Crispy sesame tofu

Easy and moreish. Tolerates alterations to the ingredients. You’re likely to want some kind of sauce with it. (Easy to whip up something sweet and sour with soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, some cornflour, and maybe some grated garlic and/or ginger: stir it over a low heat until it thickens, adjusting the proportions and/or adding water to thin it out.)


  • Firm tofu, one block
  • Toasted sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame seeds, lots
  • Cornflour (corn starch in North American English)
  • Chilli flakes
  • Black pepper


Preheat the oven pretty hot — around 230ºC (450ºF), maybe a little cooler if you have a fan oven.

Press and pad dry the tofu. (Take it out of its container, drain the water, and wrap it in paper towel. Put it on a plate. Put another plate on top, and something heavy on top of that. Leave it for a few minutes. Remove everything and pad it dry.) Chop it into dice-sized cuboids. Put it in a large mixing bowl.

Sprinkle over a generous amount of toasted sesame oil and some soy sauce. With a wooden spoon (or a hand), mix it so the tofu’s all coated. Be gentle, so the tofu doesn’t break.

Now sprinkle some chilli flakes, a generous helping of sesame seeds, some freshly-ground black pepper, and some cornflour (a tablespoon or two) and, again, mix gently so the tofu is coated fairly evenly.

Gently place the tofu on some sort of non-stick baking try. Greaseproof paper or one of those reusable ovenproof sheets are ideal. Try to keep each block separate from its neighbours so they don’t stick to each other. Chopsticks are handy for this.

Bake for around 15 — 20 mins, until it’s nicely browned and crispy. Timings can vary quite a lot so keep an eye on it. Serve however you want.