This easy teriyaki tofu is slathered in a homemade teriyaki sauce and sautéed until crispy and deliciously tender for a quick 15 minute dinner start to finish!

plate of tofu teriyaki with broccoli and rice

Your new go-to weeknight meals in a pinch:

When you’re short on time but don’t want something boring, you NEED to try this easy tofu teriyaki recipe. 

While my roasted sweet potato salad, sweet potato curry, and mediterranean lentil salad are all super quick and easy to make, this teriyaki tofu takes the cake.

Like in my Marry Me Tofu dish, we’re pan frying the tofu instead of baking it in the oven for even crispier and juicer tofu that you won’t be able to resist!

And while you’re making this teriyaki tofu recipe, you can prep some greens and rice for a full meal that’s so satisfying and easier than going out to eat.

Plus, it’s entirely vegan and plant based, AND you can easily make it gluten-free as well, making it a wonderful dish for all eaters.

plate of teriyaki tofu with broccoli and rice on a blue plate with a cloth

This crispy teriyaki tofu is:

  • Quick & easy: You literally just need 15 minutes or less to prep AND make this teriyaki tofu! It’s quick to make during the busy week, and just so easy. You don’t even have to marinate the tofu- though you can absolutely save this sauce as a marinade for another dish! It’s going to be in your weekly rotation for dinner for sure!
  • Packed with flavor & SO satisfying: While we’re using the simplest of ingredients, the flavor is SO delicious, you’d think it came from a restaurant. 
  • Super versatile: Add this teriyaki tofu or even just this teriyaki sauce to a teriyaki tofu stir fry, or serve alongside salad, potato dishes, or slaws. It’s a wonderful vegan accompaniment to any dinner!
  • Perfect for make ahead & great for kids! Easily make a bulk batch of this teriyaki tofu to have throughout the week and make nights even simpler, and kids just LOVE this. An easy and satisfying meal for all eaters!
close up of tofu teriyaki

Teriyaki sauce ingredients & substitutions:

Tofu: I go over which types of tofu I recommend using in this tofu teriyaki recipe below, so read on for that!

Soy sauce: You can also use coconut aminos or tamari sauce for gluten-free. Regular soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce are both great here, depending on preference.

Sesame oil: You can also use olive oil or a neutral oil, like vegetable oil or avocado oil, but sesame oil really adds extra flavor that complements the other flavor profiles.

Maple syrup: For just a touch of sweetness- you can omit, however, if you’re using coconut aminos, as that’s very sweet already! Though a true Teriyaki sauce in Japan would not include a sweetener, the Americanized versions typically do.

Garlic: I recommend using fresh whole cloves of garlic for the best flavor.

Water: To help thin the sauce.

Arrowroot starch: You can also use cornstarch instead! This is to help the tofu become crispy and the sauce to thicken!

Rice vinegar: To balance out the salt and fat- we always add acid!

What type of tofu should I use?

My family and I personally prefer firm or extra firm tofu here. It’s not too soft, but not SUPER tough, and the flavor is evenly distributed throughout the tofu. I find these two are the most similar in texture to teriyaki chicken.

I would recommend NOT using silken tofu, as that will be too soft, and super firm tofu (a step up from extra firm) might be too tough.

Check out my guide on tofu for more tips and tricks for cooking with tofu.

Why tear the tofu into pieces instead of cube?

You can cube your tofu if you prefer, but I find that the tofu pieces absorb more flavor when torn because there’s more surface area to absorb liquid.

close up of plate of teriyaki tofu

Overview: step by step how to make teriyaki tofu 

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

Serving suggestions:

This teriyaki tofu  is amazing with a side of steamed veggies and steamed white rice (or brown rice!).

I love serving it with broccoli, asparagus, bok chop, green beans, or some stir fry vegetables (like carrots, bell peppers, etc.!). Noodles are great too!

plate of teriyaki tofu

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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plate of teriyaki tofu

Crispy Sautéed Teriyaki Tofu (Easy 15 Min Recipe)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Japanese
  • Diet: Vegan


This easy teriyaki tofu is slathered in a homemade teriyaki sauce and sautéed until crispy and deliciously tender for a quick 15 minute dinner start to finish!


  • 16 ounces firm of extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos, divided
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsprice vinegar
  • Optional: 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Sesame seeds and sliced green onion, for garnish


  1. Prep: Press the tofu in a tofu press to drain any excess liquid. Alternatively, follow my guide on tofu for how to press tofu if you don’t have a press. Mince the garlic.
  2. Toss: In a medium bowl, tear the tofu into 1 inch pieces. Tearing allows for more flavor to soak in throughout rather than cubes. Add in 1 tbspsoy sauce and the arrowroot starch, and toss to evenly coat. Set aside.
  3. Saute: In a medium sauce pan or skillet on the stovetop, heat the sesame oil on medium heat. Add in the minced garlic, and saute until lightly golden. Then add in the tofu and cook for 3-5 minutes, sautéing.
  4. While the tofu is cooking: Whisk together the remaining soy sauce, water, maple syrup, and rice vinegar.
  5. Add in the teriyaki sauce: Pour the teriyaki sauce over the tofu, and saute to evenly coat. Turn the heat to medium-high heat to sear the tofu pieces until crispy (being sure not to burn the pieces). Cook until the sauce appears sticky.
  6. Serve and enjoy! Plate with steamed broccoli, asparagus, bok choy, etc. and steamed rice, and enjoy! Top with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion.


Gluten free: Use tamari or coconut aminos