For Serving (optional):
- 3-4 C (474-632 g) cooked white or brown rice
- Steamed broccoli
- 12 oz (340 g) extra firm tofu
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) tamari or soy sauce (tamari for gluten free eaters)
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup
- 4-5 T (28-35 g) cornstarch
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) neutral oil (such as grape seed or canola)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced (~1 heaping T or 7 g)
- 1 tbsp (6 g) ginger, minced
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) rice vinegar (or sub white vinegar)
- ¼ c (48 g) coconut sugar or maple syrup, plus more to taste (I used 2 T coconut sugar, 2 T maple syrup)
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) tamari or soy sauce (or coconut aminos)
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) water
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) sesame oil
- 1 bundle green onions, bulbs removed, roughly chopped
- 4-7 dried red chilies, optional for heat, or sub 1 T chili garlic sauce, more or less to taste
- Sesame seeds, for garnish, optional
If serving with rice and broccoli, begin preparing at this time. Otherwise, move onto the next step.
Wrap tofu in a clean, absorbent towel and set something heavy on top to wick away moisture, such as a cast iron skillet. Let rest for about 10 minutes.
Prep/chop green onions, garlic, and ginger at this time. Set aside.
While tofu is pressing, prepare sauce by combining sesame oil, cornstarch, minced garlic, minced ginger, rice vinegar, coconut sugar or maple syrup, tamari or soy sauce, and water in a small mixing bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine. If using coconut sugar, make sure it’s dissolved before proceeding. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed (I left mine as is).
Heat a large metal or cast iron skillet (mine is 10”) over medium heat. In the meantime, unwrap tofu and cut into even pieces, about ¾" cubes.
Add tofu to a shallow mixing bowl and top with tamari or soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, and maple syrup. Toss to combine. Let rest 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Use a slotted spoon or fork to transfer tofu to a quart-size or large freezer bag. Add cornstarch 1 T at a time and toss to coat. Continue adding more cornstarch and tossing until tofu is coated in a gummy, white layer - about 5 T.
To the hot skillet, add 2 T grape seed oil and let warm for 30 seconds. Then use a slotted spoon or fork to add tofu to the pan (leaving any excess cornstarch behind).
Cook on all sides for 1 minute, or until light golden brown. You don’t want it blackened or burned, as you’ll be cooking it again later with the sauce. Aim for a consistent golden brown crust. Remove tofu from pan as it’s finished browning. Set aside.
Return skillet to burner and increase heat to medium-high. Add 1 T sesame oil, chopped green onions, and dried red chilies. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the sauce and tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, to coat the tofu and vegetables for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through and the sauce has slightly thickened.
Remove pan from heat and add sesame seeds (optional). Toss to coat.
Serve with rice and steamed broccoli (optional), or other desired sides. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop or microwave.