Garlic Soy Glazed Tofu Skewers

These Garlic Soy Glazed Tofu Skewers get crisp around the edges and are accompanied with a sweet and savory sauce glazed on top. Easy to make with simple ingredients.

Plate of tofu skewers with a garlic soy glaze and topped with scallions and cilantro.

Putting any food item on a stick just makes it more enjoyable to eat. I don’t make the rules, I just live by them. All jokes aside, these skewers really hit the spot and continue to bring an immense amount of joy when I make them, so of course I had to share.

Why You’ll Love These Garlic Soy Glazed Tofu Skewers

  • High in Protein. A great “meaty” option to enjoy during your favorite summer gatherings. It’s filling and satisfying, so you won’t be missing out on the fun.
  • Easy to Make. Just coat your tofu, skewer them and cook. Marinate the tofu pieces in advance to make assembly and cooking come together even faster when ready to enjoy.
  • Easy to Customize. Feel free to add veggies, adjust the type of soy sauce you use, adjust the sweetness to taste, and cook it the way you want using the tips below.

Nutrition Tip

One reason I love using tofu is because they can also be a great source of calcium. Just make sure to choose the tofu that is prepared with calcium sulfate, which should be listed in the ingredients. According to the USDA, 1/4 block of firm tofu prepared with calcium sulfate contains 553 mg of calcium!

Key Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Tofu: I recommend using super firm tofu for this preparation as it is denser and holds together really well. If using extra firm tofu, just make sure that the tofu is pressed for at least 30 minutes to help remove excess moisture before marinating and cooking.
  • Lemon: Use fresh lemon as you will need the zest and juice. Do feel free to swap with limes if preferred.
  • Tamari: This is an alternative to soy sauce that is slightly thicker in color and consistency. You can always swap for soy sauce or coconut aminos if desired.
  • Brown Sugar: This helps to balance the marinade, but also helps crisp up the edges of the tofu when cooked. You can remove this ingredient if desired, but do note it may impact the taste and texture.
  • Seasonings: I used a combination of thyme and smoked paprika.
  • Cornstarch: This provides a little crisp around the edges of the tofu. You can swap for potato starch if desired. I would not use tapioca starch as this will result in a more gummy texture.
  • Garlic: Used for the sauce. For best flavor, do try to use fresh.
  • Scallions: Used again for the sauce. Use the white portion for cooking and the green portion for garnishing at the end.
  • Maple Syrup: I used this as it was easier to incorporate into the sauce. However, you can use equal amounts brown sugar if desired. Adjust based on taste preference.
  • Chili Oil: I used a little touch of chili oil in the sauce for heat, but you can leave this out if you don’t like spice. I used Fly by Jing.

How to Make Garlic Soy Glazed Tofu Skewers

Tear the tofu into 1 inch chunks to make roughly 30-32 pieces. Place the pieces in large airtight container with tamari and lemon juice then seal the container and gently shake to evenly coat. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

To the same container add 2 teaspoons cornstarch, the brown sugar, paprika, and thyme then seal the container again and shake to coat.

Take a tofu piece and slide it onto a small 6-inch skewer. Repeat the process until you have about 4-5 pieces of tofu on each skewer (this will depend on the size of the tofu pieces). As you assemble, rest the tofu skewers on a plate.

Place a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat then add the oil to coat the bottom of the pan ( I only used 2 tablespoons, but you can add more as needed).

Add the remaining cornstarch to a shallow dish with a pinch of salt and mix together. Take each skewer and lightly roll the edges through the cornstarch. No need to coat the whole skewer in the cornstarch.

When the oil is hot, add each skewer leaving a little space between them to make it easy to flip. Allow the skewers to cook undisturbed for 7 minutes. Flip the skewer and cook undisturbed for an additional 5-6 minutes. When cooked and golden, transfer to a paper towel lined plate or cooling rack.

Using the same pan, add the scallions and garlic and sauté in the residual oil for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the lemon zest and juice, tamari, maple syrup and chili oil. Stir frequently, bringing the mixture to a simmer for 3 minutes to help reduce down then remove from heat.

Dip a brush into the sauce and use it to baste the outside of the tofu skewers then transfer any remaining sauce to a small dish before serving along side the skewers and enjoy.

Expert Tips

  • For best texture, try with super firm tofu. Extra firm tofu can work, just make sure to press really well before tearing into chunks.
  • Tear the tofu into chunks for more crispy texture. While you can cut the tofu into even cubes, tearing creates more craggy edges which latch on to marinades and sauces better and will crisp up more compared to straight cut tofu.
  • Feel free to add vegetables between the tofu chunks. For a veggie boost consider adding cut pieces of veggies about the same sizes as the tofu to the skewers. Good vegetables to consider would be things like onion, bell peppers, zucchini, or even mushrooms.
  • Make this lower in sodium. Just swap the tamari or soy sauce for reduced sodium soy sauce.
Close up of a plate of stacked tofu skewers topped with scallions and cilantro.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this be made gluten-free?

