This honey garlic tofu is the perfect blend of sweet and savory flavors. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it's an easy way to jazz up simple meals and works great for meal prep.
It's no secret that I love cooking tofu in all of its forms, from simple baked tofu to tofu ricotta, and now this sweet and savory honey garlic tofu is a new favorite.
Honey garlic sauce is most commonly found on wings, but it's the perfect addition to tofu because the high sugar content of honey gives the tofu a crisp, golden exterior.
There's not much to this recipe, and that's why it's so good. It's a combination of sweet and savory flavors from soy sauce, garlic, honey, and a touch of rice vinegar. It's actually pretty similar to my sesame tofu, another go-to recipe.
This is the kind of recipe you can whip up in just 20 minutes and serve with just rice and broccoli, or on top of fried rice.
- Flavors: Sweet, savory, and garlicky. The flavors are in the title of the recipe!
- This tofu is made on the stovetop. The tofu is pan-fried, then simmered in the honey garlic sauce until it evaporates into a sticky sauce.
- Simple ingredients: Honey garlic tofu requires under 10 ingredients to make.
- Versatile: The recipe can easily be doubled and makes great leftovers. Perfect for easy meal prep or quick weeknight meals.
- Super firm tofu: I prefer super firm tofu for stir-frying recipes because it doesn't need to be pressed. That being said, you can definitely use extra-firm or even firm in this recipe, but I recommend pressing it first.
- Honey: This recipe works with any standard honey. The flavor of the honey carries through the sauce, so different flavor varieties like blueberry honey or wildflower honey will be noticed.
- Garlic: Choose fresh minced garlic, it's just so much more flavorful than jarred garlic. To make the job easier, I like to use a garlic press (this is not the one I use, I have a relatively cheap one from the grocery store and it works just fine).
- Garlic powder: This really drives the garlic part of honey garlic sauce home.
- Soy sauce: The saltiness of soy sauce cuts down on the sweet honey flavor.
Use tamari for a gluten-free option.
- Rice vinegar: The acidity of rice vinegar also complements the sweet and salty flavors of the honey and soy sauce. If you don't have this ingredient on hand, apple cider vinegar is an okay alternative.
- Vegetable broth: I just use vegetable bouillon instead of vegetable broth these days because it is more affordable per ounce and more flavorful. Either works.
Want to make this recipe vegan? Agave syrup is the best swap for honey in terms of consistency, sweetness, and texture. Use the same amount of agave, but expect a slightly different flavor because agave is not honey.
How to make
Start by cubing the tofu into ½ inch to ¾ inch-sized pieces. No need to be exact.
If using firm or extra-firm tofu, press the tofu for at least 10 minutes to remove excess liquid. This allows the tofu to better soak up the honey garlic sauce.
In a small jar or bowl, whisk together the honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, vegetable broth, and garlic powder. Set aside.
Heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of cooking oil, such as avocado or olive oil. Once hot, add the cubed tofu.
Cook the tofu for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. The goal is golden edges and firm tofu.
Add the garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, until the garlic is golden and aromatic.
Reduce heat to medium and pour in the sauce. The more the sauce bubbles, the quicker it will evaporate. It should be bubbling gently on medium heat.
Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is fully evaporated. Keep an eye on the sauce, because once it evaporates the tofu will blacken quickly due to the high sugar content of the sauce.
Tofu cooking tips
- If using firm or extra-firm tofu, I recommend pressing it with a tofu press. A tofu press is completely worth it if you cook a lot of tofu. Otherwise, you can wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel or paper towel and place a plate on top of it. Weigh the plate down with dry beans or cans to press the tofu.
- If you're looking for a "meatier" texture, try tearing the tofu instead of dicing it. I use this same method in my honey harissa tofu.
- The honey garlic sauce is great on more than just tofu. Keep this recipe on hand for stir fry noodles or as a dipping sauce. To thicken the sauce without evaporating it, simply whisk together 1 teaspoon corn starch and 1 teaspoon of water. Add this mixture, called a slurry, to the sauce and simmer until thickened.
- If the honey garlic sauce isn't evaporating off it's likely because the pan heat is too low. Higher heat leads to quicker evaporation and thickening.
- Measuring honey can be annoying because it is so sticky. I recommend lightly oiling the measuring cup before measuring out the honey. This makes the honey slide right out!
Leftovers are best within 3-4 days. Reheating in the microwave causes the tofu to soften. To crisp the tofu, reheat it in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat.
Freezing: As a rule of thumb, tofu tends to freeze well. I haven't frozen this particular recipe but have always had success with freezing tofu in the past. Let thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Looking for more tofu recipes?
There's a lot more where this came from! I have a guide on how to cook tofu that also includes 20 other tofu recipes.
Did you try this recipe? You can leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ in the recipe card or a review down in the comments section. I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow along on my YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest or sign up for my newsletter!
Honey Garlic Tofu
- 1 block super firm tofu see note #1
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 teaspoons olive oil or other neutral oil
- 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic from 4-5 cloves
- Cube the tofu into ½ inch to ¾ inch-sized pieces. In a small bowl or mason jar, whisk together the vegetable broth, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and garlic powder. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle with a thin layer of oil. Once hot, add the cubed tofu. Cook the tofu until golden, stirring occassionally. This will take 8-10 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is golden and aromatic.
- Pour in the sauce. Adjust the heat so that the sauce is gently simmering.
- Simmer the sauce until it is mostly absorbed. Once the sauce is absorbed, the tofu blackens quickly. Continue cooking until it's deeply golden. Enjoy!
- Tofu: If using extra-firm or firm tofu, I recommend pressing it for at least 10 minutes. Use a tofu press or place the tofu between two plates and weigh the top plate down with cans or dry beans. This removes excess water and makes the tofu firmer.
- Leftovers: Best within 3-4 days, keep refrigerated. To re-crisp the tofu, heat in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat.
- This tofu is a good addition to fried rice or stir fry noodles. It's also great as an appetizer or served with rice and vegetables.
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