Quick marinated Ginger Tofu with fresh ginger, lime, soy sauce, and brown sugar. The absolute perfect flavour combination...It's sticky, sweet, and savoury, and just perfect served over fluffy coconut basmati rice!
Saucy, sticky, sweet, and savoury ginger tofu is here to pull you out of your weeknight dinner slump! It's full of fresh, zingy, aromatic flavour, and is really easy to make. I have the hardest time not eating this straight out of the pan...It's so good!
In this post - Everything you need to make incredible Ginger Tofu:
This recipe doesn't take much effort or many ingredients. Here's exactly what you need:
And some ingredient notes (scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions):
- Tofu - This should be extra firm tofu so it holds up to being pressed, marinated, and pan-fried.
- Brown sugar - Important for balancing the acidic lime, while also adding sweetness, caramel-like flavour, and stickiness.
- Lime - The juice and the zest. The zest holds most of the flavour so using a fresh lime and not bottled lime juice is important.
- Ginger - For the best flavour use fresh ginger. You could use ready-minced ginger from a jar/tube if you prefer though. Don't use ground ginger in this recipe.
- Soy sauce - You can also use low-sodium soy sauce or tamari.
- Cornstarch - This creates a coating on the tofu and thickens the sauce.
- Oil - I love to use toasted sesame oil because it works so well with the other flavours but if you don't have it any other oil will do.
Fresh Ginger Tip - There is no need for your ginger to get wrinkly and bendy in the veg drawer! I buy mine in bulk and immediately freeze it in a container. It keeps for months and you can grate it straight from the freezer.
Substitutions & Dietary Considerations
For a soy-free option use tofu made from pumpkin seeds, chickpeas or sunflower seeds. We love Pumfu! I'm sure chunks of my vegan chicken would work well too. To replace the soy sauce use coconut aminos and for a refined sugar free option switch the brown sugar for coconut sugar or maple syrup.
How To Make Ginger Tofu
Here's a summary of how it's done:
- Press the tofu. We want to infuse as much flavour into the tofu as possible. Pressing the liquid out of it before marinating enables the flavour-givers to seep right in. You can use a tofu press or just wrap it in a clean dish towel or paper towels and pop something heavy on top like a cast iron skillet or some big cookbooks.
- Cube the tofu.
- Stir the marinade ingredients together.
- Marinate the tofu for about 20 minutes.
- Drain off the excess marinade, saving it for later.
- Toss the tofu in cornstarch.
- Pan fry until golden.
- Pour in the leftover marinade and cook for a few minutes until sticky and delicious.
I love serving this ginger tofu either with my easy coconut basmati rice or coconut lime rice. A sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, red pepper flakes, and sliced green onions for garnish are really nice too.
Veggies such as roasted or steamed broccoli, carrots, Brussels sprouts, or bok choy are good on the side. It's also great served with cauliflower rice, fried rice, noodles, quinoa, and in bowl meals, stir-fries or wraps etc.
Tips For Storing
This recipe is at its best straight out of the pan, but you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in a hot pan on the stovetop for a few minutes, or pop in an air fryer until nice and hot. Add a little bit of water if needed to maintain moisture.
I don't recommend it for this recipe. The flavour of fresh ginger is really different to dried ground ginger. For best results, we really need the fragrance, warmth, and kick of fresh ginger.
- 1 package extra firm tofu ,they vary in size but about 350-400g (12-14oz)
- 1 thumb sized piece fresh ginger ,very finely grated
- 3 cloves garlic minced (divided)
- 1 lime ,zest & juice
- 4 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar ,or coconut sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oil , I like to use toasted sesame
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Press the tofu for 20 to 30 minutes. Use a tofu press, or wrap it in a clean dish towel and put something heavy on top like a cast iron pan with some canned food inside or some heavy books.
- Once pressed cut the tofu into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.
- To the tofu add the ginger, garlic, lime zest, lime juice, water, brown sugar, soy sauce, oil, and pepper. Toss to coat then allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes but up to 2 days covered in the fridge is fine too.
- Scoop the tofu pieces out of the marinade and into another clean bowl (I find it easiest to use a clean hand).
- Add the cornstarch to the tofu pieces and toss to coat.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. You know your pan. If you need to add a little oil do so. If it's a really great non-stick pan you might get away without because there's oil in the marinade.
- Once it is nice and hot add the tofu to the pan and cook until caramelized on all sides. Try not to move it around much. Let it form a nice golden crust before turning each piece.
- When the tofu is nicely coloured all over, spoon the leftover marinade into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes tossing frequently until bubbling and sticky. Add a little more water if you prefer a looser sauce.