With the weather warming up, we have been making a big effort to spend more time outside as a family and less time stuck indoors. As much as we love cooking (and you know we do) we also know Baby C will only be little once so we're making the most of this precious time! That's where this Sheet Pan Garlic Sesame Tofu comes into play. It's ready in 35 minutes start to finish (marinade included) and requires ingredients you likely already have on hand.
As you may remember, we Compstons insist on #banningthebland in all meals, but this is especially true when it comes to tofu. Poorly made tofu can turn anyone off from attempting it again, but the good news is, this recipe is foolproof. Promise! Tofu is a nutrient-packed plant protein and is both versatile and inexpensive. If you need some more tofuspiration, check out our Asian Tofu Wraps with Sesame-Tahini Dipping Sauce.
We prefer roasted tofu to just about any other preparation method as it hardens up similar to animal protein, which is great for those meat lovers in your life! This also works best if you use a firm or extra firm tofu and drain out as much liquid as possible prior to popping into the oven.
To get things started, we need to make our sauce. We would show you this in pictures, but they would be the most boring pictures ever. Seriously. Simply add all ingredients to a bowl and whisk until well combined.
Voila! Now, it's perfectly acceptable to use the sauce as is, but we took it up a notch and sautéed in in a shallow pan (read: heated over a low simmer for 4-5 minutes) to help the flavors meld and thickened the sauce slightly (added a small cornstarch slurry) to help it better stick to the cubes. Again, you can skip this step if you are really short on time.
Once the sauce is ready it's time to prep the tofu. You'll notice in this recipe we're using pre-diced. We normally always slice our own (plus uncut tofu blocks get you 4 more oz for your money), but this was our only option this week at the store!
Drain and blot tofu to remove excess water. The 'drier' the tofu, the more marinade it can absorb and better final texture it will have.
Once patted down, toss tofu (gently) into a mixing bowl.
Add marinade and stir to coat. Pro tip: As utterly delicious as this marinade is 😉 be careful not to dump too much on - you can always add more later! Excess marinade that oozes off your tofu and onto your sheet pan can burn early on in the roasting and that will not be pleasant!
Place tofu and vegetables onto a sheet pan, making sure to avoid overlap. It's probably a good idea to throw down a silicone mat (pictured) or foil to keep your tofu from sticking.
And pop into the oven! (Note: For those who want reeeaaallllyyy chewy tofu, you can roast the tofu solo for 5-8 minutes prior to adding the veggies). 30 minutes later, your dish is done!
Add a final drizzle of sauce and serve. Delicious over rice, noodles, or cauli rice, if that's your thing.
8-12 oz extra firm tofu, drained
6 oz (roughly 3 cups chopped) raw broccoli
8 oz fresh green beans, washed and ends trimmed
1 tbsp walnut or olive oil, or other oil of choice
Garlic Sesame Marinade*
1 cup coconut aminos, soy sauce, tamari (we were limited on ingredients and actually used ½ coconut aminos and ½ reduced sodium soy sauce)
5 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp honey or brown sugar, or more to taste
½ tsp ground ginger, or 1 tsp raw, grated ginger
1 tsp sesame seeds
Chili flakes or paste, to taste
Cornstarch Slurry - optional
1 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot starch
1 tbsp cold water
*(Note: these measurements yield over 1 cup of marinade/sauce. You will only need 3-4 tbsp to initially coat your tofu and veggies. Remaining sauce can be used for a final drizzle, dipping sauce for wontons, or if you're really feeling inspired, you can make multiple sheet pans of this recipe to last you all week!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Whisk together marinade ingredients. Can use directly as is, although we find thickening it helps it adhere better to the tofu. To thicken, pour into a small saucepan and bring to a low simmer for 4-5 minutes. Whisk together cornstarch and cold water to make a small slurry, ensuring cornstarch is fully dissolved. Add slurry to simmering sauce and continuously stir marinade until it thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.
Drain tofu. If using a block of tofu, drain and slice into small pieces. Place tofu evenly onto a cheesecloth or layered paper towels and blot to remove excess water. Add tofu to a small mixing bowl. Pour marinade over tofu and mix until well coated. Place tofu on the middle of a sheet pan, making sure no pieces overlap. Place broccoli on one side of the tofu and green beans on the other side. Drizzle vegetables with oil and mix with hands to coat.
Place sheet pan in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, tossing once. Vegetables should be crisp yet tender tender and tofu should be golden.