This may sound a little strange, but teriyaki has always had a place in my heart. When I was young my family lived in South Jersey, and my Poppop, who lived in North Jersey would drive down to visit us often. When he did, we always went to a restaurant called Charlie’s Other Brother for dinner. (I’m still not sure who Charlie was or what brother number one was up to.) I loved going out to eat, because it meant I could order a Shirley Temple and my favorite dish – chicken teriyaki. Teriyaki wasn’t something we ever had at home, so the only time I had it was when we out to eat with Poppop.
When I was in my early 20s, Poppop and I went to visit relatives in California. I wanted to go vegetarian, and I was in the process of cutting meat out of my diet. Living in suburban New Jersey, it wasn’t as easy as I had hoped, but I found vegetarian options in every restaurant we dined in while we were in The Golden State. I had my first veggie burger there, too. And, of course, it was a teriyaki burger. Once again, I was enjoying teriyaki with Poppop.
Unlike my childhood days, I do have teriyaki at home now, usually in the form of a stir-fry with tofu. I used to get lazy and buy bottled sauce. (Yes, even food bloggers sometimes get lazy when it comes to cooking dinner.) I like Trader Joe’s Island Soyaki, but it’s higher in sugar and oil than I’d like. And making it at home is so easy that there’s really no excuse not to. I use tamari and rice vinegar, which I always have on hand.
Teriyaki is a Japanese cooking technique where meat – usually fish – is glazed with a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and then grilled or broiled. “Teri” means shine, which refers to the sheen of the glaze, and “yaki” refers to the cooking method of broiling or grilling.
Western Teriyaki sauces often include garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds, and sometimes pineapple juice is added. I’ve included the ginger, garlic and sesame seeds here, and I’ve used rice vinegar in the place of mirin. I’ve also used agave nectar instead of sugar, and I’ve used far less of it than other recipes may call for.
The tofu in this dish isn’t broiled or grilled, but I have used the teriyaki sauce as a glaze. Here, I’ve cooked the tofu until it browns, and then I stir-fried the broccoli. I then add tofu and sauce to the pan and mix everything together. And voila – dinner is ready!
Tofu Teriyaki Stir-Fry is super easy to make!
- First, you toss the tofu in tamari and rice vinegar and cook it until it browns and crisps. Take the tofu off the heat and set aside.
- Then, you cook the broccoli.
- Once the broccoli has turned bright green, you whisk together the sauce ingredients and add it to the pan along with the tofu.
- The dish is ready once the sauce has thickened and heated throughout!
This dish is ready in less than half an hour, so it’s a great dinner for busy weeknights. It comes together super quickly if you opt for pre-cut broccoli, which I sometimes do to save time. If you’re really pressed for time, you can use store-bought baked tofu and skip the first step. I like to serve my Tofu Teriyaki Stir-Fry over brown rice, topped with sesame seeds and sliced scallions.
Easy to Make Tofu Teriyaki Stir-Fry
Dinner is ready in a flash when Tofu Teriyaki Stir-Fry is on the menu! This dish is quick and easy to make, so it’s a terrific option for busy weeknights. It’s vegan and gluten-free.
For the Stir-Fry
- 1 14- ounce package extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon neutral-flavored oil
- 1 bunch broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets, about 1 pound
For the Teriyaki Sauce
- ½ cup tamari
- ¼ cup vegetable stock
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 scallions (sliced)
- Place the tofu cubes in a medium-sized bowl and drizzle on one tablespoon each of tamari and rice vinegar. Toss to coat.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-sized heat. Add the tofu and cook until it begins to turn golden brown. Flip the cubes occasionally to brown each side. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until the tofu reaches your desired level of crispiness.
- Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
- Add the broccoli to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until it turns bright green.
- Whisk together the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Add the tofu back to the pan along with the sauce. Stir frequently, making sure to coat everything in the teriyaki sauce.
- Cook until the sauce thickens and reduces slightly, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serve hot over cooked brown rice and top with sesame seeds and sliced scallions.
Other quick and easy dinner dishes include:
- Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts
- Coconut-Peanut Butter Chickpea and Broccoli Stir-Fry
- Broccoli with Fermented Black Bean Sauce
- Tofu and Shirataki Noodle Stir-Fry