We used to eat tofu all. the. time. There was always a brick of it in our fridge. That was right after we got married – we were still living at Purdue. Clark was taking 18 credit hours, working at the rec center, and I was done with school and working full-time at Hot Box pizza. Tofu was standard fare in our kitchen. It’s cheap and versatile, which worked out well because we were broke but had plenty of seasonings. #priorities
So we got creative with the stuff. We would bake tofu, marinate tofu, grill tofu, fry tofu, scramble tofu – you name it, we tried it. We even shared a recipe for “totally rad tofu nuggets” on the blog from those days. (Aren’t the photos great?! 😜)
It feels weird to say this about a food like tofu, but it’s nostalgic for me. It always takes me back to a semester that was one of my favorite parts of our life together thus far.
We would get home from a long day, pour some wine, I would complain about my minimum wage job at a shitty pizza place, and we would eat dinner at our cardboard-box-table while we sat on the floor. I like to joke that we were pretending to be Japanese.
Now when we eat tofu, we don’t have to sit on the floor. But we can use chopsticks just because we feel like being fancy.
You probably already have all of the ingredients in your kitchen, just waiting to be turned into this better-than-takeout Asian meal. All you need to do is sear the tofu, lightly cook the broccoli in the same skillet, and mix up your sauce.
This is great all by itself as a stir-fry, but it wouldn’t hurt to serve it over a steaming bowl of basmati rice. And – dare I say it – maybe even with a fried egg on top?
PS – I recommend using a cast iron skillet for searing tofu. It offers the maximum amount of pan space and evenly distributes heat so all your tofu cooks at the same rate. We swear by our Lodge – and you can get one on Amazon for less than $35. And you can use it in a million different ways.Print
Sticky Sesame Tofu and Broccoli
Crunchy, sesame-crusted tofu bites with broccoli and carrots in a sticky soy glaze.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main
- 1–14 oz package of tofu, cut into 1” cubes
- 3/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 2 1/2 cups broccoli
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup carrot, spiralized or finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Start by draining the tofu. Let it rest on a towel or paper towel for a few minutes. Lightly press to remove as much liquid from the tofu as possible.
- Cut the tofu into 1″ cubes.
- In a small bowl, combine sesame seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toss in the tofu cubes to coat on all sides.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat (we prefer to use our cast iron skillet for this). Add the tofu and sear on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.
- Remove the tofu and place on a paper towel lined plate.
- Over medium heat, sauté the onion and carrot until slightly tender then add garlic and broccoli.
- Add vegetable broth and seasonings and cook until the broccoli is tender – about 5 minutes
- Remove the vegetable mixture from the skillet and set aside in a bowl.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, tamari, and coconut sugar and stir until the sauce reduces and becomes syrupy.
- Return the broccoli mixture and tofu to the skillet with the sauce and stir to combine. Cook for 5-7 minutes until broccoli reaches desired tenderness.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and finely chopped green onion.
For pictures of the tofu searing process, along with what your sauce should look like, see below.
If desired, tofu can be omitted in favor of chicken breast. Sub for 1 pound of chopped chicken.
I like to serve this over rice, but rice noodles or quinoa are amazing as well!
- Calories: 216
- Sugar: 13 g
- Sodium: 918.9 mg
- Fat: 11.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 9.5 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 18.8 g
- Fiber: 3.6 g
- Protein: 11.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g