Crispy baked tofu paired with a delicious sriracha peanut sauce makes this oil-free, gluten-free, & vegan stir fry the BEST weeknight dinner! This Baked Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce can easily be made in 30 minutes and only requires 9 simple ingredients!
Lately, I have been VERY into making vegan versions of my favorite takeout recipes at home. It all started with this Black Pepper Tofu & Green Beans ,which is now the most popular recipe on SGTO, followed by the Best Vegan Fried Rice recipe. This recipe takes it one step further by baking tofu and then covering that tofu in a healthier spicy peanut sauce.
Ingredients for peanut butter tofu:
This recipe only requires 9 ingredients aka it truly is easy! (Full ingredient amount in recipe card)
- Firm or extra-firm tofu
- Peanut Butter (smooth & unsalted, not crunchy)
- Tamari (Tamari is gluten-free soy sauce without wheat, coconut aminos also works 1:1)
- Black vinegar (can be replaced 1:1 with rice vinegar or with lime juice)
- Sriracha sauce (I use Fix hot sauce, but any brand works)
- Sugar ( can be replaced with 1 Tbsp maple syrup or 2 Tbsp coconut sugar to keep this dish refined-sugar free)
- Ginger (optional, but adds nice spice!)
- Water (optional, to make a thinner sauce)
How to make crispy baked tofu
To keep this recipe completely oil-free, I decided to bake the tofu! Making baked tofu is actually incredibly easy, so here's a quick run down of the steps:
First, line a baking sheet with parchment paper & preheat the oven to 400F
Doing this helps to prevent the tofu from sticking and still allows it to get crispy in the oven. Win, win!
We are also going to cook the tofu at 400F so it gets crispy & gets rid of any excess moisture.
While the oven is preheating, press moisture out of the tofu
First things first, I want to stress that this recipe only works with firm or extra-firm tofu. Silken tofu or soft tofu has too much moisture to get crispy and risks falling apart when being mixed with the cornstarch.
Before baking firm tofu, press it between two towels or paper towels to soak up any excess moisture. There are a lot of recipes out there that say you need to do this for hours, but I honestly do it for 5-10 minutes and always get crispy tofu. Place a heavy item, like a plate, on top to really squeeze out any excess moisture.
Add the tofu to a bowl with cornstarch
Once the tofu has been pressed, add it to a large mixing bowl and add in 2 Tbsp of cornstarch. Mix together until the tofu is coated and no dry spots of cornstarch remains.
Layer the tofu & bake
Next, lay the tofu out on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy! I like to flip the tofu halfway through baking so it gets evenly crisp on both sides.
What is the texture of baked tofu?
Cooking tofu this way leads to tofu that is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. It won't be mushy on the inside! If you want a softer tofu, follow my Black Pepper Tofu recipe and stir fry the tofu instead.
Do I need cornstarch?
Yes and no. If you want truly crispy tofu the cornstarch helps crisp and brown the edges. However, baking tofu without cornstarch will also lead to a firm tofu. It won't be quite as crispy, but it still will taste great! If you don't have any cornstarch on hand, just omit it and bake the tofu as is.
Also, I don't recommend replacing cornstarch with arrowroot powder or tapioca powder in this recipe as it doesn't produce the same texture.
How to make a vegan peanut sauce
Ready for this one step sriracha peanut sauce? Simply add all the ingredients to a food processor, blend, and done! Yes, it's truly THAT easy to make this vegan peanut sauce.
This sauce is decently thick without water which is why I like to add in 1-2 Tbsp of water. However, that's totally optional so adjust this sauce to your preferred thickness.
Also, I do want to note that this recipe only makes enough sauce to coat the tofu. If you are looking to have extra sauce to drizzle on veggies, rice noodles, or just to save for later- I recommend doubling the recipe.
What peanut butter works best for this sauce?
I recommend using creamy UNSALTED peanut butter. I actually used a natural peanut butter (which will separate naturally if left to sit) and it worked really well for this recipe! Using unsalted peanut butter is really important because the Tamari adds a decent amount of sodium to this recipe (and you don't want it to be too salty)
How long will peanut sauce keep for?
