Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teriyaki tofu

From Morocco, we are off to Japan. I concede that Japanese food is not quite as exotic - I think most of us have had it, even if only in a shopping centre foodhall. However, Japan is another place I hope to visit one day, and teriyaki dishes don't seem to be as ubiquitous in London as they are in Australia. Mr Bite, in particular, is missing his fortnightly teriyaki meal.

I have one previous teriyaki recipe on the blog (teriyaki tofu steaks with cauliflower rice) but Vegan MoFo seemed a good time to add another. I wanted the teriyaki flavours to stand out, and the tofu pieces to be small and crispy. I served the tofu with rice, of course. In a non-traditional twist, I also added stir fried onion, carrots and pepper to the tofu, to give a decent vegetable hit to the meal.

I really liked the tofu, and the small crispy pieces also got a tick of approval from Mr B. However, the dish really needed more teriyaki sauce. The marinade was sufficient to coat the tofu and give flavour to the vegetables, but there was none spare to serve as a sauce for the overall dish. Mr Bite, understandably, struggled to view the meal as a replacement for his sauce-filled teriyaki donburi meals of old.

I suspect I will make this again, but make a double batch of sauce next time around. While I have listed the recipe below as I made it, I've also added a note to encourage doubling the marinade quantities if you want a saucier dish (no, not in that way).

A final comment about this meal: unusually for me, I actually bought sesame oil instead of using olive or vegetable oil for convenience. Given we don't use a lot of oil in cooking, I struggle to see the value in lots of oils of different origins. Having used sesame oil in this, I am a convert to its usefulness in Asian dishes. It really does make a difference, even in small quantities!

Teriyaki tofu
A full flavoured tofu-based meal, rounded out with vegetables and rice
Serves 4

Allow at least 4 hours to marinate the tofu

Author: Adapted from the teriyaki tofu triangles on Epicurious

For the teriyaki marinade -
Note - I recommend doubling the quantities below to give extra sauce for the final dish
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
1 tbsp rice vinegar (or mirin)
3/4 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp sesame oil

For the overall meal -
350g firm tofu, pressed and cut into small squares (as pictured)
1 brown onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
Rice, to serve

Combine the marinade ingredients in a shallow dish and whisk to combine. Add the tofu pieces and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours, but preferably over the day (I set mine up in the morning and made this in the evening).

When the tofu has marinated, heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and add the tofu pieces. Cook for several minutes on each side, until browned and starting to look crispy. Transfer to a plate; the pieces will continue to crisp up on cooking.

Cook rice according to packet instructions.

Pour any remaining marinade into the non-stick pan and add the onion, pepper and carrot. Note: If you have made a double batch of teriyaki sauce, reserve some to add in at the end so the sauce doesn't evaporate.

When the rice is nearly ready and the vegetables are cooked, add the tofu back to your non-stick pan along with any extra teriyaki sauce. Warm through and serve.

Are you a teriyaki fan? What about other Japanese dishes?

This post is part of my participation in the 2014 Vegan Month of Food. This week I am focusing on main meal options.

Previous 2014 Vegan MoFo posts:
Breakfasts-                                                                         Snacks-
#1 - Vegan French toast                                                                                
#6 - Chocolate coated banana chips
#2 - Apple and strawberry muesli                                                             
#7 - Barbecue inspired nori snacks
#3 - Mango coconut buckwheat breakfast pudding                              
#8 - Carob latte
#4 - Tips for a vegan breakfast on the go                                                
#9 - Tide Tables Café
#5 - Chickpea pancakes with spicy kale and mango                             #10 - Dark chocolate and espresso almonds

Main meal options-
#11 - Moroccan tagine


  1. This looks like a great dish. I haven't made my own teriyaki tofu yet, but now that I've seen your recipe, I think I might give it a go :)

  2. I made a teriyaki dish a few months ago and loved it - was surprised at how rich and sticky the sauce was so I guess that is the sort of quantities Mr B would like - I love the look of your crunchy pieces. And I agree with you about sesame oil - if you need it in a recipe it is amazing - I don't use it heaps but when I need it nothing else will do

    1. Yes, Mr B would have much preferred your version ;) Next time I may go with your recipe!

  3. This looks delicious. I love that the tofu looks nice and chewy and crispy... perfect for scooping up some of that extra recommended marinade. Yum!

    1. I do love crispy tofu - this definitely hit the spot for me.

  4. I don't have it often but I love the sticky sweetness of teriyaki and your dish looks just like what I'd want to eat. Should we eat that for breakfast??

  5. You've got me inspired to cook teriyaki tonight! I haven't made anything with teriyaki flavours for so long. Your tofu dish looks like it's full of flavour. I haven't heard of rice malt syrup so I'll have to look out for it xx

    1. It's often in the health food sections of supermarkets - a liquid sweetener that tastes a bit like honey and can stand in for agave or maple syrup, but is usually cheaper to buy! And it's made from rice, which I find a little bit magical.

  6. Oh, I am so glad you finally tried toasted sesame oil. Indeed, a bit goes a long way in the flavour department! :)

  7. Love tofu done like this - works out so crispy :-)


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