This vegan garlic “honey” tofu is delicious and easy to make, inspired by my love of a similar take out dish. Made sweet with a combo of agave and apple juice, this sauce is the perfect combo for perfectly chewy tofu. Can be meal prepped for the week or enjoyed for a super easy weeknight meal, done in less than 30 minutes.
I spend most days counseling clients on nutrition at my full time job, separate from this space on my blog. I meet with all kinds of people and not just vegans. Pretty much anyone who is looking to become better with nutrition is welcome to meet with me in this space. And most of those sessions follow a similar cadence. They might be stuck on what to make for a meal. “What is a super easy and tasty thing I can make without getting bored.”
When these questions pop up, I send over a bunch of links of curated recipes I’ve had clients love. Some vegan and some not based on the clients needs. One popular recipe that a lot of my clients love is a garlic honey chicken recipe from Rasa Malasyia. And I recently had a client who knows I post vegan recipes online ask if I had a version of a garlic honey recipe that was vegan. At the time, I gave her a rough idea of what she could use to modify to make it. As a result, curiosity got the better of me and I went to go test out my own concept of garlic “honey” tofu. While far from authentic, the end result was really tasty and amazing.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Perfectly tender and chewy tofu, coated in a sweet and savory sauce. Gives that feeling of take out comfort.
- This whole recipe is done in less than 30 minutes and uses very simple ingredients.
- And the bonus is that it is very easy to make gluten free.
- Cornstarch + Nutritional Yeast: a coating that makes for the best crisp and flavorful tofu
- Extra Firm Tofu OR Super Firm Tofu: if using extra firm tofu, make sure to press out some of the water; no need to do this with super firm tofu
- Soy Sauce: feel free to use a gluten free soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos
- Agave Syrup: Our main sweetener, but can be swapped for maple syrup in a pinch
- Apple Juice: can be optional, but I feel it adds just a hint of that honey flavor when combined with agave
- Garlic: we need 6 cloves to really help the flavor
- Ginger: gives a bit of sharpness and warmth to the dish
- Spinach: for me a meal doesn’t seem complete without a green and this was the easiest and quickest to cook
How to Make Garlic “Honey” Tofu
- Place cubed tofu into a freezer bag along with cornstarch, nutritional yeast, lemon pepper, and salt. Seal bag and gently shake to coat.
- Bring a pan with oil to medium heat then add in tofu and cook until golden then set aside in a bowl.
- Prepare sauce by adding soy sauce, syrup, mirin, chili paste, juice, garlic, ginger and scallions.
- Lower heat then add in sauce and stir and cook for 30 seconds then add back in tofu and 2 handfuls of spinach.
- Stir well to allow spinach to wilt and tofu to coat itself with the sauce then serve.
Tips for making this tofu
- Whenever I write anything regarding tofu, I always like to reference my Tofu 101 article for anyone new to tofu. Make sure that your tofu has been pressed if using extra firm tofu. This will help improve the texture and also make it crisp up even better once it is coated in the cornstarch, nutritional yeast and seasonings. And as I mentioned in the ingredients list, you can sub in super firm tofu as it does not need to be pressed. Just note, your tofu will be denser. I absolutely love the texture and will use this when I’m in a pinch and don’t have time to press.
- You can meal prep this tofu by diving into four portions. Pair your protein with some starch, extra veggies and other extras as needed. These meals can be saved in sealed airtight Tupperware containers and stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- If you’d like to infuse more flavor into your tofu, you can marinate your pressed tofu in the fridge overnight. You can do a combination of soy sauce, garlic chili sauce, ginger and onion powder. Combine and allow to sit to absorb some of the marinade.
More Tofu Recipes
- Tahini Ranch Tofu Sheet Pan
- 15 Minute Teriyaki Tofu
- Dump and Bake Coconut Tofu
- Tahini Pesto Tofu Salad
- Brown Sugar Glazed Tofu
This vegan garlic “honey” tofu feels like take out food without the hassle or expense. Made sweet with a combo of agave and apple juice.
Vegan Garlic “Honey” Tofu
- 1 block (450 g) of pressed extra firm tofu or super firm tofu
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp lemon pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tsp oil or cooking spray
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (make gluten free by using coconut aminos)
- 1 tbsp agave syrup or your favorite liquid sweetener
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp garlic chili paste (optional)
- 1 tbsp apple juice (or 1/4 wedge of lemon juice)
- 6 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
- 1/2 inch ginger, minced
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 2 handfuls of spinach
- Cut tofu into equal sized cubes.
- To a freezer bag, add tofu cubes, cornstarch, nutritional yeast, lemon pepper, and salt. Seal bag and gently shake to coat with mixture.
- Bring a pan with oil to medium heat then add in tofu and allow to cook evenly on one side for 4-5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional few minutes until golden.
- As tofu is cooking, prepare sauce by adding soy sauce, syrup, mirin, chili paste, juice, garlic, ginger and scallions.
- Remove tofu from pan and slightly lower heat. Add in sauce and stir and cook for 30 seconds then add back in tofu and 2 handfuls of spinach.
- Stir well to allow spinach to wilt and tofu to coat itself with the sauce. Serve with extra scallions on top along with some rice.
If using super firm tofu, just remove from packaging and cut into even cubes. If using extra firm tofu, drain tofu and gently press excess water out of the tofu using a tofu press or by applying equal pressure on each side of the tofu and gently pressing excess water out.
Did You Try This Recipe?
Then let me know what you thought! Share your creations by tagging me on Instagram with the hashtag #plantbasedrdeats