Sharing here a vegan Tofu “Chicken” Teriyaki Recipe!
These are really “meaty” tofu cooked down in homemade teriyaki sauce, that’s sweet, savoury, and pretty addictive.
Served the tasty tofu “chicken” teriyaki with some steamed short grain rice and vegetables.
This is one of those really satisfying dishes that’ll make you want to keep pouring more and more teriyaki sauce over as you dig in.
USING TERIYAKI SAUCE
The homemade teriyaki sauce is really versatile that you can use the sauce in many different ways—whether as a dip, glaze, marinade, and so much more!
My family loves Japanese food and growing up one of my favourite dishes to order was Chicken Teriyaki Don—basically chicken cooked the teriyaki way with a delicious sauce served over a bowl fo steamed short-grain rice.
I wanted to recreate that whole experience of my childhood chicken teriyaki favourite—and this time around, using tofu, of course!
I usually cook with extra firm tofu but I really wanted to take it up a notch and create that meaty texture for that whole experience that’s similar to “chicken”.
THE SECRET TO THE TOFU?
Want to create “meaty” tofu? Freeze your tofu!
Freezing tofu creates this amazing meaty texture because tofu itself has little pockets of water in between so when they’re frozen, these pockets expand, creating a coarser and almost meat-like texture when thawed.
What to do:
Should I slice tofu first before freezing?
For me, the answer is yes.
Though I’ve tried freezing a whole block and slicing it after thawing, I find that it’s much harder to do so because the coarseness of the tofu can pose some problems and easily crumble when sliced after freezing.
So I would recommend slicing the tofu BEFORE freezing.
This way you will also have thinner slabs of tofu to work with that you can easily just squeeze out the liquid from.
I used 2 blocks of extra firm tofu for this recipe and simply sliced each one into half, to create around 3/4 to 1” thick slabs of tofu.
Next steps to do after slicing:
- I placed them on a tray and frozen them overnight (though you can totally freeze these for longer and just defrost them when you’re ready to cook!)
- I thawed my tofu at room temperature before squeezing out the liquid. You can check out the video below I made below for the step-by-step.
- I also prepared my own teriyaki sauce for this recipe, that only requires 4 ingredients! It uses sake and mirin but if you don’t have access to them, you can opt to try out Option 2 of my homemade recipe here, which uses soy sauce and sugar.
You can also of course opt to use your favourite teriyaki sauce, whether homemade or store-bought, for this recipes.
TO COOK THE TOFU
I basically cooked down the tofu in the teriyaki sauce and it slowly thickened and coated the tofu.
After cooking down the tofu, I left it to cool for a few minutes before slicing into strips.
Look at that meaty tofu “chicken” texture!
Afterwards, I cook down some mushrooms and veggies in the same pan to enjoy with my tofu and rice.
Topped everything with some sesame seeds, scallions, and more teriyaki sauce for a super tasty and satisfying meal.
Hope you enjoy this tofu “chicken” teriyaki recipe! If you make this dish, please tag me on my Facebook or Instagram and use the hashtag #thefoodietakesflight 🙂
You can also check out my other tofu recipes here or down below:
- Hakka-Style Stuffed Tofu
- Korean Spicy Braised Tofu
- Tofu Katsu
- Nori-Wrapped Tofu in Spicy Sauce
- Maple Hoisin Tofu
- Orange Tofu
- Pan-Fried Tofu Cakes
- Tofu ‘McNuggets’
Here are other ways you can use Teriyaki Sauce!
- Teriyaki Fried Rice
- Drizzled over Katsu Sushi Sandwiches and Rolls
- Baked Teriyaki Cauliflower Balls
- Eggplant and Tofu Teriyaki
- Tofu Katsu(Enjoy with a generous amount of teriyaki sauce on top!)
Are you looking for more delicious, vegan recipes? Check out my latest Vegan Kitchen eBook, that has over 95 recipes (and a whole section for Asian recipes!) that are packed with flavour and made with simple and easily accessible ingredients! Also, two trees (instead of 1!) will be planted for every download of my eBook through non-profit organisation One Tree Planted.
