Spicy Tofu

Now that I’ve finally gotten around to explaining how to make tofu, I can share one of my favorite tofu recipes with you. It’s particularly good with fresh, homemade tofu, but you can easily use store-bought instead. One of the reasons I make my own tofu is I make it so firm that I can stir-fry it in a wok without it breaking up, which I can’t do with even extra-firm tofu that I’ve pressed. If you buy tofu instead of making it, buy the firmest you can get, wrap it in a tea towel, and press it under a heavy weight or book for half an hour.

Spicy Tofu

1 lb extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
6 cloves garlic, pressed
3-6 dried chili peppers, or red pepper flakes to taste
4 scallions, chopped
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds, divided
3 Tbsp cornstarch

Mix the chili sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic and one tablespoon of the sesame seeds together in a small bowl. If you are using dried chili peppers, rip the stems off and pour the seeds into the sauce, then toss the peppers into the sauce; otherwise, add the red pepper flakes to taste. Set aside.

Chop the tofu into 1″ blocks. Place the cornstarch into a flat-bottomed bowl and add the tofu cubes, tossing them to coat. You may find it easier to do this in two batches. (The tofu cubes are not entirely coated in the photo.)

Heat 1-2 Tbsp oil in a wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tofu cubes:

Stir-fry until golden on all sides, then add half the scallions and stir-fry for one minute. Add the sauce to the wok:

Let the sauce simmer down for a minute or two, then stir in the additional scallions and sesame seeds.

Serve with rice.


  1. Mark Said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 12:59 am

    This is by far one one of the most elite dishes you have made in a while.

  2. Mark Said,

    May 26, 2008 @ 1:03 am

    oh yeah, FIRST POST!

  3. katie Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 1:58 pm

    I am so making this for dinner! It looks great!!

  4. renae Said,

    May 29, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

    Katie, thanks, I hope you like it!

  5. angela Said,

    April 11, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

    Hi this is the best recipe ever! I have made it 5 times already

  6. Supplement Said,

    September 29, 2010 @ 12:41 am

    I’m cooking this right now and it’s going to be amazing, I just know it. Thanks for sharing the recipe. wooohooo!



  7. Jacy Said,

    January 26, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    This has become a staple in my house. We have it at least once, if not twice, a week. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

  8. renae Said,

    January 26, 2011 @ 8:43 pm

    Jacy, I’m glad you like it!

  9. Miguel Said,

    April 28, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing Im defenetly going to make this for my wife.

  10. siby Said,

    August 30, 2011 @ 8:02 pm

    I made this today and it came out great (other than the fact that I put extra pepper flakes and it was spicy – but it was still great). I’m glad I found your page. Thanks !!

  11. Tiana Said,

    September 19, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

    Just got done eating this for dinner and it was awesome! It goes great with Thai sticky rice and your vinegar dipping sauce (which I’ll review separately also). Thanks for sharing!

  12. Mtp Said,

    November 29, 2011 @ 5:23 pm

    Yum! Made the other day and making again. Was trying to find a recipe that mimics a spicy tofu app I’ve had a Cee’s (since you are also in NoVa). This fit the bill. Added red onion and jullianed carrots as well as peanuts. Delicious. So gals I found your blog; it’s fantastic.

  13. Polly Said,

    December 18, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

    I found this recipe about a year ago and now make this at least once a week, better than any sauce I’ve ever bought, just so easy and yet so amazing – THANK YOU!

  14. Kerri Said,

    February 23, 2012 @ 9:44 am

    I am so glad that I found glutinous rice, marked down, at my local farmers market. I had no idea how to cook it, but more importantly what to eat with it. I’ll be making this recipe along with your recipes for sauces on the ‘sticky rice’ blog.
    Thankyou so much.
    Think we are in for a treat!

  15. boychucker Said,

    October 16, 2012 @ 12:43 am

    I love this recipe so hard. Thank you for sharing it!

  16. Cory Said,

    November 10, 2017 @ 7:42 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I love it.

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