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Honey Garlic Tofu in a bowl of rice

Honey Garlic Tofu (Vegan)

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This delicious Honey Garlic Tofu is a super easy and flavorful dish. Serve it with rice and your favorite vegetable for a fantastic meal.


Units Scale


  • 16-ounce (454 grams) block of super firm tofu (vacuum sealed, see note 1 for other)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce, optional (use gluten-free tamari if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high heat oil), optional (see note 2 for oil-free)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or substitute breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (see note 3)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, optional
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

Honey Garlic Sauce

  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced, more or less to taste
  • 4-5 tablespoons agave or vegan honey, to taste
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, optional
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch + 1/4 cup water


  1. NOTE: If you did not buy super firm tofu (the kind that comes vacuum sealed), drain out all the water and press the block of tofu in either a tofu press or between two plates/cutting boards with a heavy weight on them for 20-30 minutes. Waterlogged tofu will not get very crispy.
  2. Make tofu: Cube your super firm or pressed tofu in 1 inch cubes. In a large wide bowl, add your tofu and pour the oil (if using) and soy sauce over it. Mix gently with a spatula. In a gallon size reusable food storage bag (or another large bowl or container), mix together the nutritional yeast, arrowroot powder or cornstarch, and spices. I use the bag because I can just close it up and shake it. Add the tofu to the bag (shake off excess liquid as you do), seal the top, and shake it very well to coat the tofu completely. If using a bowl, gently toss the tofu in the breading until completely coated.
  3. Air Fryer Method: Add breaded tofu cubes to your air fryer in a single layer. Set it at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or 205 degrees Celsius) for 20 minutes and shake the basket halfway through. Check the crispness. If you desire the tofu to be more crispy, cook for longer or you can give it a misting of avocado (or other) oil if you like and then cook it for a few more minutes. 20-22 minutes usually works perfectly for me.
  4. Oven Method: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218 degrees Celsius) while you prep your tofu. Place breaded tofu cubes on a baking tray lined either with a silicone baking mat (I find this gets the tofu crisper) or parchment paper. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping the tofu and rotating the pan halfway through.
  5. Make sauce: Mix together the agave or vegan honey, toasted sesame oil (if using), soy sauce, and rice vinegar in a small bowl, jar, or measuring cup. I like the measuring cup because it has a spout.
  6. Saute garlic, add sauce: When the tofu is nearly done, start the sauce. Add a little oil (if you wish; it’s not necessary if you’re used to cooking garlic without oil) to a large nonstick skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds (stirring frequently) and then slowly pour in the mixed sauce. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat down to medium and let the sauce simmer for about 2 minutes.
  7. Thicken sauce: Mix together the 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder and ¼ cup of water in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour into the pan and stir constantly until the sauce is thickened (it should happen almost immediately, within a minute). Add the tofu and toss until coated.
  8. Serve: Serve immediately with whatever you like--we served our honey garlic tofu over jasmine rice with broccolini / baby broccoli. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. Add chili flakes if desired. Enjoy!
  9. Store: Refrigerate leftover tofu in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I recommend reheating in a pan for better texture (than a microwave).


  • Note 1: For this recipe, we want to use the tofu in vacuum-sealed plastic, not a tub of water. If you only have firm or extra firm tofu (that comes in water), you can still make my honey garlic tofu. You’ll want to drain the tub of tofu and press the block of tofu, using either a tofu press or two plates or cutting boards, paper towels, and a heavy weight (like books or a cast iron pan) for 20-30 minutes. Otherwise it may turn out soggy. The other option you have is taking soft tofu, tossing pieces of it in cornstarch, and pan frying it in a neutral high heat oil. Because of how much faster and easier it is, I recommend the super firm tofu if you can find it--I can usually find it in my local supermarket, Trader Joe’s, Asian market, and even Costco. You could also just substitute soy curls, seitan chunks, or store-bought vegan chicken pieces--breaded or not.
  • Note 2: Oil is optional, BUT it will give you super crispy tofu. You absolutely can obtain crispy tofu without the oil, and when I’m just cooking it for myself (not for a recipe), I usually skip this step and throw the cubed tofu straight in a reusable food stage bag with the dry ingredients.
  • Note 3: Don’t substitute flour for the arrowroot powder. Flour can get wet and messy. Substitute cornstarch or potato starch instead if you can’t find arrowroot powder. I usually find my arrowroot in the baking section of most grocery stores.
  • Note 4: To make sure your breading sticks and your tofu gets crispy, make sure you’re buying the super firm, vacuum sealed tofu. Give it a quick dry on a paper or kitchen towel, then dip it in soy sauce and/or a neutral high heat oil. Shake off the excess liquid before adding it to the dry breading mix.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Asian, Tofu

Keywords: Vegan recipe, tofu, dinner, vegan honey tofu