticky – irresistible.

GIF showing tofu cooking in a sticky, bubbling teriyaki sauce.

What is teriyaki sauce?

The word ‘teriyaki‘ actually refers to a Japanese cooking technique, but in Western countries it’s also used to describe the sauce itself. It’s a thick, sticky sauce made with three main ingredients:

  • soy sauce
  • sugar
  • mirin (Japanese rice wine)

Mirin isn’t an ingredient I ever have in my kitchen, and I don’t like buying ingredients just for one recipe, as they’ll probably go off before I’m able to use them up – so I used white wine vinegar instead (rice vinegar works well too!).

The three ingredients combine to give the perfect balance of salty and sweet – it’s a really incredible flavour.

Sticky teriyaki tofu served with broccoli and rice.

How to use teriyaki sauce

I love teriyaki sauce on just about everything – teriyaki mushrooms are incredible, but it also goes well on all sorts of other things.

Use it in a stir fry, drizzle it over rice or noodles, use it to dip spring rolls… it’s so tasty that you’ll be wanting to use it all over the place.

This time, I made this simple teriyaki tofu – little chewy pieces of tofu in that beautiful sticky sauce. So easy but so, so good.

Very crispy tofu cooked in a frying pan.

How to cook tofu

To begin with, cook the tofu in a frying pan until it’s super crispy. I’ve already written about how to cook tofu in detail (click that link if you’ve not yet read it!), so I won’t say too much here, but the main idea is: You want to cook the tofu until it’s a little bit too dry and crispy.

It actually won’t look all that appetising at this point – it’ll be dry and not too appealing. But once you add the sauce, it all rehydrates like magic! That’s the secret to cooking perfectly firm, chewy tofu with no squishiness or sogginess in sight.

When the tofu is crispy, just add the sauce ingredients to the same pan.

Collage showing teriyaki tofu getting sticky in a pan.

Simple teriyaki sauce

I love how the teriyaki sauce can be cooked right in the same pan as the tofu – this is a really straightforward recipe that only needs one pan (or more if you’re cooking extra side dishes). Chuck it all in, and let it simmer for a few minutes.

The sugar in the sauce melts down, and makes the sauce nice and sticky. Combined with the soy sauce, it almost makes a salty caramel – which is an awful lot more tasty than it sounds, I promise.

I also added garlic and ginger to add even more wonderful flavour.

Sticky teriyaki tofu with rice and broccoli.

How to serve teriyaki tofu

This recipe is only for the sticky teriyaki tofu itself, which you can then serve however you like. Honestly, it was a struggle to avoid eating it straight from the pan, let alone making side dishes, but it was worth it in the end.

A few ideas:

  • mix it through stir fried vegetables
  • spoon it on top of veggie chow mein
  • serve it with rice (egg fried rice is my favourite!)
  • add some veggie side dishes like pak choi or broccoli (I used Tenderstem)

Then just attempt to eat it with chopsticks… or give up after 2 minutes and eat your sticky teriyaki tofu with a fork like I did.

A pair of chopsticks picking up a piece of sticky teriyaki tofu from a bowl.
Print
5 from 2 votes

Sticky teriyaki tofu

This sticky teriyaki tofu is my favourite tofu recipe ever – so easy to make, but such an incredible flavour! This dish will convert any tofu hater.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 400 g (~ 14 oz) extra firm tofu, pressed and cut into bitesize pieces
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (I used garlic paste)
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger (I used ginger paste)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp mirin or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice

Instructions

  • Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan, and add the pieces of tofu. Cook over a medium heat for around 10 minutes, turning the tofu over ever few minutes, until it’s crispy all over. You actually want to cook it until it’s a bit too dry, as it will rehydrate once the sauce is added.
  • When the tofu is very dry and crispy, add the minced garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 more minute, then add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer, and cook for a few more minutes until the sauce has become thick and sticky. If you want a slightly saucier dish, you can add a dash more water (or a little more of any of the sauce ingredients).
  • Best served straight away.
Course: Main meals
Cuisine: Asian, Japanese
Author: Becca Heyes
Nutrition Facts
Sticky teriyaki tofu
Amount Per Serving (1 portion)
Calories 340 Calories from Fat 195
% Daily Value*
Fat 21.7g33%
Saturated Fat 3.4g17%
Sodium 1819mg76%
Potassium 311mg9%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1.9g8%
Sugar 5.9g7%
Protein 23.9g48%
Calcium 185mg19%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the recipe, not including side dishes.

Want another easy recipe that will convert tofu haters? These cheesy tofu meatballs are incredible!