When I learned the secret to cooking tofu, a whole new food world opened. Tofu, in my opinion, is the perfect addition to any meal regardless of the cuisine. For example, I recently had a teriyaki tofu bowl while out to lunch with the girls, and I decided to make my teriyaki tofu at home. My goal, however, was to create a homemade teriyaki sauce with less sugar.
I was surprised to learn how much sugar is in Teriyaki sauce. In fact, most recipes and bottled versions are more than 50% sugar. No wonder it tastes so good 🙂
So, in an attempt to make an incredible teriyaki tofu recipe, I created a teriyaki sauce that is truly a keeper. During what I call "accidental" recipes, I sometimes find a gem to keep in my permanent recipe box, and this is one such sauce.
As you know from previous posts, I love tofu if you read them! And the trick is preparing tofu correctly, so it absorbs whatever marinades and flavors I throw at it. And I adore tofu grilled, baked, or air-fried. I love it crispy on the outside and firm and delicious on the inside.
Yesterday, I played in the kitchen and came up with an incredible tofu teriyaki bowl with a great sauce I plan to use for various recipes.
What is in a teriyaki tofu bowl?
Since I was craving teriyaki sauce and challenging myself to make a better bowl than I ate at the restaurant, I wanted to pick various colors and textures to create a healthy and vibrant bowl.
- Teriyaki Tofu (Extra firm tofu marinated in homemade teriyaki sauce or substitute teriyaki sauce of choice)
- Brown Rice
- Mame (Shelled Edamame)
- Baby Bell Peppers
- Snap Peas
- Fresh Pineapple
- Sesame Seeds (garnish optional)
The pineapple adds sweetness to the bowl and highlights the homemade teriyaki sauce I made for marinating the tofu and drizzled on the bowl before serving.
Sometimes, I combine raw and cooked foods for nutritional value and pure convenience, depending on how I feel. This Teriyaki tofu recipe, for instance, is quick and easy, and everything can be made ahead of time.
So, eat the bowl hot, cold, or a combination of both.
For example, if you prefer your kale to be cooked instead of raw, it works just as well. Though served raw in this bowl, cooking the snap peas, zucchini, and baby bell peppers is an option.
How to make homemade low-sugar teriyaki sauce
- Tamari or soy sauce
- Pineapple (fresh is best)
- Rice vinegar
- Arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
- Sesame seeds
How to press and marinate tofu
The secret to great tofu is a simple process, which, when done correctly, creates an incredible protein source that can literally be cooked in several ways and absorb any flavors.
First, I recommend using extra-firm tofu for salads, stirfries, or an entree. Conversely, soft tofu is used for baking, sauces, and dressings.
Firm and extra-firm tofu require pressing; however, sprouted tofu does not. Though sprouted tofu is sometimes tricky to find, my go-to tofu is always extra firm tofu.
Although you do not need a tofu press to press tofu, I prefer to use a cheap press I found on Amazon.
Despite the many expensive tofu presses available, the cheap one works great, or you can always use a heavy book and paper towels.
Either way, the trick is to press slowly and be patient. Pressing tofu too quickly, for instance, makes it crack on the sides, making it difficult to cut and cook.
After slowly pressing the tofu, the goal is to make it as thin as possible without cracking the sides and making it about an inch or a half thick.
Then, I cut the tofu slab into 4 equal slabs for the teriyaki tofu recipe because I plan to grill my tofu. However, if baking air-frying or making in a skillet, cut the tofu into cubes for optimal marinating and absorption of flavors.
For specific directions on how to press different cooking options, click this link Pressed Tofu for Grilling, Baking, Air-frying, or Cooking in a Skillet.
Once all the ingredients are added to a small bowl or measuring cup, marinate the tofu in a sealed container for a minimum of 6 hours. I prefer to marinate overnight or 24 hours if possible. The longer the tofu marinates, the more profound the flavors. Then, cover the tofu with the remaining marinade and shake to coat the slabs or cubes.
How to grill tofu
- As a rule, my favorite method of cooking tofu is using the grill. Without a doubt, I love the grill lines and the deep flavors of grilled tofu.
- First, to grill the perfect tofu on the grill, preheat the grill to medium or 400 degrees. Then, arrange the tofu directly on the grill for a total of 20 minutes, flipping four times to get the pretty grill marks.
- Next, I return the tofu to the container to soak up more marinade. At this point, you have two choices; cut it in strips now and use it, or put it in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Other ways to cook teriyaki tofu
Despite grilling being my favorite way to cook teriyaki tofu, sometimes it's easier to use a skillet, the oven, or an air-fryer.
SAUTEING TOFU IN A SKILLET
- Using a large non-stick skillet, on medium-low, add tofu.
- I use a little veggie broth to prevent any sticking.
- Then, cook 4 minutes on each side, flipping 4 times.
- If you use cubes instead of tofu strips or slabs, toss in the pan until all sides are browned.
BAKING TOFU IS JUST AS EASY
- Follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Then, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cut or uncut tofu on a silicone baking mat or parchment paper
- Cook for 15 minutes
- Remove from oven and flip tofu over; cook for an additional 15 minutes.
- Follow the same pressing and marinating process.
- Set air fryer temperature at 375 degrees
- Cook 10-15 minutes, shaking the basket a couple of times through the cooking process.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE TERIYAKI MARINADE FOR THE TERIYAKI TOFU RECIPE
For this dish, the teriyaki tofu is the rock star! The crispy, grilled tofu adds a flavor boost that works well with the dressing as a highlight to the dish.
Because the marinade and the dressing are the same, both are made ahead of time. As a general rule, I always suggest marinating the tofu as long as possible.
Personally, I prefer overnight, but 6 hours will suffice. Instead of using sugar or maple syrup, I decided to use fresh pineapple as my sweet component. TCombiningwith the other few ingredients, mthat akes a perfect teriyaki sauce and marinade.
Then, I put the remainder of the dressing/marinade in a squeeze bottle to use on the bowl when serving. And the black sesame seeds are just pretty 🙂
- Substitute quinoa or rice noodles instead of brown rice
- Use your favorite bottled brand of teriyaki sauce
- Use pickled onions instead of green onions
- Substitute already marinated teriyaki tofu from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods (in the refrigerator sections)
- Use your favorite vegetables like cucumbers, radishes, green onions, edamame, or pea pods.
- Like it hot? Roast the other vegetables, or grill them with the tofu (if drilling), or for a quick and easy way to cook the other veggies, make the bowl with the raw vegetables and microwave for 2 minutes, cooking all the raw vegetables al dente.
Are you looking for other creative ways to eat tofu?
Hi! My name is Kathy, I am a retired high school English teacher & vegan enthusiast and blogger. My entire blog is fully plant-based vegan. I truly believe what we eat & how we live determines our health & the preservation of our planet! 🙂