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Sesame Tofu with Peppers

Sesame Tofu with Stir-Fried Peppers

This crispy, panfried Sesame Tofu is so easy to make and tastes amazing!  The tofu is drenched in a sticky, spicy and sweet sauce along with stir-fried peppers and onions.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Chinese
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 306kcal


For the marinade

  • 280 g (1 x 10 oz pack) of extra firm tofu cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
  • ½ tbsp grapeseed oil + more for cooking
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • tbsp lemon juice

For the stir fry

  • ½ tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium (110g) brown onion peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 thumb-size piece of ginger peeled then grated
  • ¼ tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 2 large bell peppers seeds and pith removed then sliced
  • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

For serving

  • Boiled or steamed rice
  • Sesame seeds
  • 3 spring onions thinly sliced diagonally


  • First, drain the tofu. Dry the tofu with kitchen paper.
    Slice the tofu into 4 even slices.
    Line a baking tray with 2 layers of kitchen paper, place the tofu on the paper. Cover with another 2 layers of kitchen paper. Place a smaller baking tray over the covered tofu then place 4 cans of beans on top.
    Leave the tofu to drain for at least 15 minutes, 30 minutes if you can.
  • Once the tofu is done, make the marinade.
    Add ½ a tablespoon of cornflour (cornstarch) to a large bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce, 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, ½ a tablespoon of maple syrup, 1 and a ½ tablespoons of lemon juice, ½ tablespoon of grapeseed oil and 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. Stir in 1 minced clove of garlic.
    Then add the tofu. Stir well to make sure each cube is covered in the marinade. Leave the tofu to soak up the marinade for about 30 minutes. 
    Keep the leftover marinade.
  • After 30 minutes, heat ½ tbsp of oil in a wok then start frying the tofu in small batches. Making sure to turn the tofu so all sides get nice and crispy.
    Remove from the wok then place on a plate and cover to keep warm.

To make the stir fry

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large frying pan.
    Add the onion and cook until it is translucent for about 5 minutes.
    Add garlic, ginger and ¼ teaspoon of dried red chilli flakes, cook for a minute. Then add the peppers and cook for about 3 minutes.
    Whisk together the lemon juice soy sauce and sesame oil in a small bowl.
    Add the sauce and cook for until it bubbles up.
    Add the remaining marinade and the tofu, cook over medium heat, gently stirring all the time, until the sauce is thick and sticky and the tofu is hot.
    Serve immediately, with boiled rice, sliced spring onions and sesame seeds.


  • Tofu - Extra-firm tofu is best for this recipe for this but firm tofu will do if you can't get extra firm.
  • Marinade - The longer you leave the tofu marinading the better, at least 30 minutes is best. Don't forget to keep the marinade to add to the sauce.
  • Freezing/storing and reheating - I don't recommend freezing this dish. If you have leftovers you can store them in the fridge and reheat on the hob. Please be careful if reheating any rice, make sure it is piping hot before you eat it. The tofu will keep in the fridge for a day or two.
  • Making ahead - The sauce and the marinade can be made a day in advance, keep them covered in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
  • Veggies - You can play around with the veggies with this one, mushrooms, sugar snap peas and baby corn all go very well in this dish.
  • Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool and is approximate. It is based on one serving of four and does not include rice or sesame seeds.


Calories: 306kcal | Carbohydrates: 23.2g | Protein: 7.1g | Fat: 21.9g | Saturated Fat: 2.9g | Sodium: 1537mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 2.3g | Sugar: 13.7g | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 2mg