Luckily, this peanut sauce is easy to double or triple because it can be stored in the fridge or freezer in a closed container. In the fridge it will keep for 5-7 days. If you are using natural peanut butter it may separate a bit in the fridge, so just whisk it together before using.
If you are storing in the freezer I recommend adding to ice cube trays, freezing, and then storing the cubes in a closed container. Otherwise it can be relatively difficult to get the sauce out of a frozen container and you will have to defrost it first. This peanut sauce will keep in the freezer up to 1 month.
Can I substitute black vinegar for other ingredients?
Yep! While black vinegar truly has a unique taste and adds a lot of depth of flavor to this sauce it can be replaced 1:1 for rice wine vinegar or even lime juice. Basically, you are looking for something slightly acidic to give the sauce some tang!
How to eat baked peanut tofu
My favorite way to eat this baked tofu with spicy peanut sauce is in a noodle bowl! I love to use rice noodles (I use Thai Kitchen stir fry noodles) and then top it with additional crushed peanuts and green onions. Also, I've been putting this peanut tofu on top of my favorite Vegan Lo Mein recipe lately and have to say that this combo is AMAZING.
For an extra twist I recommend adding in some boiled or roasted broccoli, shredded red cabbage, sautéed red peppers, or even bean sprouts. Sometimes I add in my Miso Garlic Brussels Sprouts to add in even more flavor!
All of these veggies go great to make the ultimate peanut tofu bowl.
I truly hope you enjoy this easy 30-minute Baked Tofu with spicy peanut sauce! It really is the perfect sweet, salty, and spicy stir fry sauce that also happens to be healthier & oil-free. Enjoy!
Looking for more easy vegan weeknight dinner recipes? Check out these SGTO favorites!
- 1 14 oz block firm tofu (must be firm or extra firm, not soft)
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- 3 Tbsp unsalted peanut butter (creamy not crunchy- unsalted is very important or sauce will be too salty)
- 4 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce/ coconut aminos)
- 1 Tbsp sriracha
- 1 Tbsp black vinegar (or rice wine vinegar/lime juice)
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ginger (fresh or ½ tsp ground)
- 1-2 Tbsp water (optional- I prefer for a thinner sauce)
- To begin, slice the block of tofu in half and press it between two towels or two paper towels. Let the tofu sit for 10 minutes to soak up any excess moisture. While it's being pressed, preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Next, cut the pressed tofu into 1 inch cubes and add to a large bowl. Add the cornstarch to the bowl and use your hands to evenly coat the tofu in cornstarch.
- Add the tofu to the parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and add to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes until crispy on the outside and cooked throughout. While not entirely necessary, if you want to make sure the tofu evenly crisps, remove the tray and flip the tofu over at the 10 minute mark.
- While the tofu is baking, make the peanut sauce. Add the remainder of the ingredients including the peanut butter, tamari, sriracha, black vinegar, sugar, and ginger to a small bowl or blender and whisk/blend until a smooth sauce forms. It will be a thick sauce, so if you are looking for a lighter sauce, add in 1-2 Tbsp of water and blend in.
- Once the tofu is baked remove it from the oven and add to a pan with the peanut sauce. Turn on the heat and mix together until the tofu is coated and the sauce is warm.
- Remove from the heat and serve on top of rice noodles or alongside your favorite vegetables. Enjoy!
- Tofu with peanut sauce on top can be stored in a closed container for 3-4 days in the fridge and up to 3 weeks in the freezer.
- This recipe makes enough peanut sauce to coat the tofu, but the peanut sauce portion of the recipe should be doubled if you want extra sauce to coat noodles or vegetables.
- It's also possible to double or triple the sauce recipe and save for later. In the fridge it will keep for 5-7 days. Natural peanut butter may separate a bit in the fridge, so just whisk it together before using.
- If you are storing extra peanut sauce in the freezer I recommend adding to ice cube trays, freezing, and then storing the cubes in a closed container. Otherwise it can be relatively difficult to get the sauce out of a frozen container and you will have to defrost it first. The peanut sauce will keep in the freezer up to 1 month.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 3 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 1516mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 11gProtein: 18g
ShortGirlTallOrder occasionally offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site. This information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. This information comes from online calculators. Although shortgirltallorder.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.