This is a really easy and delicious recipe that you can make in just five minutes. Silken tofu is topped with soy sauce for a bump of umami, creamy Chinese sesame sauce for nuttiness and depth of flavor, scallions for sharp brightness, and sesame seeds for light crunch—my kitchen is always stocked with these ingredients so I can whip it up in a moment’s notice.
This is my go-to for a quick weeknight bite, side dish, or main course served with rice if I am really hungry. It is vegan, gluten-free, and even keto-friendly, but more importantly, it packs a punch of flavors even if it’s just a few simple ingredients sprinkled on silken tofu. Serve it cold, as I would because it’s so refreshing, or if you prefer it warm, microwave it for 30 to 45 seconds after you assemble it.
What Is Silken Tofu?
Silken tofu is just one of the many types of tofu available—these days it can be found in all grocery stores. It’s what I turn to often as a source of plant-based soy protein and love for its light and delicate texture. As the name suggests, it is silky smooth and very soft, which makes slicing effortless. Plus, it can be eaten without cooking. It’s a common ingredient used in many Chinese dishes such as mapo tofu, tofu stuffed with prawn, deep-fried fermented tofu, and doufu fa, a dessert with a gingery sweet syrup.
What Is Chinese Sesame Sauce?
Chinese sesame sauce is similar to tahini, a paste of ground sesame seeds often used in Middle Eastern cooking. The only difference is that tahini uses untoasted sesame seeds whereas Chinese sesame sauce uses toasted seeds.
Because the sesame seeds are toasted, Chinese sesame sauce has a deeper and more complex flavor, and the color is a few shades darker. Feel free to use tahini if it’s more readily available.
Gluten-Free? Vegan? Keto-Friendly? Watch Out For the Soy Sauce
I care that my ingredients are gluten-free, vegan, and keto-friendly. There are a variety of soy sauces that do not use wheat, which makes it gluten-free. Some do. Also, many manufacturers only use soy beans without umami enhancers such as fish, so that their soy sauce is vegan. Others do add fish. When in doubt, flip the bottle and read the ingredient list.
More Topping Ideas
This is a visually stunning yet simple dish that relies on just a few simple ingredients. Serve it cold and garnished with a variety of toppings—release the inner chef in you! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Fried garlic chips
- Seaweed flakes
- Bonito flakes
- Chili crisp
- Hong Kong XO sauce
- Century duck egg
More Tofu Recipes
- Easy Crispy Tofu
- Crispy Air Fryer Tofu
- Dubu Jorim (Korean Braised Tofu)
- Grilled Tofu Satay
- Pressure Cooker Saag Tofu
Prepare the tofu:
Drain the tofu and gently remove it from its packaging onto a large plate. Carefully slice the tofu into 1/2-inch slabs widthwise. With the palm of your hands, gently push the sliced tofu sidewise so that they fan out over the plate.
Garnish with toppings and serve:
Drizzle the soy sauce and sesame sauce on top. Then garnish it with scallions and sesame seeds, and serve.
Tightly cover leftovers and refrigerate for up to 2 days. You can enjoy it cold straight out of the fridge or you can reheat it by microwaving in 30-second increments until warmed through.
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