Crispy on the bite, yet delicately soft, this pan-fried Teriyaki Tofu is incredibly flavorful! Enjoy this Japanese dish as an appetizer, or even as the main dish accompanied with rice and a few of your favorite sides. It’s a dynamic recipe for anyone to try, with easy options to turn the dish into vegan or gluten-free!
There are so many delicious ways to enjoy tofu in Japanese cooking. We stir-fry, simmer, deep-fry, or steam tofu. We even eat it as Cold Tofu in the summer. One of the most popular tofu dishes you may already know is Agedashi Tofu, which is tender creamy tofu bites in a crunchy deep fried shell soaked in dashi broth.
Today, I’m sharing another fried tofu recipe with this pan-fried Teriyaki Tofu (照り焼き豆腐). This is the game-changer recipe to make for that person in your family who is so certain they do not like tofu. It looks elegant – but it is surprisingly easy to create – with a crispy, crunch on the outside to sell it at first bite, and a melt-in-your-mouth smoothness to make it memorable. This pan-fried Teriyaki Tofu is incredibly flavorful, and fun to serve as an appetizer, side dish, or even the main dish.
Easy 3-step Teriyaki Tofu
First time cooking tofu at home? Here are 3 easy steps to make delicious teriyaki tofu:
Step 1: Drain tofu well and slice
The first thing you want to do is open the tofu package and start draining the tofu. If you drain for 15 minutes, it’s plenty. Cut the tofu into half inch slices.
Step 2: Coat with potato starch and pan-fry
Prepare a tray/dish with potato starch. If you don’t have potato starch, you can use cornstarch.
Heat the oil over medium heat, and start dredging tofu in potato starch. Shake off any excess starch and place the tofu in the frying pan. Be patient as you pan-fry the tofu. Try not to keep flipping the tofu. Wait until one side is firmed up and nicely seared before you flip it around to cook on the other side.
Step 3: Add homemade teriyaki sauce and coat the tofu
Once all sides of the tofu are evenly browned and crisp, pour in the teriyaki sauce. You should hear some nice sizzles from the hot frying pan. The moisture in the sauce will evaporate as the sauce thickens. Gently coat the tofu with the sauce, and sprinkle katsuobushi over for an extra umami boost! To serve, garnish the tofu with green onion and red pickled ginger.
Delicious Variations for Japanese Pan-Fried Tofu
When this pan-fried teriyaki tofu becomes part of your regular rotation, you will probably want to try it with different types of sauces. Here are my quick and easy variations that my family loves!
Okay, if you are not into homemade ponzu, you can purchase it too (but you will be surprised how easy and SUPER delicious homemade ponzu is, trust me). Instead of teriyaki sauce, use ponzu sauce and sprinkle grated daikon and green onion. Sprinkle shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice) for a kick.
Give this tofu dish a street food vibe reminding you of delicious okonomiyaki or takoyaki. Season with tonkatsu sauce and sprinkle aonori (green nori), zigzag some Japanese mayo, and garnish with green onion and red pickled ginger. Kids love it!
This is another versatile sauce that goes with a wide variety of Asian finger foods or appetizers. Whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, a pinch of sugar or honey, sesame oil, chopped green onions, chopped garlic and toasted sesame seeds, you’d have a marvelous sauce for the pan-fried tofu. Feel free to add in some fresh chopped chili peppers if you like.
If you like things spicy, you can smother the pan-fried tofu with a quick homemade garlic-chili sauce. It’s as easy as chopping up some garlic and mixing it with Sriracha sauce or sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey/ sugar and a generous squeeze of lime juice. This version will really kick-start your palate.
Make It Vegetarian, Vegan or Gluten-Free
For those of you who are vegetarian and vegan, all you need to do is to omit the last ingredient – katsuobushi or dried bonito flakes. Super easy conversion.
If you are gluten-free, simply swap soy sauce with gluten free soy sauce.
Teriyaki tofu on a Japanese plates.
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Sign up for the free Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch with me on Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram for all the latest updates.Crispy on the bite, yet delicately soft, this pan-fried Teriyaki Tofu is incredibly flavorful! Enjoy this Japanese dish as an appetizer, or even as the main dish accompanied with rice and a few of your favorite sides. It’s a dynamic recipe for anyone to try, with easy options to turn the dish into vegan or gluten-free!
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Keyword: pan frying tofu, teriyaki, tofu
14 oz medium-firm tofu (396 g)
¼-⅓ cup potato starch/cornstarch (Roughly 60 g or more)
1-2 Tbsp neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc)
1-2 packs katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) (3-6 g, as much as you like)
1 green onion/scallion
pickled red ginger (beni shoga or kizami beni shoga) (Kizami Shoga) (to garnish)
Homemade Teriyaki Sauce:
2 Tbsp sake
2 Tbsp mirin
2 Tbsp soy sauce (Use GF soy sauce for GF)