I recently discovered tofu and I have to admit, I am obsessed. I suppose it is no surprise after my love affair with halloumi! So, I have come up with three delicious tofu sauce ideas to add a punch of flavour to this tasty bean curd.
My favourite way to prepare tofu is simply to squeeze out as much liquid as possible, slice it into 1cm slabs, and fry on either side until golden brown in a little oil.
These sauce ideas can be used to marinate your tofu, poured into the pan to stir fry for the last minute of cooking, or just drizzled over the top when you serve your meal. You could also use these sauces as dipping sauces. The options are pretty endless!
Before we delve into my sauces, if you need a quick guide to cooking tofu I highly recommend this Food52 video on YouTube:
Let’s get saucy!
1. Chilli and Sesame
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 red chilli, finely chopped
- Sesame seeds (optional)
This is a fresh and spicy sauce that’s great for dipping in (tofu sandwiches, spring rolls or lettuce boats) or simply tossing tofu in. My favourite thing to do with this sauce is fry the tofu, thick slices of red onion and some red bell pepper together, then toss this in the pan for the last minute to sizzle together and coat everything nicely.
If you like lots of heat in your tofu sauce ideas, make sure to leave the seeds in the chilli. You could also add some grated ginger.
To make this sauce, just whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar and chilli together with a fork. When you serve your tofu, sprinkle the sesame seeds over the top.
2. Miso Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- 1 tbsp white miso paste (I like Yutaka brand)
- ½ tbsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp citrus juice or rice vinegar
The intensely savoury flavour of miso paste is one of my favourites to combine with mellow tofu. By mixing your miso paste with a little oil (any lightly flavoured Asian oil will do), soy sauce for depth, and an acidic element, it becomes so spreadable.
Rice vinegar works well, but if you have a citrus juice I highly recommend using that instead. Lemon is a classic but lime adds a Thai edge to the flavour. If you are using fresh fruit, grate in the zest. It’s a great way to brighten up tofu sauce ideas!
Making this sauce is as simple as mixing all the ingredients together. Then you can use it as a thick dipping sauce or coat the tofu in it directly. If you are frying your tofu, make sure you fry the tofu first so you can get it nice and crispy, then remove it from the pan and toss it with the sauce. Alternatively, you can slather the tofu (and other veggies like aubergine) with the miso sauce and then bake it in the oven at 160°C fan for about 15 minutes per side.
Psst. No miso paste? Try peanut butter instead. Fry your tofu and sliced vegetables into a stir fry, cook some egg noodles, and toss it altogether with the peanut butter sauce.
3. Fresh Tofu Sauce Ideas
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1cm ginger root, peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, plus the zest
- Bunch of chopped soft herbs
I like this dressing on my tofu when I’m having a light salad on a hot day. The warmth from the garlic and ginger is bright and zingy with the lemon notes. As for the herbs you use, I like to use basil but you can swap this for Thai basil or coriander if you want an Asian twist on it. Parsley is also super nice in this dressing.
If you are fond of making rice paper rolls, then this is a lovely dipping sauce once you add a chopped fresh chilli. Otherwise, pile up your roasted or fried tofu on fluffy white rice. Sprinkle over some lightly toasted cashews and a sliced spring onion, then douse it all in this yummy tofu sauce.
This would also be a good alternative sauce to the marinade in our Tofu Chicken Rice Salad Recipe.
If you have any other great tofu sauces, let me know in the comments below!