Four-Part Tofu

Fast, simple staple recipes are a big component of successful veganism. This is one of my absolute favorites.

The key – as is the case with almost any recipe containing tofu – is in the preparation. Tofu typically comes packed in water, although grocery store shelves are beginning to be stocked with vacuum-sealed “pre-pressed” tofu, which is a game changer for many.

Draining the water, and pressing as much water as possible out of the tofu ensures that the sauce doesn’t get watered down into a barely discernible nearly flavorless broth. It also ensures that the tofu can brown and crisp up a bit, instead of steaming and sautéing and never gaining any texture.

Four-Part Tofu


  • vegetable, olive, or avocado oil for frying
  • 1 block extra firm tofu pressed to remove excess water if packed in water, sliced into cubes


  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce soy sauce may be easier to find but tamari has less salty, more robust flavor
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3 cloves garlic garlic in a tube works great too; about 2-3" works well


  • Heat your skillet of choice over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon or two of your choice of oil, and then add the tofu and fry until the tofu is nicely browned, turning as necessary to get even coverage.
  • While the tofu is browning, take all sauce ingredients and combine, whisking together to incorporate.
  • After the tofu is browned, reduce the heat to low and introduce the sauce. Continue to heat and gently stir until the sauce reduces and coats the tofu. Remove and serve immediately by itself, over a salad, or rice.
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