Cook tofu with more flavour than you could imagine with this amazing hoisin glaze! Make crispy tofu covered with tasty sauce and serve over rice for a satisfying meal or all on their own for a lovely starter!
For another tofu starter, try these amazing Crispy Air Fryer Tofu Bites!
The first tofu I ate back when I was much younger was, unfortunately, unpleasant. It took me a long time to come back to it.
But I’m glad it did because tofu is incredibly versatile and can be a bit of a chameleon, always changing as it soaks up the flavours around it. I especially love it when paired with an amazing and complex sauce to add a heap of flavour.
This recipe hits all the right notes of flavour and satisfying to eat. Whether you love tofu already or look at it with a bit of suspicion, this is a recipe you will need to try!
Why you’ll love it
All on its own, tofu doesn’t have a lot of taste but it does soak up flavours around it. That makes it the perfect match for sauces like hoisin, which brings a world of flavour to the dish.
Paired together, they balance out perfectly, resulting in flavourful mouthfuls that are not overpowering. The sauce is sweet, salty with just a touch of spice to make it wonderfully complex.
Crisping the tofu in an air fryer adds a bit of magic as well. That extra step makes each bit vastly more satisfying!
The foundation to this dish is the tofu, and for the recipe to work, extra firm tofu will be needed. This will ensure that each cube of tofu will hold its shape and have the right mouthfeel.
To be ready to cook, extra water will need to be removed by placing on a plate and a couple of sheets of paper towel and weighing it down with something heavy. I usually use a cast iron pan. Cover it in cornstarch and salt before frying to get a lovely crispiness.
The sauce is quite simple, and has hoisin as the star. Hoisin sauce is a traditional Cantonese sauce with a base of fermented soybean paste plus fennel, garlic and red chilli peppers, with vinegar, five-spice powder and sugar often added.
It has a sweet and salty taste, and has long been used as a marinade or dipping sauce. It’s easy to find in most large supermarkets or Asian shops.
I’ve added sugar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and chilli oil to the hoisin sauce to make a sauce with a rich and complex taste. Master this simple sauce because it can be used in a huge number of recipes!
How to serve
I like to serve this dish on top of a bed of rice, as you can see in the photos. The hoisin sauce in particular is perfect for adding flavour to rice, and it’s a great way to turn this into a complete meal.
But it can also be served on its own as an appetizer or side dish. However you serve it, I would add sliced green onions and, if you want a bit of heat, sliced chilis.
Recipe tips and notes
- Make sure to use extra firm tofu for this recipe. The firmness will allow it to hold its shape as well as provide the best mouthfeel. It will need to be pressed before cooking to remove water, which will take 30-40 minutes. Do this by placing on a couple of sheets of paper towel and weighing it down with something heavy like a cast iron pan.
- If you can’t find hoisin sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce can be used as a substitute. The taste will be different, but just as delicious!
- I pull out my air fryer for recipes like this, both to limit the calories by removing the need to use oil and because I like the results. If you don’t have an air fryer, the tofu pieces can be fried in a tablespoon of oil. Turn to crisp on all sides.
- 300g/10oz extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon hoisin sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon chilli oil or ½ teaspoon chilli flakes
- Wrap a block of extra firm tofu into 2 sheets of paper towel, place on a plate and weigh it down with something heavy like a cast iron pan to drain the water. Let it drain for 30-40 minutes.
- In a shallow bowl combine the cornstarch and salt. Cut the pressed tofu into bite-sized cubes and toss in the spice mixture.
- Arrange in an air fryer in a single layer, then spray with a cooking spray, toss and spray again to ensure the tofu cubes are evenly coated. Air fry at 200C/400F for 12-15 minutes until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Open your air fryer and toss once again half way through the cooking. •Alternatively you can fry the tofu cubes in 1 tablespoon of oil until crispy.
- Prepare the sauce by mixing the hoisin sauce, sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic, grated ginger and chilli oil. To a large pan add the sauce and bring to a simmer, then add the crispy tofu bites and toss to coat until well glazed.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 839mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 8g
Nutritional information is calculated using third-party services and is only a guideline. There may be some variations based on product brands and cooking methods. If you are on a restricted diet, it is recommended that you supplement this info with your own research.