סעסאַמי טאָפו

I’ve been craving Chinese food so badly lately. When I lived in the Bronx, I used to get Chinese food several times each week. Even when I went vegan, I got a variety of vegetable dishes. When I got home late from work, dinner was easy. I’d walk into the restaurant next to my apartment building and they knew what I wanted without asking. But now I’m living in a town that has NO Chinese restaurants. אַז ס רעכט, NONE! Can you imagine? When I lived in the Bronx, there was a Chinese take-out, pizzaria and nail salon on every single block. I’m not kidding.

So now when I want Chinese food, איך האָבן צו מאַכן עס זיך. The more I make it, the better I’m getting at it and by better, I mean the more it tastes like take-out but better. I like knowing what’s in my food and having control over which ingredients and spices go into it. For example, instead of cornstarch I use arrowroot. And no take-out place is offering me gluten-free, נידעריק-סאָדיום טאַמאַרי.

אזוי ווייַט, איך 'ווע געמאכט גרינס לא מין, אויב פּאַו טאָפו, Baby Bok Choy and Mushroom Fried Rice, Moo Shu Vegetables with 5-Spice Pancakes, זיס און זויער קאַוליפלאָווער, and even a Chinese tofu scramble called Xi Hong Shi Chao “איד.” This time I made my own version of Sesame Tofu. Crispy pan-fried cubes of tofu covered in a thick, flavorful sauce topped with toasted sesame seeds and scallions. This was so delicious. The tofu was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The sauce was a little spicy, a little tangy, a little sweet and a whole lot of scrumptious. I served it with steamed broccoli and brown rice on the side.

You’ll see in the recipe that I used arrowroot. You can use cornstarch instead but it seems that I’ve recently developed a sensitivity/allergy to corn so I’m avoiding anything that might contain corn. I also use gluten-free tamari but if that’s not an issue for you, any low-sodium tamari or soy sauce will do. I used peanut oil in the marinade because I only had toasted sesame oil but feel free to use sesame oil if you have it to amp up the sesame flavor even more.

My Sesame Tofu was incredible. If I had eaten it out of a take-out container, I would have sworn it came from a really good Chinese restaurant. Now I don’t have to miss Chinese food anymore but I need to learn how to make gluten-free fortune cookies.

סעסאַמי טאָפו


פֿאַר די מאַרינייד:
1/4 cup gluten-free tamari
2 Tbs. וואַסער
1 Tbs. peanut or sesame oil
1 Tbs. אַגאַווע נעקטער
1 קנאָבל קלאָווע, מינסט

For the Sesame Tofu:
1 פּעקל עקסטרע-פעסט טאָפו, ויסגעשעפּט און געדריקט
1/2 cup arrowroot, צעטיילט
1/4 cup cold water
2 Tbs. פיסטאַשקע ייל, צעטיילט
4 קלאָוועס קנאָבל, מינסט
1 Tbs. fresh ginger, מינסט
4 Tbs. mirin or rice wine
2 Tbs. גלוטען-פֿרייַ טאַמאַרי
2 Tbs. האָיסין סאָוס
2 Tbs. אַגאַווע נעקטער
2 Tbs. spicy chili sauce
טאַם פון איינער לימענע
2-3 Tbs. sesame seeds
2 Tbs. סקאַליאַנז, finely sliced

Cut tofu into cubes. Combine ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Toss the tofu cubes in the marinade and let sit for at least one hour in the refrigerator.

מישן 2 Tbs. of the arrowroot with ¼ cup of cold water to create a slurry and set aside. Put the remaining arrowroot on a plate. Remove the tofu cubes from the marinade, shake off any excess and coat the tofu in the arrowroot. היץ 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Cook the tofu cubes in the oil until they are browned and crisp on all sides, וועגן 7 מינוט. Remove the tofu from the pan and place on a paper towel lined plate.


Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining Tbs. of oil to the pan. לייג די קנאָבל און ינגבער. קאָכן פֿאַר 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the mirin, טאַמאַרי, Hoisin, אַגאַווע, and chili sauce to the pan. Stir and bring to a simmer. Mix the arrowroot-water slurry into the sauce. Continue to cook the sauce until it thickens.


While the sauce is cooking, toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over low heat. Move them around with a spatula every so often and make sure to keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. When they get a bit brown and toasty, remove them from the heat.
Add the tofu to the sauce and toss to coat and reheat the tofu. קער אַוועק די היץ. Add the lemon zest. Garnish with the toasted sesame seeds and scallions. Serve with brown rice and steamed vegetables. האַנאָע האָבן!

די “V” וואָרט: זאָגן אים. עסן עס. לעבן אים.
(באזוכט 6,255 מאל, 1 וויסיץ הייַנט)

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7 רעספּאָנסעס צו סעסאַמי טאָפו

  1. ריאַ פּאַרסאָנס אַפּריל 19, 2013 בייַ 3:40 בין #

    You could just use corn starch. I don’t because I’ve developed this annoying allergy to corn. It sucks. Corn is in everything. And I miss tortilla chips.

  2. Vegantam אַפּריל 18, 2013 בייַ 11:38 PM #

    Thanks so much Rhea…יאָ,you are right, it was arrowroot (I was looking at another of your recipes that uses chickpea flour and made a mistake.Unfortunately, when I asked for arrowroot at my local supermarket I got these blank stares and nobody knew what I was talking abouyt,so I am going to have to look for it soemwhere else. But I will try it again, for sure.Even without the crunchy coating it was so so good.Thanks!

  3. ריאַ פּאַרסאָנס אַפּריל 18, 2013 בייַ 3:11 PM #

    Hi Tam,
    I’m sorry that happened. This recipe doesn’t call for chickpea flour. It uses arrowroot which is like corn starch but healthier. That’s what makes Chinese food so crispy. That won’t come off because it is not a coating like chickpea or wheat flour. It’s not a breading. And then the sauce is thick like a glaze to coat the tofu. I think that’s the difference in results. Try it next time. דאַנק.

  4. Tam אַפּריל 18, 2013 בייַ 12:00 PM #

    I made this today but after sauteing the tofu ,when I put the liquid on it, all of the crunchy flour coating just slid off.I didn’t have chickpea flour so I used wheat flour.Could that have been the reason?It was very good,סייַ ווי סייַ,but I wanted it to be like in the picture.

  5. Barb@ThatWasVegan מאַרץ 20, 2012 בייַ 12:31 בין #

    Sesame tofu is a weakness of mine… I’m trying this recipe for sure!

  6. Windy מאַרץ 18, 2012 בייַ 9:44 PM #

    I can’t wait to try this Rhea! איך, צו, live in a town with no chinese food whatsoever. I love chinese and, if I had my druthers, would eat on a daily basis. Your recipes are great and I’m so thankful to have them.

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