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A bowl of warm tofu topped with sesame scallion sauce.

Warm Tofu with Spicy Garlic Sauce


Adapted from Gourmet


The original recipe calls for both toasting and crushing the sesame seeds. For simplicity, I often just toast the seeds. If you want to also crush the sesame seeds, you can mince them with some of the garlic and the scallions, which helps keep the seeds from flying off the cutting board.

The sauce can be made 1 day ahead and chilled. Bring to room temperature before using. Consider doubling it if you want to serve it with rice

Regarding Korean hot red pepper flakes: you can use crushed red pepper flakes in their place or a chili paste such as Sriracha or Sambal Oelek. 

The tofu can be kept warm for as long as 4 hours.

As noted in the post, I love the tofu with this broiled broccoli. 


  • 1 (14- to 18-oz) package firm tofu
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped scallion, or about 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, toasted, see notes above
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium or Tamari if you are sensitive to salt
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse Korean hot red-pepper flakes, see notes above
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Place the tofu in a shallow sauce pan and cover with cold water. Noe: I like to cut the block of tofu in half. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then keep warm, covered, over very low heat for at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mince and mash the garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt. Stir together with the remaining ingredients.
  3. Just before serving, carefully lift the tofu from the saucepan with a large spatula and drain on a towel (or simply use a slotted spatula and skip the drying step). Transfer the block or blocks of tofu to a shallow bowl or bowls. Spoon the sauce over the tofu and serve warm. 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Tofu
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: warm, tofu, spicy, dipping, sauce