If using a gluten-free tamari, this recipe is then gluten-free as written. You can also swap the tamari with a coconut aminos if desired.

Can this be made in the air fryer?

Yes! Depending on your air fryer size, you may need to do this in batches. Add 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the tofu when adding the seasons to fully coat before adding to the skewers. Place in the air fryer basket making sure the skewers are not touching then bake at 400F for 10 minutes, flip then bake for an addition 5-8 minutes or until the edges are crispy.

Do these skewers store well?

For the best taste and texture, these are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven. If you have leftovers, feel free to store in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, consider reheating in an oven, air fryer or toaster oven at 350F for 5-8 minutes to heat through. You can also meal prep these skewers. Marinade the skewers according to instructions, add the chunks to the skewers then store in the container with the marinade. When ready to cook, toss the skewers in cornstarch and then pan sear as instructed. This will help cut down on prep time during the week and make cooking these fast and efficient.

Close up view of a plate of cooked glazed skewers topped with cilantro and scallions.

How to Serve

Brush the sauce over the tofu skewers before serving. Feel free to enjoy with your favorite salad, grilled corn or grilled vegetables. Feel free to serve with additional reserved sauce as desired.

More Tofu Recipes to Fall in Love With

Plate stacked with tofu skewers topped with cilantro and scallions.

If you tried this recipe or any other recipe on the blog, then let me know what you thought in the comments below! And if you loved it, don’t forget to rate it too. Feel free to follow on Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok for the latest nutrition tips and recipe videos.

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Plate of tofu skewers with a garlic soy glaze and topped with scallions and cilantro.

Garlic Soy Glazed Tofu Skewers

  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

These Garlic Soy Glazed Tofu Skewers get crisp around the edges and are accompanied with a sweet and savory sauce glazed on top. Easy to make with simple ingredients.


Ingredients

Scale

Tofu Skewers

  • 1, 16oz block of super firm tofu
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari (gluten-free as needed)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dry thyme
  • 23 tbsp avocado oil

Lemon Soy Glaze

  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced with white and green portions separated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbsp tamari (gluten-free as needed)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp chili oil or sesame oil

Tools: 8 Skewers (if using wooden soak in water for 10 minutes before using)


Instructions

  1. Tear the tofu into 1 inch chunks to make roughly 30-32 pieces. Place the pieces in large airtight container with tamari and lemon juice then seal the container and gently shake to evenly coat. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  2. To the same container add 2 teaspoons cornstarch, the brown sugar, paprika, and thyme then seal the container again and shake to coat.
  3. Take a tofu piece and slide it onto a small 6-inch skewer. Repeat the process until you have about 4-5 pieces of tofu on each skewer (this will depend on the size of the tofu pieces). As you assemble, rest the tofu skewers on a plate.
  4. Place a large heavy bottom skillet over medium heat then add the oil to coat the bottom of the pan ( I only used 2 tablespoons, but you can add more as needed).
  5. Add the remaining cornstarch to a shallow dish with a pinch of salt and mix together. Take each skewer and lightly roll the edges through the cornstarch. No need to coat the whole skewer in the cornstarch.
  6. When the oil is hot, add each skewer leaving a little space between them to make it easy to flip. Allow the skewers to cook undisturbed for 7 minutes. Flip the skewer and cook undisturbed for an additional 5-6 minutes. When cooked and golden, transfer to a paper towel lined plate or cooling rack.
  7. Return the same pan to medium low heat, add the scallions and garlic and sauté in the residual oil for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the lemon zest and juice, tamari, maple syrup and chili oil. Stir frequently, bringing the mixture to a simmer for -5 minutes to help reduce down then remove from heat.
  8. Dip a brush into the sauce and use it to baste the outside of the tofu skewers then transfer any remaining sauce to a small dish before serving along side the skewers and enjoy.


Notes

For best texture, try with super firm tofu. Extra firm tofu can work, just make sure to press really well before tearing into chunks.

Tear the tofu into chunks for more crispy texture. While you can cut the tofu into even cubes, tearing creates more craggy edges which latch on to marinades and sauces better and will crisp up more compared to straight cut tofu. Feel free to add vegetables between the tofu chunks.

For a veggie boost consider adding cut pieces of veggies about the same sizes as the tofu to the skewers. Good vegetables to consider would be things like onion, bell peppers, zucchini, or even mushrooms.

Make this lower in sodium. Just swap the tamari or soy sauce for reduced sodium soy sauce.

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