Sesame-Crusted Grilled Tofu


Let me start off by saying that I am not a huge fan of tofu.  Unless it is fried and in a Thai curry, I tend to steer clear. It also seems that sometimes this ingredient is considered synonymous with the word “vegetarian,” as if all we eat is tofu all day long.  And while this couldn’t be farther from the truth with all of its protein-rich competition such as seitan, tempeh, and good ol’ legumes, there seems to be a sort of stigma attached to tofu, perhaps partly because if not prepared properly it can be very bland and blah.  

This recipe, however, has renewed my faith in this healthy and iron-rich food. It has a depth in flavor and texture that is hard to believe can be pulled off with a marinade that has just three ingredients.  It’s also quick and easy, which is always my preference these days with three kids under three to watch after.  Tofu lover or not, I think you will be a fan of this one so I hope you will give it a try!

This goes great as a side to Sesame Soba Noodles or paired with Sichuan Garlic-Ginger Bok Choy.


  • Three tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • Few tbsp sesame seeds
  • 14-ounce extra firm tofu


  • Slice tofu width-wise into eight slabs.  Press out water with paper towels.
  • Combine soy sauce and sesame oil on a dinner plate and place tofu slices in marinade, coating all sides. Set aside.
  • Place sesame seeds on a small plate and spread out.  Place marinated tofu slices in the seeds to get them coated on both sides.  Don’t worry if they are not evenly coated.
  • Heat cast-iron pan over medium-high heat and spray with oil.
  • Cook tofu three to five minutes on each side, flipping with a metal spatula.



  1. Do not leave tofu in the mixture, or pour the mixture onto the tofu when cooking, it will be too salty.
  2. You can also broil the tofu if you don’t have a cast-iron pan.  Pre-heat the broiler and place tofu on a baking sheet, about six inches from the heat.  Broil for three to five minutes on each side.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Emily says:

    I always freeze my (firm or extra firm) tofu first. When defrosted, it is spongier and I like that. I make something similar to this dish. Sometimes I add tamarind paste and it gives a nice tang. But what I would like is a nice creamy sauce to pour on top before eating. Any thoughts?


    1. Hi Emily!! I love tamaring paste 🙂 Maybe could try putting a thai peanut sauce on top, that would be good with some steamed veggies. Or a tahini-based sauce. I’ll try to post an idea soon!


  2. Emily says:

    Thank you! Trying the peanut sauce now. Will report back. ❤


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