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. 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 easy recipe is great for dinner on a busy weeknight.

Sesame Tofu Asparagus

The Ingredients

This is what you need for this sesame tofu recipe:

  • Tofu blocks are available in varieties from soft silken tofu to firm. Make sure to use extra-firm tofu because you want it to keep its shape.
  • Asparagus: When your buying this green veggie, look for stalks that are firm, not wrinkled and have tops that are closed. Store asparagus with the bottoms in a little bit of water. You can substitute with green beans and/or snow peas.
  • Soy sauce is the base of the sauce. It’s important to go for low-sodium soy sauce, so you can control the saltiness and seasonings.
  • Tahini: This nutty sesame seed paste makes the sauce creamy and adds sesame flavor.
  • Maple syrup is a healthier way to give the sauce a little bit of sweetness instead of brown sugar.
  • Rice vinegar adds a nice acidity and is made from fermented rice.
  • Sesame oil keeps with the sesame tofu theme.
  • Garlic & ginger: The sauce has a combination of minced garlic and ginger.
  • Red pepper flakes give it a touch of heat.
  • Salt & pepper season the sauce.
  • Cornstarch plus water create a cornstarch slurry that thickens the sauce.
  • Scallions are crisp and fresh green onions that are added in once the tofu and asparagus have been stirred into the sauce.
  • Sesame seeds are sprinkled on top to finish it.
  • Brown rice or quinoa are great options for a side dish. Or you can reach for another grain in your pantry.

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. Getting rid of the excess moisture 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 paper towels.  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.

Baked the tofu on the sheet pan. Then flip over to the other side and add the asparagus.
Spoon the sesame sauce onto the tofu and asparagus on the sheet pan.

How To Make Sesame Tofu Asparagus

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. There’s no need for parchment paper. You want the tofu and veggies to make direct contact with the pan.
  2. Press the tofu. Wrap the block of tofu with a towel and put it on a plate with something heavy on top. Let it sit for 15 minutes. Then cut the tofu into cubes.
  3. Bake the tofu cubes for 10 minutes before flipping it to the other side.
  4. Add the asparagus to the hot pan. Continue roasting until the tofu is light golden brown, and the asparagus is bright green. I always like to make sure that the asparagus still retains its crunch.
  5. Make the sauce. You can do this while everything is in the oven. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small pot and simmer for a couple minutes. Whisk in the cornstarch slurry and continue simmering for 2 minutes to thicken it.
  6. Spoon the sauce with the asparagus and tofu pieces on the pan.
  7. Sprinkle on the scallions and sesame seeds.
  8. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.
Sesame Tofu Asparagus

Leftovers

I love eating leftover sesame tofu cold straight from the fridge, but you can warm it in the microwave if you want. Store extras in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.

More Tofu Recipes

Honey Garlic Tofu
Tofu Pumpkin Curry
Grilled Tofu Shawarma
Ginger Garlic Veggie Tofu Stir-Fry
Sheet Pan Sweet Potato Black Bean Tofu
Sheet Pan Teriyaki Tofu Broccolini

Print
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

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.

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
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • Brown rice or quinoa for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Continue cooking until the tofu is lightly browned and the asparagus is tender and bright green but still crisp, about 7-8 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water and whisk into the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
  7. 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.
  8. Sprinkle on the scallions and sesame seeds.
  9. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.
  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17-18 minutes
  • Total Time: 32-33 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

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Recipe rating

  1. I really liked it, I used PB2 peanut butter to thicken and flavor instead of cornstarch, wonderful!!