This glazed tofu recipe made with honey and soy sauce is crazy simple yet spectacularly impressive. Crispy at the edges and easy as can be. Folks who already love tofu are swooning and it’s wooing even avowed tofu haters.
This glazed tofu made with honey and soy and garlic and ginger has no tricks or bells and whistles. But there is a little magic in the manner in which the sugars in the marinade take on a deeper, more complex, almost nutty taste when simmered down to a glaze. And it has folks who already love tofu swooning and is wooing even avowed tofu haters.–Renee Schettler Rossi
- 1 pound extra-firm tofu patted dry and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
- 1 1/4 cups soy sauce
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 2 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dried Thai bird’s eye chile (or substitute your favorite Asian chile)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
- Steamed rice for serving
- Place the tofu in a resealable container so all the pieces lie flat in a single layer. In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, honey, sugar, ginger, garlic, cayenne, black pepper, and ground chile. Then pour enough of the sauce over the tofu to completely coat it. Cover and refrigerate the tofu for at least 6 hours or overnight. If you have any extra marinade, cover and refrigerate it, too.
- Remove the tofu from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Heat a nonstick skillet over low heat. Pour about 1/4 of the marinade in the skillet and, once it starts to sizzle, add about 1/2 the tofu, taking care not to crowd the skillet. Pour a little more marinade from the container into the skillet so the tofu is covered. Cook the tofu, occasionally spooning the marinade over the tofu, until it’s nicely glazed and caramelized, 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully flip the tofu and cook on the other side, occasionally spooning marinade over the tofu, until it’s warmed through, 4 to 6 minutes more. If a more robust flavor is desired, continue to cook the tofu until the glaze simmers and reduces slightly. Repeat with the remaining marinade and tofu.
- Divvy the tofu among plates, drizzle with the sesame oil, if desired, and serve alongside steamed rice.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This glazed tofu recipe could make a tofu lover out of tofu skeptics everywhere! It would be good by itself, with rice and vegetables as suggested, with noodles, atop salads, or in a banh mi type of sandwich. The extra-firm tofu I prefer (locally made fresh daily with non-GMO soybeans) comes packaged in 14-ounce blocks, so this is what I used. I did not reduce any of the other ingredients. I cut the tofu crosswise 1/2 inch thick into a total of 10 slices. I was unable to locate ground dried Thai bird’s eye chile, but found some (not ground) from Spain, and it was ground to order by my spice store for me. BE CAREFUL!! This is very spicy and I was advised not to try to grind this at home. I marinated for 25 hours because of my schedule and it could have marinated longer. I made sure the tofu was well covered by using all the marinade and there was therefore no issue with the tofu drying out. When it was time to cook the marinated tofu, I used on the lowest setting on my stove, which tends to run hot. At first it seemed to take a long time to get to the starts-to-sizzle stage, and I was concerned I would not be able to successfully caramelize on the specified low heat. It took 8 minutes to get to what I thought was a nicely glazed and caramelized stage. I then turned it very carefully and cooked it on the other side for 3 minutes. It was beautiful when I removed it from the pan, and it was very hot temperature-wise and spice-wise when I tasted it—complete success! I tasted it before I cooked the second batch in case I wanted to adjust anything. The second batch took just 6 minutes on the first side and then 3 minutes on the second. I would urge a fearlessness about it getting too dark—it was such a nice flavor and texture when it reached a nearly blackened state, and I believe the texture was much better than the golden to medium brown depicted in the photo. I used the drizzle of sesame oil on the first batch but not on the second because while it added a lovely aroma, it did not noticeably alter the taste and seemed superfluous as a result. As noted, this was very spicy and it will be too spicy for some. The rice and vegetables in proportion to the tofu and as a result of the spiciness could alter the number of servings. I would say that it would amount to 5 servings (2 slices per person).
Nice flavor. After pouring the marinade over the tofu, I had 1/2 cup left. The tofu caramelized after 12 minutes—6 minutes on each side. I’d say 3 servings.
Originally published December 31, 2017