One bite in and I knew I hit the jackpot with this one. If you’ve been in search of the perfect crispy, baked tofu recipe, this is the one for you! I’m so excited to share this with you guys I can hardly stand it. Let’s do this!
For starters, this dish is served over cauliflower “rice” instead of regular rice because 1) Cruciferous veg for the win, and 2) You can eat an ENTIRE head of cauliflower instead of 1/2 cup of rice and STILL only consume a fraction of the calories and carbohydrates, so why not?!
Cauliflower rice is SO simple and you absolutely must try it! It doesn’t pass completely as rice since the textures and flavors are slightly different. But it looks just like rice and in my opinion, tastes even better as it absorbs the sauce perfectly and takes WAY less time to cook.
You guys know the deal: My favorite way to crisp up tofu is pre-baking it before sauteing – a little trick I picked up at a vegetarian cafe in San Antonio (Yes, I hounded the waitress for the technique – you’re welcome). This gives it that crisp outer edge and perfectly tender center.
Once your tofu is baked, add it to your sauce, which acts as an all-in-one marinade and sauce for the cauliflower rice, veggies and for serving! It wears many hats and it’s oh-so delicious and Thai-inspired. Once your tofu is marinated, it’s ready for a quick stir fry to give it that perfectly golden brown, crisp, mega-flavorful coating. Then all that’s left to do is saute up your veggie of choice – baby bok choy for the win – and your cauliflower rice!
All in all this dish takes around 1 hour 30 minutes, which is a little longer than I prefer. But the pay off is so worth it! Plus, it only requires 9 ingredients – many of which you likely already have on hand. You’re going to love this dish! It’s
Loaded with flavor
Packed with veggies
Entirely vegan + gluten-free (with GF soy sauce)
& Perfect for a night in
I made this dish and ate half, then reheated the leftovers the next day and I swear it got better! I love it when that happens. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did. Cheers!
- 12 ounces (340 g) extra-firm tofu, organic & non-GMO if possible*
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) toasted sesame oil
- 1 small head cauliflower (~ 580 g)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbsp or 6 g)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (15 ml) toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) low sodium soy sauce (tamari for GF eaters)
- 1/4 cup (55 g) light brown sugar (or honey if not vegan)
- 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
- 2 1/2 Tbsp (40 g) peanut butter or almond butter (natural, salted)
- Veggies: baby bok choy, green onion, red pepper, broccoli
- Toppings: fresh lime juice, cilantro, sriracha
- Begin by draining tofu 1.5 hours before you want your meal ready. If your block of tofu is larger than 12 ounces, trim it down. You don’t need a full pound for this recipe (see notes).
- Roll tofu in an absorbent towel several times and then place something heavy on top to press. I use a pot on top of a cutting board and sometimes add something to the pot to add more weight. Do this for 15 minutes.
- Near the end of draining, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and cube tofu. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and arrange in a single layer. Bake for 25 minutes to dry/firm the tofu. Once baked, remove from oven and let cool.
- Prepare sauce by whisking together ingredients until combined. Taste and adjust flavor as needed. I often add a little more sweetener and peanut butter.
- Add cooled tofu to the sauce and stir to coat. Let marinate for at least 15 minutes to saturate the tofu and infuse the flavor.
- In the meantime, shred your cauliflower into rice by using a large grater or food processor. You don’t want it too fine, just somewhat close to the texture of rice. Set aside. Mince garlic if you haven’t already done so, and prepare any veggies you want to add to the dish (optional).
- Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat (6 out of 10), and if adding any veggies to your dish, cook them now in a bit of sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.
- Use a slotted spoon to spoon tofu into the preheated pan. Add a few spoonfuls of the sauce to coat. Cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until browned. It will stick to the pan a bit, so don't worry. Remove from pan and set aside and cover to keep warm.
- Rinse your pan under very hot water water and scrape away any residue. Place back on oven.
- Add a drizzle of sesame oil to the pan, then add garlic and cauliflower rice and stir. Put cover on to steam the “rice.” Cook for about 5-8 minutes until slightly browned and tender, stirring occasionally. Then add a few spoonfuls of sauce to season and stir.
- Place cauliflower rice and top with veggies and tofu. Serve with any leftover sauce. Leftovers reheat well and will keep covered in the fridge for up to a couple days.
*Tofu method adapted from my Tofu That Tastes Good Stir Fry