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These Garlic Sesame Tofu Sticks are a high-protein vegan and gluten-free dish inspired by Erewhon, thanks to a savory sauce made from tamari, rice vinegar, sesame seeds, and chili flakes.
Since moving to LA, it’s probably not a surprise that I love the hot bar at Erewhon. If you haven’t tried it, Erewhon is an LA-based grocery chain that makes the most delicious healthy food. They have plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, and one of my favorite items to pick up there are the garlic sesame tofu sticks. But since they’re not cheap and not everyone lives in LA I thought I’d show you how you can make it at home.
This recipe makes the most savory, flavorful tofu you’ve ever had. These sticks are a delicious snack or an easy way to add tasty vegan protein to any salad, bowl or sandwich.
How to Make Garlic Sesame Tofu Sticks
These sesame sticks are all about the sauce. But the best way to add some texture to your tofu is to cook it first! You can either bake, air fry or flash fry (as Erewhon does), but my preference for both ease and less cleanup is to bake in the oven. We’ll quickly marinate the tofu in the sauce while the oven preheats, then bake for 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Then, we reduce the sauce in a pan to turn it into a glaze, coat the tofu sticks in the soy and sesame sauce and garnish.
Here’s what you need to make these sesame tofu sticks:
- High protein tofu. It’s important to use the firmest tofu you can find. High protein tofu has more protein and less moisture, so it can better absorb the sesame garlic sauce. An extra firm tofu will also work but I’d recommend pressing the excess moisture out of the tofu with a tofu press for about 20 minutes.
- Tamari. You can also use coconut aminos or low-sodium soy sauce if you’re not gluten-free.
- Rice wine vinegar. This adds a bright, acidic flavor to the sauce.
- Toasted sesame oil. This adds a wonderfully warm, smoky flavor to the sauce.
- Red chili flakes. Use more or less, depending on how spicy you like things.
- Mustard powder. This secret ingredient adds umami flavor and a touch more spice.
- Garlic. You can also use garlic powder in a pinch.
- Ginger. Fresh is best, but feel free to use powder too.
- Maple syrup. You could swap maple for agave or coconut sugar.
- Cornstarch. Just a touch helps to thicken up the sauce, but you could also use arrowroot starch in place.
- Filtered water. Just a splash to create our sauce and cornstarch slurry.
- Scallions. These are just for garnish, but I love the look and flavor they add to the dish.
- Toasted sesame seeds. Also for garnish. I like a mix of black and white.
You can certainly eat these tofu sticks all on their own, or with a simple dipping sauce like my Goes with Everything Green Sauce or Miso Tahini Sauce. It also pairs well with another Erewhon copycat recipe I love, the infamous White Bean and Kale Salad.
I also love adding these high-protein tofu bites to salads and bowls. Try pairing them with some of these favorite vegan recipes:
- Crunchy Pad Thai Inspired Salad (vegan, gluten free, oil free)
- Quinoa Fried “Rice” (vegan, gluten-free, oil free)
- Shanghai Style Rice Cake Stir Fry (vegan, gluten free)
More High-Protein Tofu Recipes
- Lemon & Herb Crusted Tofu Steaks (vegan, gluten free, oil free)
- Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu (gluten free)
- Tofu Stuffed Eggplant w/ Lentil Coconut Sauce (vegan, gluten free)
If you make these Garlic Sesame Tofu Sticks, be sure to let me know what you think with a comment below!
Garlic Sesame Tofu Sticks (Erewhon Copycat)
- 16 oz extra firm high protein tofu
- 3 tbsp filtered water
- 2-3 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp neutral oil
- 1/4 cup tamari
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 clove garlic grated
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- scallions sliced diagonally
- toasted white and black sesame seeds
- Preheat your oven to 400F while you prepare your tofu.
- Slice tofu into sticks into 2-inch thick planks. Lightly pat away any excess moisture if needed and transfer into a shallow container.
- Whisk together water and cornstarch to create a slurry and then add to a bowl alongside all other sauce ingredients. Whisk until smooth, then pour this marinade over the tofu and let sit for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- Transfer the tofu sticks into a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- Pour the remaining marinade into a shallow pan on low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens slightly and turns into a nice glaze. Turn off the heat, add the tofu sticks into the pan and toss to coat.
- Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds and enjoy.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.