Silken tofu with sweet chili soy sauce is a super simple and delicious side dish! It is one of my favorites for making a quick and healthy dinner. The tofu is covered in a delicious soy-based sauce that pairs really well with fluffy white rice and your favorite vegetables!
Silken or soft tofu is a staple in many Asian soups and stews. It is very soft, delicious, and super satiating.
Another way to use silken tofu is by making this flavorful silken tofu with sweet chili soy sauce. It is perfect on warm days when you might prefer something cold and refreshing instead of hot.
The great thing is that it is super simple to make in only 5 minutes! It is one of my favorites if I want to make something quick and healthy for dinner without spending much time.
What is silken tofu?
Silken tofu is a soft type of tofu that is often used for soups, stews, and even desserts or other cold dishes. It has a smooth and silky texture and easily falls apart when it’s not handled carefully.
Compared to soft or silken tofu, firm tofu is solid which makes it ideal for preparing delicious tofu stir-fries as it can be easily pan-fried. This is the type of tofu that needs to be pressed and is best enjoyed when cooked.
So if a recipe calls for a certain type of tofu, make sure to use the right type. Both can be found in any Asian grocery store.
Silken Tofu Ingredients
To make this silken tofu with sweet chili soy sauce, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Silken or soft tofu: You can find silken or soft tofu in any Asian grocery store. They can be found in the refrigerator or on the shelves. For this recipe, I like to use the refrigerated ones that come in packages where you can easily peel off the plastic lid and transfer the tofu to a plate.
- (Light) soy sauce: Another key ingredient is soy sauce. The type of soy sauce you use really depends on your personal preference. I like to use a combination of light soy sauce and regular soy sauce. As the name suggests, light soy sauce has a lighter flavor that balances out the deep flavor of regular soy sauce. But there really is no need to buy light soy sauce if you won’t use it often. So just use what’s available to you and feel free to use the type of soy sauce you like most!
- Honey: Honey is perfect for adding sweetness to the sauce in this silken tofu recipe. If you want to replace it, make sure to use another liquid sweetener.
- Gochugaru: Gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes) are great for adding some spice to the sauce! If you like Asian recipes, I’d highly recommend buying some gochugaru as it can be used in many recipes (like this chili oil noodle recipe or dakgalbi recipe) and has a different flavor than other chili flakes.
- Sesame seeds: Sesame seeds are great for adding some texture and extra flavor.
- Sesame oil: You’ll find bottles of toasted sesame oil that are lighter and darker in color. The darker the color, the deeper the flavor of the sesame oil. I always use a lighter/golden sesame oil as I prefer the milder flavor. But darker sesame oil is just as great and perfect if you like the deep nutty flavor.
- Garlic: You don’t need a lot of garlic, but a small amount really enhances the flavor of the sauce so I’d highly recommend adding it!
- Green onion: Another important ingredient is green onions. So make sure to use them!
How to make silken tofu
The great thing about this cold marinated tofu is that it is ready in only 5 minutes. Just follow these steps to prepare it:
- Place the tofu on a plate: Open the tofu package and drain the liquid. Place the tofu on a paper towel and pat it dry with another paper towel. Then place it on a plate. If you prefer the tofu warm, heat it in a microwave.
- Pour the sauce over the tofu: Next, whisk together all sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Pour it over the tofu.
- Serve: Serve as an appetizer or with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!
There are many ways to switch up the flavor of this silken tofu recipe! Here are a few other ingredients you can add, depending on what you like.
- Sriracha: If you want to add some extra flavor and heat, you can use some sriracha for the sauce!
- Chili oil: Another delicious ingredient for some extra heat is chili oil! It’s super delicious and a great addition to the sauce.
- Chile pepper: If you love chile peppers, feel free to add some. I sometimes use leftover chile pepper for additional flavor and spice.
- Ginger: Another delicious ingredient is ginger! I’d recommend grating the ginger and using only a small amount as you don’t need a lot to make the sauce taste extra great.
- Nori: If you love nori, feel free to add some to the sauce! You can either cut nori sheets into thin strips or buy shredded nori.
Serving silken tofu
Silken tofu can be served as an appetizer or as part of a full meal. I usually make it for dinner and serve other side dishes to turn it into a filling and nourishing meal.
Here are some side dishes I like to serve with silken tofu:
- Rice: This one is probably very obvious, but I can’t leave it unmentioned that white rice tastes amazing with silken tofu! So make sure to cook some rice that can be enjoyed with the tofu.
- Kimchi: Another favorite that I like to keep in my refrigerator is kimchi. It’s super delicious, healthy, and can be served with a variety of dishes. You can either buy it in Asian grocery stores or make it at home.
- Pickled radishes: Pickled radishes are another favorite that can be bought in Asian grocery stores.
- Cucumber kimchi: Cucumber kimchi is very easy to make at home or to buy. It’s really delicious and perfect if you love Persian cucumbers.
- Bok choy: Sautéed garlic bok choy is another delicious and healthy side dish that tastes great with rice and tofu!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! You can use it for soups and stews, but it can be eaten raw as a side dish or in desserts.
This recipe is not spicy. I didn’t use a lot of chili flakes to make this recipe enjoyable for most people. But if you prefer it spicier, feel free to use more chili flakes or add some sriracha, chili oil, or Chile peppers.
Both options are great! I like everything at room temperature, but feel free to enjoy the tofu straight out of the refrigerator or warmed up in your microwave.
If you want to make only one serving, I’d recommend cutting the tofu block in half and storing the leftover tofu in an airtight container filled with water. You can keep the container in your refrigerator for a few days.
More simple and delicious Asian recipes
If you love simple and delicious Asian recipes, you might want to check out the following recipes.
Silken Tofu with Sweet Chili Soy Sauce
- 1 block silken or soft tofu
- 2 tablespoons (light) soy sauce or a combination of both (recommended)
- 1 tablespoon honey or another (vegan) liquid sweetener of choice
- 1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red chili flakes) heat level to taste
- ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 small garlic clove
- ½ green onion
- Open the tofu package and drain the excess liquid. Place the tofu on a paper towel to soak up any remaining liquid. Then place the tofu block on a plate. Optional: Warm the tofu in the microwave if you don't like it cold.
- In a small bowl, whisk together all other ingredients. Then pour the sauce over the tofu block.
- Serve with rice and other side dishes of choice. Enjoy!
- Vegan: Use a vegan liquid sweetener of choice to make this dish vegan.
- Gluten-free: Use tamari instead of soy sauce to make it gluten-free.