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April 19, 2021

Sesame Tofu Asparagus

With a quick sauce made with tahini, ginger and garlic, this baked sesame tofu asparagus is a simple dinner. Serve it with quinoa or brown rice.

With a quick sauce made with tahini, ginger and garlic, this baked sesame tofu asparagus is a simple dinner. Serve it with quinoa or brown rice.

Sesame Tofu Asparagus

These days leaving the produce department without a bunch of my asparagus in my cart is impossible. I just can’t do it.

Asparagus is the earliest sign of spring when it comes to vegetables.

I only eat asparagus during this time of year into early summer, so I find myself doing all sorts of things with this super versatile veggie. That includes soups both hot and cold. Or I roast it or grill it on my stovetop grill pan.

When it gets warmer, I take asparagus outside to go on the actual grill.

Sesame Tofu Asparagus

The flavors I usually stick with are pretty simple. They include olive oil, salt and pepper, and to go with that base, garlic and lemon.

While any combination of those classic ingredients will always work, sometimes I like making an actual sauce.

That’s what I do with this sesame tofu asparagus. While the tofu and asparagus are on a sheet pan in the oven, I simmer a quick sauce on the stove.

This recipe is simple and great for dinner on a busy weeknight.

Sesame Tofu Asparagus

How To Make Sesame Tofu Asparagus

I think of this recipe in 3 main steps:

  1. Pressing the water out of the tofu
  2. Baking the tofu and asparagus
  3. Making the sauce

They overlap, so you can multi-task.

Pressing The Tofu

If you have never cooked with tofu before it’s important to know that you have to press out as much water as you can from the block. This helps the tofu take on more of the sauce and crisp up at the edges. 

Once you take out the tofu from the packaging, pat it dry with a paper towel.  Then place a heavy pot on top of it to push the water out.

I cook with tofu so often that I recently bought a tofu press. It wasn’t a huge investment, and mine has a reservoir to hold the water, which is very convenient. 

When you are finished pressing the tofu, cut it into 1-inch cubes.

Baking the Tofu and Asparagus

You should preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

I recommend greasing your sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. Then you don’t have to worry about the tofu sticking.

The tofu bakes for 10 minutes before you scatter on the asparagus, which is cut into 1-1/2-inch long pieces.

Then give the tofu and asparagus another 7-8 minutes more in the oven. When they are ready, the tofu will be lightly golden and the asparagus will be bright green.

I always like to make sure that the asparagus still retains its crunch.

Sesame Tofu Asparagus

Making The Sauce

While the tofu and asparagus are in the oven, you can go ahead and make the sauce on the stove. 

The sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, tahini, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. It simmers for a couple minutes. Then you whisk in a mixture of cornstarch and water to thicken it.

When you pull the sheet pan from the oven, you can spoon the sauce on and toss around the tofu and asparagus.

I absolutely love this sauce. You will end up with extra that you can serve on the side.

Sesame Tofu Asparagus

To finish, I add sliced scallions and sesame seeds.

Brown rice and quinoa are great options to serve with the tofu and asparagus. 

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Sesame Tofu Asparagus

Sesame Tofu Asparagus

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17-18 minutes
  • Total Time: 32-33 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 1x

Ingredients

Non-stick cooking spray

114 ounce block extra firm tofu

1 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 11/2-inch pieces

3/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup tahini

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

2 scallions, sliced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Brown rice or quinoa for serving

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Pat the tofu with a paper towel. Wrap with a dry paper towel and place a cast iron pan or cutting board on top to remove more liquid. Let stand for 15 minutes. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.

Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven, turn over the tofu and add the asparagus.

Continue cooking until the tofu is lightly browned and the asparagus is tender and bright green but still crisp, about 7-8 minutes.

While the tofu and asparagus are in the oven, make the sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the soy sauce, tahini, maple syrup, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water and whisk into the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.

Spoon the sauce onto the sheet pan and toss around the tofu and asparagus, so they are coated. Extra sauce can be served on the side or saved for another use.

Sprinkle on the scallions and sesame seeds. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

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