Sesame tofu coated in a sticky-sweet cashew sauce and tossed with sweet potato noodles. This vegan-friendly, slurptastic meal will take your taste buds to a whole new world of delicious.
The Best Sesame Tofu Recipe
This meal has quickly become a veggie-filled favorite. Mainly because it combines two of my latest culinary loves — the spiralizer (basically the sum of my summer meals) and meatless meals.
With summer produce being at its peak, vegetarian options have been sounding fresher, lighter, and overall more appealing lately. Zucchini noodles and sweet potato noodles are now regulars in my rotation, and I love how versatile they are. This recipe especially has me excited for veggie-based noodles. Maybe it’s the crispy tofu, or maybe it’s the delicious sauce. Either way, I’m HOOKED and super excited to share this recipe with you.
Tofu Marinade 101
These crispy cubes of tofu cook in an Asian cashew butter sauce, which is insanely delicious. This sauce combines cashew butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sriracha, and ginger. Together, they create a bold and bracing marinade that is miles ahead of anything I’ve tried bottled. However to ensure the tofu gets sufficiently crisp, the sauce is added AFTER the tofu cooks. Because tofu already has a high moisture content, it’s important to dry it out prior to cooking, and save the sauces for later.
After the tofu does cook, the sauce blankets over each bite-sized piece of tofu in the pan. This allows the tofu to further crisp up as the natural sugars form a rich glaze. As you cook the saucy tofu, you’ll notice bits and pieces of the sauce sticking to the pan. These will eventually crisp up and turn into toasty bites of bliss, which I promise you will love.
I’m telling you, even the carnivores in your life will love this crispy tofu.
And, did I mention this sauce contains CASHEW BUTTER? Which may have officially beat out my obsession for peanut butter. Cashew butter is on another level of creamy and smooth, and I can only describe it as pure decadence. Plus, it’s the perfect compliment to the sweet, salty and spicy ingredients of the sauce. I can already tell this sauce will be on repeat in our dinner rotation.
Sweet Potato Pasta: How to Make
If you’re someone who enjoys very al dente pasta, you will go bonkers over these noodles. The best way to get sweet potato noodles is to spiralize them. In terms of brands, I recommend the Inspiralizer, which comes with four different size blades. It also comes with vacuum base counter clamps, which help it stay steady on the countertop. It’s the only spiralizer I use these days, and can’t recommend it enough.
I like to cook mine for about 7-8 minutes, which will break down their fibrous texture while still retaining some crunch. Or, if you prefer a softer noodle, you can also boil them. Just keep in mind they will absorb some water, which will end up thinning out the sauce. Not a bad thing, but it will modify the overall texture/consistency of the dish.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients and are most widely known for their rich levels of Vitamin A. In the form of beta-carotene, this nutrient is known for its powerful antioxidant properties. Sweet potato are also rich in fiber and Vitamin C, which not many pasta dishes have!
Why You Should Make this Sesame Tofu Recipe
- The crispy, caramelized tofu will turn you into a toFAN after one bite
- You’re eating a big bowl of vegetables that tastes like al dente PASTA
- The sesame cashew sauce is out of this WORLD delicious and super easy to make
- It makes the best leftovers your lunchbox will have seen since Mom’s spaghetti
- It’s high in protein, rich in fiber, and brimming with good-for-you nutrients
And that, my friends, is how you conquer Meatless Monday. I hope you give this deliciously flavorful recipe a try for make-ahead lunches or weeknight dinner. And if you do, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations.
More Quick and Easy Tofu Recipes
- 1 (14-oz.) pack extra-firm tofu
- ¼ cup cashew butter
- 1½ tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil (not toasted)
- 2 tsp Sriracha
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 medium sweet potatoes, spiralized
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp sliced green onion/scallions for topping
- Optional toppings: sesame seeds, fresh basil, chopped nuts
- Press tofu firmly with paper towels to release moisture. (I typically do this to the whole block and then slice it into 5 strips and press it again to remove as much water as possible.) Slice tofu into cubes.
- Combine cashew butter, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, sriracha, ginger and 1 Tbsp water in a bowl; stir with a whisk.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook sweet potato noodles for 7-8 minutes, tossing often until slightly softened. Add 1-2 Tbsp of water after a few minutes to create steam in the pan. Once tender, transfer to a bowl and add HALF the sesame cashew sauce. Toss to combine.
- Add remaining 1 Tbsp vegetable oil to pan. Cook tofu for 7 to 8 minutes, turning to brown all sides. Add garlic and remaining half of sauce; simmer until tofu begins absorbing the sauce. Add lime juice and keep gently tossing tofu and scraping browned bits. (You should end up with crispy browned crusts on the tofu and browned bits in the pan.)
- Top sweet potato noodles with tofu and add optional toppings as desired.