Tofu “Chicken” Teriyaki
Tofu “Chicken” Teriyaki
- 400 g extra firm tofu , frozen overnight and thawed
- 2 to 3 tbsp all purpose flour or cornstarch
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce see homemade recipe here
- Neutral oil for pan-frying
- Toasted sesame seeds for topping
- Chopped scallions for topping
- Steamed short grain rice for serving
Other Vegetables (totally up to you!)
- Shredded cabbage
- Shredded carrot
- Slice enoki mushroom
- Sliced shiitake mushroom
Preparing the Tofu
- Slice your block or blocks of tofu into 3/4 to 1-inch thick slabs. Place on a tray and then leave to freeze at least overnight to harden. No need to press the tofu or squeeze out the liquid before freezing (because you’ll want the water inside the tofu to crystallise and create the amazing texture!)
- After freezing the tofu, leave it to thaw in room temperature. When soft, carefully squeeze out the water from the tofu. I did this by carefully placing a slab of tofu between my palms and flattening it to squeeze out the liquid. The tofu will be very delicate at this point so be careful not to over squeeze it since it can easily break apart. Squeeze out the liquid from the remaining tofu.
- After draining the liquid from the tofu, season the tofu with some pepper and a pinch of salt on each side. Rub the salt and pepper on the tofu. Place some flour or cornstarch on a plate. You can start with 2 tbsp of flour or cornstarch and just add more, if needed.
- Place the slabs of tofu in the flour or cornstarch mix and then coat well. Set aside.
Cooking the Tofu
- Heat a large non-stick pan or skillet over high heat. Add some oil. Once hot, place the slabs of tofu and leave to cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until lightly golden.
- Lower the heat to medium and then add in the teriyaki sauce. I started with 1/4 cup and just added more as I went along. Leave the tofu to cook in the sauce. It’ll absorb the sauce and the teriyaki sauce will slowly thicken as it cooks down. Be careful not to cook the tofu in too high heat because the sugars from the teriyaki sauce can easily burn. Scoop up some teriyaki sauce from the base of the pan to pour over the tofu so all sides can be evenly coated.
- Flip over the tofu as needed and leave to cook until the teriyaki sauce has been absorbed by the tofu and has thickened into a glaze. Turn off the heat and then slice the tofu into thin 1/2-inch strips, if desired.
Cooking other Veggies and Mushrooms
- I prepared some slice mushrooms, carrot, and cabbage to cook down in the sauce. I used the same pan as the tofu and simple added a bit of water to deglaze the pan then before adding some sliced enoki mushrooms and shiitake mushrooms. I added a bit more teriyaki sauce and cooked down the mushrooms.
- Afterwards, I cooked some cabbage and carrot separately and also added more teriyaki sauce.
This Post Has 13 Comments
This was delicious!! I am glad I found this recipe ~ I’m surprised more people haven’t as your pictures are lovely! Thank you ~ I will be making this again!!
Hi Carli, thanks so much! Glad you liked it 🙂
Thanks Jeeca, we really enjoyed this! The crispy shell that the cornflour forms is remniscent of duck skin and the dish was so tasty. Next time I would probably try slicing it slightly thinner and making Peking ‘duck’ pancakes. We look forward to trying it again 🙂
Ooh this sounds like a really good idea hehe. Thanks too!! ❤️
I made this recipe tonight to a group of tofu skeptics and they were impressed by the texture and flavor. I think the freezing process really enhances the tofu. I will definitely be making this again soon.
Thank you for this recipe!
Happy to hear!! Thanks stacy ◡̈
Did you use the thickened teriyaki (with the cornstarch) sauce on yours? Need to know. Thank you.
I’m making it now, so that is why I have’t rated it yet.
Hi Nancy, I cooked it down on a pan and the flour helped thicken the mixture so this wasn’t a teriyaki glaze. But if you have ready made teriyaki glaze then it’s okay too! Just be sure to keep an eye out on the heat so it doesn’t quickly burn due to the sugars.
I’ve cooked a LOT of tofu and this was by far the BEST! So simple but somehow you’ve cracked the code! Thank you!
So happy to hear. Hehe love tofu too and I cook it very often! Glad you liked it ◡̈
Thank you Lyndsey! ◡̈