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5 from 1 vote
Best Ever Sticky Spicy Tofu
Sticky Spicy Tofu

The best tofu dish I have ever had. Crunchy, sweet, sticky, spicy, rich, herbaceous, tangy, savry… It literally has it all!

Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Chinese, Japanese
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Michael Monson
For the crispy tofu:
  • 1 package (14 oz) extra firm or firm tofu
  • ¼ cup rice flour or cornstarch
For the Sticky Spicy Sauce
  • ¼ cup (52 g) vegan sugar
  • ¼ cup (2 ml) Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) sambal or chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red chili flake, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic. finely minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) toasted sesame sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) balsamic vinegar
To serve:
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Red or green chile, such as jalapeno or Anaheim, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • chongqing powder*
To make the crispy tofu:
  1. Drain the tofu, and place it on your cutting board so that the narrowest and longest rectangular side is facing up. Slice down through the center lengthwise, so that you have two very long and narrow rectangles facing you. Slice the tofu in the opposite direction 6 to 8 times until you have created 14 to 18 long, thin, tofu pieces.
  2. Lay the tofu pieces out onto a towel in a single layer, and then cover with another towel. Allow the towels to absorb the water from the tofu for about an hour.

  3. Preheat your frying oil to 375 degrees F.
  4. Pour the rice flour or cornstarch onto a plate. Dredge each piece of tofu in the flour, making sure to cover all sides. Let the floured tofu rest for about 5 minutes, or until your oil is heated.
  5. Working in at least 2 batches, depending on the size of your fryer, fry the tofu until crispy and just golden. Place fried tofu onto a cooling rack or a paper towel lined plate.
To make the Sticky Spicy Sauce:
  1. Combine all sauce ingredients except for the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to medium heat, stirring continuously. Continue to stir as the mixture begins to boil. Allow it to bubble, stirring it constantly, until it has reduced and caramelized. It’s done when it coats your spoon, and leaves a part when you scrape the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and stir in balsamic vinegar.
  2. Add your cooked tofu, and work quickly to coat them all evenly in the sauce.
To serve:
  1. Stack the Sticky Spicy Tofu onto a plate, and generously top with cilantro, green onion, chiles, and sesame seeds.

Recipe Notes

I am obsessed with this Sichuan spice blend that Danny Bowien uses on his wings at Mission Chinese. Here's a link to the recipe.