Recipe video above. Sesame seeds add excellent flavour and give tofu a crispy crust crust that stays crispy even when doused with Teriyaki Sauce. Great quick and easy recipe to convert tofu haters - so far from bland, we're in a different stratosphere!
Cuisine: Japanese(ish), Modern Asian
Keyword: tofu recipe, tofu steaks
4extra firm or hard tofu, cut into 10 x 5 x 1.5cm slices (4 x 2 x 0.6"), 100g / 3.5oz each (Note 1)
1/4tspeach salt and pepper
2tbspflour, plain/all purpose
1egg, lightly whisked
4tbspwhite sesame seeds(Note 2) (yes, you really need 4 tbsp!)
Season tofu: Pat tofu dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Prepare crust coating: Place flour, egg and sesame in separate bowls (medium shallow bowls or tupperware best).
Sesame crust: Press tofu into flour, shake off excess. Dip in egg, then let excess drip off before coat in sesame seeds, pressing to adhere all over. Repeat with remaining tofu.
Crispy garlic: Heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden and crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Cook tofu: Turn heat up to medium-high. Place tofu in skillet and cook for 1 1/2 minutes until the sesame smells nutty and becomes crisp. Turn carefully and cook the other side for 1 1/2 minutes. Then use tongs to prop the tofu steaks up on its sides to sear the edges until crisp - about 30 seconds each side should do it (see video for my technique).
Drain: Remove tofu to paper towel lined plate.
Teriyaki Sauce: Lower heat to medium then add Teriyaki Sauce ingredients. Simmer for 1 minute until it reduces to a syrupy consistency, then remove skillet from stove.
Serve: Place tofu steak on plate. Spoon over Teriyaki Sauce (it clings to sesame, don't worry, crust stays crispy). Sprinkle with garlic and green onion. Devour, then declare, "I LOVE TOFU!!".
1. Firm tofu - Get tofu labelled as "extra firm" or "hard". You're after a block that feels like a rubber sponge that you can slice and handle like steak. Not the super-soft jelly-like tofu that you have to handle with care. That will fall to bits if you try to prepare it per this recipe.Here in Australia, it's super-handy that tofu often comes in a suitable block size such that you can just slice it and use as-is, no trimming required. Anything around the pictured size is fine. Other shapes, like batons and cubes, will also work - just more turning is required in pan.Cooking tofu: Tofu doesn't need to be cooked, we are just making the sesame crispy and heating tofu through.2. Sesame seeds - Feel free to just use white or black sesame seeds. I use both for visual interest.3. Garlic - This is to make crispy garlic bits to sprinkle on top. For a shortcut option, just use store-bought crispy shallots (Asian section of Woolies, Coles, or cheaper at Asian stores).4. Soy sauce - I use Kikkoman for all my Japanese cooking which is the most well known brand, and an excellent all-rounder. It is slightly sweeter and more mild in flavour than Chinese light soy sauce, though that will do in a pinch. Else any other all-rounder soy sauce. DO NOT use anything labelled "dark soy sauce" or "sweet soy sauce" (it will ruin teriyaki sauce!).5. Mirin - Syrupy and golden coloured, mirin is a heavily sweetened type of rice wine with a deep flavour. It features frequently in Japanese food, introducing sweetness to dishes and when reduced gives glazes like teriyaki their sheen. Good brands include Takara, Manjo and Hinode. Avoid very cheap mirin, which is usually an imitation product.6. Cooking sake - Rice wine used liberally in Japanese cooking to add umami and depth. Don’t bother wasting that boutique drinking sake you lugged all the way back from Japan for cooking, though! Cooking sake is much cheaper and perfectly acceptable for use, and these days widely available even at grocery stores.7. Make ahead - Best made fresh so the sesame coating is crispy and toasty. It does stay crispy for a day or so (without sauce on it) but it really is best freshly made. Can resurrect with a quick pan fry to reheat.8. Nutrition per serving, 1 tofu steak plus sauce.