This soy sauce tofu features firm tofu cooked in a rich, aromatic sauce. A simple, fuss-free recipe that is easy to make yet packed with flavors. Serve it over rice or noodles to make it a meal!
This soy sauce tofu is hugely inspired by the Chinese soy sauce chicken, which consists of a whole chicken poached in soy sauce, aromatics, and spices. It is a common delicacy found in Cantonese BBQ stalls or shops.
Like the traditional soy sauce chicken, this tofu version is highly versatile and goes well with either rice or noodles! I love pairing it with other Chinese sides, like a simple snow pea stir-fry or ABC soup.
💚Why you will love this recipe
- A delicious way to cook tofu that is meat eaters approved
- Highly versatile and can be added to dishes like stir-fries, fried noodles, or salad bowls
- A great meal prep recipe - can be refrigerated for up to a week!
- Relatively easy to make and is beginner-friendly
🧅What you will need
📃Ingredients notes and substitutions
- Tofu - I recommend using either extra firm or firm tofu. Drained and press your tofu beforehand, either using a tofu press or stacking something heavy on top.
- Dark soy sauce - A thicker and sweeter version of soy sauce with a nice caramelized flavor. It also gives the sauce a dark brown hue. Substitute it with more soy sauce in a pinch.
- Shaoxing wine - The traditional soy sauce chicken recipe calls for Chinese rose wine, but I am substituting it with the more accessible Shaoxing wine. Feel free to use rose wine if you can get your hands on it!
- Sugar - I am using coconut sugar, but any granulated sweetener (like brown or cane sugar) will also work.
🔪How to make
Prep the tofu - If you have yet to do so, press your tofu (either using a tofu press or by stacking something heavy on top) to get rid of the excess water. Slice them into 4 large squares.
Fry the aromatics - Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a cast-iron skillet/non-stick pan. Fry green onion, ginger, and star anise for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
Cooking tofu - Add water and all the seasonings to the pan, and bring the mixture to a light simmer. Gently slide in tofu cubes. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping the tofu every 5 minutes or so.
Thicken your sauce (optional) - Reserve ½ cup of sauce. Mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce, and simmer until the sauce is thick and glossy.
Serving - Slice your soy sauce tofu, and serve it over rice or noodles. You can drizzle the sauce on the tofu or serve it on the side.
- Press your tofu - Remember to press your tofu. This helps remove excess moisture, allowing tofu to absorb the sauce better.
- Flip tofu periodically - Turn tofu over occasionally, every 5 minutes or so, to ensure that the sauce penetrates tofu thoroughly.
- Spices - Although this recipe only calls for star anise, you can add other Chinese spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves, and bay leaves.
- Batch making them - This soy sauce tofu gets more flavorful the longer it sits in the fridge! I love doubling or tripling the recipe to be enjoyed throughout the week.
- Storing leftover - Store leftover soy sauce tofu and marinade in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to a week.
🍴Using leftover sauce
Do not discard the leftover sauce! It is incredibly flavorful and can be used in many ways. Here are some ideas to use it -
- Save it to make another batch of soy sauce tofu. Run the sauce through a strainer to remove the ginger, green onion, and star anise. They can be refrigerated for up to a week.
- In stir-fries - Use it in place of soy sauce for your stir-fried vegetables. It gives tons of flavors to your dishes!
- Make a simple broth - Add a few cups of vegetable broth to the leftover sauce to make a quick broth. You can now use it to make vegetable or noodle soup recipes.
- Mix it into dumpling fillings - Add 1-2 tablespoons of this incredible sauce to the filling of these tofu dumplings.
🍚How to serve
Here are some of my favorite ways to serve this soy sauce tofu -
- Rice - brown rice, Jasmine rice, cauliflower rice
- Cooked noodles - soba, ramen, rice noodles
- Vegetables - blanched Chinese greens like bok choy and choy sum, steamed broccoli, or a simple stir-fry like this cabbage carrot stir-fry
- In salads or buddha bowls
- As a filling for rice paper rolls like this vegan rice paper rolls or Thai spring rolls
🍽️More vegan tofu recipes
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Soy Sauce Tofu
- Press your tofu (either using a tofu press or by stacking something heavy on top) to get rid of the excess water. Slice them into 4 large squares.1 block extra-firm tofu
- Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in a cast-iron skillet/non-stick pan. Fry star anise, ginger, and ginger for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.3 whole star anise, 1 inch ginger, 1 stalk green onion
- Add water and all the seasonings to the pan, and bring the mixture to a light simmer. Gently slide in tofu cubes. Cook for 20 minutes, flipping the tofu every 5 minutes or so.½ cup low-sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 cups water
- Thicken your sauce (optional) - Reserve ½ cup of sauce. In a bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch along with 1 tablespoon of water. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce, and simmer until the sauce is thick and glossy.1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Slice your soy sauce tofu, and serve it over rice or noodles. You can either drizzle the sauce on the tofu, or serve it on the side.
- Although this recipe only calls for star anise, you can add other Chinese spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves, and bay leaves.
- This soy sauce tofu gets more flavorful the longer it sits in the fridge! I love doubling or tripling the recipe to be enjoyed throughout the week.
- Storing leftover - Store leftover tofu and marinade in an airtight container. It can be refrigerated for up to a week.
- If you are looking for ways to use the marinade, I recommend checking out the section 'using leftover sauce' in the post.
Nutrition info calculated is just a rough estimate and is provided as a courtesy. Bear in mind that value will vary based on variables like specific brand or type of product used. To obtain the most accurate representation, it is highly recommended that you calculate it on your own with the actual amount and type of ingredient used.