• Serves 2 people
  • 400 g tau kwa (firm tofu) 

  • 4 tbsp cornstarch

  • 2 tsp garlic - chopped

  • 2 tsp ginger - grated

  • 1⁄2 cup onion - finely diced

  • 1 tbsp red chili paste

  • 2 large red chilies - finely chopped

  • 4 tsp soy sauce

  • 1 tsp brown sugar

  • 4 tsp honey

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds - roasted

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1⁄4 cup crushed peanuts

  • 1⁄2 cup spring onions (green part only)

  • 1⁄2 tsp salt

  • 1⁄2 tsp black pepper

  • 1 cup water

  • vegetable oil

Recipe Courtesy of Asian Food Network

Honey Sesame Tofu

Perfect as a meal or a happy hour snack, the Honey Sesame Tofu is a delightfully crispy and savoury vegetarian dish. The burst of flavorcomes from the sauce –a symphony of honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, onions and chilies –which pairs nicely with the soft, subtle taste of tofu. Do take note to use firm tofu so that it would stand up to deep-frying, and the slathering of thick sauce!
No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Milk
No Milk
No Pork
No Pork
No Alcohol
No Alcohol
No Milk
No Milk
No Pork
No Pork
  • Easy
  • 15 min
  • 15 min
  • 10 min
  • 3 steps
  • 18 Ingredients
  • Easy
  • 3 steps
  • 18 Ingredients
  • 15 min
  • 15 min
  • 10 min

Honey Sesame Tofu

The Perfect Dish for People with Sweet Tooth

Honey is a gift from bees to those who have a sweet tooth. Consider a ‘less bad’ sweetener, honey is used to flavor a variety of desserts. It can also be used to replace sugar in dishes for individuals who have diabetes or want to cut down on their sugar intake. Not to mention, it pairs well with tons of other ingredients. It can be found in various dishes from cakes, smoothies and other desserts.

Honey gets its sweetness from glucose and monosaccharides fructose. It is produced by bees collecting nectar. Beekeepers use bee smokers to safely collect honey from a domesticated beehive or from wild bee colonies.

Honey may be sweet, but did you know that you could also incorporate honey into savory dishes?

No doubt savory dishes leverage salty, sour and spicy flavors to delight one’s taste buds, but a hint of sweetness can add a pop of flavor to a mundane dish. And thanks to its sweetness and viscosity, honey can be used to cook a variety of dishes without diluting or overpowering other flavors.

In fact, honey can be found in countless cuisines. They can be used as a glaze or incorporated into a dipping sauce.

Want to start cooking with honey? This Honey Sesame Tofu dish can be your starting point!

Perfect as a meal or a happy hour snack, the Honey Sesame Tofu is a delightfully crispy and savory vegetarian dish. It can be eaten on its own, with other dishes, or even with rice. The burst of flavor comes from the sauce –a symphony of honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, onions and chilies –which pairs nicely with the soft, subtle taste of tofu.

Whether you are looking for a quick midday bite, a side dish to complement other dishes, or a starter for a 3-course meal, this Honey Sesame Tofu is sure to satisfy your hunger.


Frequently Asked Questions about Honey Sesame Tofu

What type of honey should I use?

Believe it or not, the type of honey you use makes a difference.

Since the Honey Sesame Tofu is a savory dish, you would want to avoid honey that contains floral or fruity scents. Try to choose honey that is more viscous as you would not want to dish to be too watery.

What type of tofu should I use?

This dish requires firm tofu. Avoid silky or soft tofu as you would not want it to crumble when you deep-fry it.

Is Honey Sesame Tofu suitable for vegetarians?

Absolutely! This dish is completely meat-free.

Can I cook this dish in a wok?

Definitely. This dish involves deep-frying, so you would want to use pans that retain heat well. You could also use a frying pan.

How do I store leftovers?

Ideally, you would want to separate the sauce from the tofu to prevent the tofu from getting soggy. Store them in the fridge.

Can I reuse the oil?

Once cooled, you could strain the oil with a cheesecloth and store it in a dark, cool place.

How do I know when the oil is ready for deep-frying?

If you have a kitchen thermometer on hand, you could check the temperature. The ideal temperature is 360-375 Fahrenheit.

Alternatively, you could stick a wooden spoon into the oil, if you see bubbles forming, the oil is ready for frying. But if it is bubbling vigorously, the oil is too hot.


Tips to Whip Up a Tasty Honey Sesame Tofu

  1. “Press” the tofu before cooking: like a sponge, tofu is packed with water. You would need to firmly press the water out of the tofu. Put some paper towels over the tofu and place some heavy objects on them.
  2. Marinate the tofu for extra flavor: like other proteins, you would need to marinate the tofu ahead of time if you want more distinct flavors.
  3. Use vegetable oil if you want to cut down on saturated fat: saturated fat found in butter and lard is often linked to heart disease and stroke.
  4. Cook aromatics with low-heat: burning your garlic, ginger and chili paste could taint the flavor of your dish. If you are new to cooking and unsure of how to control the fire, use low-heat when cooking the aromatics.
  5. Make sure the oil is hot before deep-frying the tofu: cooking with cold oil could cause your ingredients to get greasy.
  6. Deep fry the tau kwa in small batches: this prevents them from sticking or clumping together. Overcrowding your pan or pot with raw ingredients could also lower the temperature of the oil
  7. Lower the ingredients into the pot slowly: this prevents splattering. When deep-frying, safety is tantamount.



  1. Prepare tofu

    • Cut tau kwa into cubes and pat dry using paper towels. Make sure you press out all the water
    • In a bowl, add tau kwa, 2 tbsp of cornstarch, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper
    • Mix well to coat tau kwa evenly. Feel free to use a spoon or your hands
    • In a pot half filled with oil on medium heat, deep-fry the tofu until golden in color. Avoid breaking the cooked tofu apart
    • Remove from pan and drain excess oil on paper towels


  2. Make honey sesame sauce

    • In a bowl, add 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp brown sugar, 4 tbsp water, 2 tsp honey, peanuts, 1 tbsp red chili paste, red chilies, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp black pepper. 
    • Set aside. 
    • In a wok on medium heat, add 1 tbsp sesame oil and 1 tbsp vegetable oil. 
    • When hot, add 1 tsp grated ginger, 2 tsp chopped garlic & chopped onions. 
    • Fry until golden and fragrant using a low to medium flame
    • Add pre-mixed sauce to the wok.
    Make honey sesame sauce

  3. Combine ingredients

    • Dissolve 2 tbsp cornstarch in 1 cup water, mix well, and add to the wok
    • On high heat, add in fried tofu cubes, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes
    • Add sesame seeds and spring onions (green part only) to the wok.  
    Combine ingredients

Plate and Serve!

Garnish the dish with more spring onions and chilis. Serve hot with rice for a hearty meal.

Plate and Serve!


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