Magic Garlicky Tofu

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Approx time: Including draining the tofu 45-60 minutes. If tofu is drained ahead of time, or you happen to miss this step: 30 min.

While the sauce is a fun option, my favourite part if just the crispy tofu. I use this portion of the recipe often when making tofu to add to any stir fry or noodle bowl as it is so easy and versatile. The only time-consuming part is pressing the tofu, but I have also skipped that on a busy day with minimal consequence.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Crispy Tofu

1 block (about 14 ounces) extra-firm tofu

1 Tbsp avocado or other neutral oil

1 Tbsp cornstarch

½  tsp garlic powder

¼  tsp black pepper

¼ tsp salt



½ cup water

¼  cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp freshly-ground black pepper (coarse)

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp ground ginger

4 Tbsp avocado oil

1 small red onion, finely minced (about 2/3 cup)

1-2tsp dried chili flakes

10 garlic cloves, finely



For best results, drain & press the tofu for at least 15-20 minutes.

(Google this if you need more details, but I like to chop the block in half, place the halves in between a clean folded tea towel, and place a heavy cutting board on top. If you don’t have a heavy board, pile on some heavy plates or a frying pan). **If you are in a hurry, it will still be delicious even if you don’t drain!

Heat your oven to 400°F.

Once the tofu has drained, cut into 1 inch cubes.

Add tofu to a large mixing bowl.  Drizzle with oil, and toss until evenly coated.  Sprinkle evenly with cornstarch, salt, garlic powder and black pepper.  Gently toss until the tofu is evenly coated.

Turn the tofu out onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, and arrange it so that the tofu is in an even layer (not touching).

Bake for 15 minutes, then flip tofu cubes for even cooking.  Return to the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the tofu reaches your desired level of crispiness.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together water, soy sauce, maple syrup, black pepper, cornstarch and ground ginger until combined.  Set aside.

In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion and chili flakes, then sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally*.  Add the garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes, or until fragrant, stirring occasionally.

Slowly pour in the soy sauce mixture, and stir until combined.  Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer and then thickens.

Remove pan from heat.  Add in the baked tofu, and toss until it is evenly coated in the sauce.


Serve warm on cooked rice, noodles, or quinoa with stir fried or steamed vegetables


*variation: I will usually add some frozen or fresh veggies at this stage. I like the frozen stir fry veggie medley when I am tight for time or a combination of broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, and slivered carrot. Increase cooking time accordingly so that veggies are cooked to “al dente” before adding the sauce.


Recipe and image adapted from: