My Sister-In-Law’s Seared Asian Tofu

People asked for this today when I mentioned it on Facebook. It is my sister-in-law’s recipe, so all thanks go to her: Carol Parks-Church.


  • 1 lb extra firm tofu
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup water (sub. orange or pineapple juice if you have it)
  • 2 t. sesame oil
  • 2T brown sugar
  • 1/8 to 1/4 t chili paste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T fresh grated ginger
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • approx. 2 t cornstarch

Press tofu to remove water. (Place between two plates, weight down with a can and allow water to accumulate — drain water off when ready to use.) In the meantime, prepare marinade by mixing all remaining ingredients except for scallions and cornstarch. Slice tofu into 1/2–3/4 inch clabs; place in shallow dish and pour marinade over it. Allow to sit at least 1/2 hour, and preferably several. Occasionally turn tofu.


Heat 3T oil in  a *non-stick* frying pan. When it is very very hot, add tofu (in a single layer, without its marindade.) Be careful–it will splatter! Sear on high heat til very browned on both sides.

Now heat the leftover marinade in a small pot. Mix cornstarch and a few T cold water and stir this mixture in when the marinade boils. The mixture will thicken. Serve over tofu along with scallions on top of a bed of rice.

I strongly recommend this with stir-fried veggies and coconut rice (good recipe here). The coconut rice is my food for Trinidad, to accompany the reading of V.S. Naipal’s A Bend in the River.


About Beth Parks Aronson

I am Associate Professor of Psychology at Lamar University. Previously, I was a psychologist in private practice in Jenkintown, PA where I specialized in anxiety disorders and working with people living with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. I am a little addicted to good literature. Ok, a lot addicted.
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