Honey Garlic Tofu Bites!! Exceptionally crispy golden oven-baked tofu nuggets coated in a sweet and savory honey garlic sauce.
Tofu has got to be my ultimate favorite protein. Healthy, quick, convenient, and so easy to keep multiple packages in the fridge. I’ve loved tofu forever and now that Mike is a total tofu convert, it’s a big part of our meal plans!
I love tofu so much that I will eat it straight out of the package with just a touch of really good soy sauce and a huge pile of thinly sliced scallions. If I’m feeling like a sweet, savory, garlicky, crispy snack I’ll make these honey garlic tofu bites. Quick, easy, and so satisfying. Pair them with some fluffy rice or whole grains and greens for a honey garlic tofu bowl and live your best life.
What kind of tofu for tofu bites?
I like using firm tofu for tofu bites because it’s firm enough to keep its shape and it has a nice, pleasing texture. You can also use medium but I wouldn’t use silken or soft as it’s too fragile.
Tofu from firm to soft:
- Extra firm tofu – holds its shape exceptionally well, perfect for crumbling, frying, grilling, and using in stir fries.
- Firm tofu – holds it’s shape and super versatile, great for pan frying, braising, and stewing.
- Medium tofu – smooth and a little soft. You can purée it easily for soups, dips, and sauces. Also tastes amazing in braises, soups, and stir fries.
- Soft/Silken tofu – very smooth and delicate. Best for mapo tofu, miso soup, or other soups and stews. Also delicious with just soy, ginger, and scallions!
How to press tofu
Pressing tofu gets all the excess liquid out and makes it easier to crisp up. It also makes the tofu more dense and chewy. It’s a super simple step. If you’re using extra firm tofu, you can skip this step and just pat the tofu dry.
- Open and drain the tofu, then fold up a clean tea towel or paper towels so they’re roughly the same shape as the tofu.
- Place the towels on a cutting board or plate and put the tofu on top. Top with another layer of folded towels.
- Place a second cutting board or plate on top and weight it down with a heavy bowl. Let sit for 15-30 minutes, changing the paper towels if needed.
- Use the tofu in your recipe!
Freezing tofu draws out the moisture and gives it an even meatier, firmer texture. When you freeze tofu the water inside turns into ice, making small holes. The holes can soak up marinades and flavor like a sponge and the texture of frozen then thawed tofu is firm and chewy. If you want to try it, drain the tofu, slice it into the end shape, then freeze it. Once you thaw it, squeeze out any extra water and braise, bake, stir fry, deep fry, marinate, or anything your heart desires.
How to make tofu crispy
Make sure you dry it out. Moisture is the enemy of crispiness so give your tofu time to sit on some clean kitchen towels or paper towels and dry the surfaces throughly.
Cornstarch! It’s what gives tofu a craggy coating and bakes up to crispy, crunchy perfection. You can also use potato starch or sweet potato starch. Starch is the key to crispy tofu because when heated, it creates a network of molecules that holds it’s structure.
Substitutes for honey
If you want to make this vegan, you can easily substitute the honey for maple syrup so you have a honey maple tofu! Just do a 1-for-1 swap.
Oven baked honey garlic tofu
Bake these up in a hot 400°F oven and flip them half way through. Because cornstarch doesn’t brown very much, you can give the tofu a light misting or brushing of oil if you want them to be super golden brown. I didn’t brush them because the sauce coats the bites and makes them glossy and golden, but it’s up to you!
In a deep non-stick frying pan, heat up a neutral oil over medium heat. When hot and shimmery, add the coated tofu and cook until crispy and golden, flipping on all six sides.
Air fried honey garlic tofu
Lightly oil or use cooking spray on the air fryer basket. Place the coated pieces of tofu in the basket, with at least 1/4” of space in between pieces. Lightly spray the tops of the tofu with cooking spray. Cook at 400°F for 5 minutes, then flip and lightly spray with extra cooking spray. Cook for 5 more minutes at 400°F.
Deep fried honey garlic tofu
Prepare a wire cooling rack over a paper towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Heat up 2 – 2.5 inches of oil in a deep heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 325°F. It doesn’t need to be too deep, just enough to cover the size of the tofu. Use a pair of tongs to gently add a couple of pieces of tofu to the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd. Fry in batches until lightly golden, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oil and let rest on your prepared wire rack.
Honey garlic sauce
After the tofu is crispy, it’s time to sauce and toss. Simply warm up the honey, along with minced garlic, and soy sauce until bubbly and thick.
- 1 lb pressed tofu 1 package, see notes
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- black pepper freshly ground, to taste
- green onions sliced, to garnish
- toasted sesame seeds to garnish
Honey Garlic Tofu Bites
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 204
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3.4g21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.