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Bon Appétit's Sesame Tofu with Broccoli recipe

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A new favourite and a wonderful way to use tahini. The sesame sauce-soaked broccoli is divine. Toasted cashews are my addition to the dish and I can't recommend them enough.

  • Prep30m
  • Cook30m
  • Total1h

A friend passed this recipe onto me and I’m so glad because it’s become a new regular. I mentioned to her that I was going to leave out the tahini because I’d only ever bought one jar and ended up throwing most of it away but she advised against this, saying that the tahini makes the sauce. She’s 100% right and in the time it’s taken to write up this recipe I’ve used the entire jar just from making this dish.

The instruction in the original recipe to peel and slice the broccoli stem instead of throwing it away is a “why didn’t I think of this two decades ago?” tip. I haven’t thrown a broccoli stem away since.

I add peppers and toasted cashews and my go-to tofu is a large block of Tofoo. The sauce in the photo on the original recipe is a deep, dark, glossy brown. I can’t seem to achieve this colour but using dark brown sugar and substituting half the soy sauce for dark soy sauce gets me close.


I steam the broccoli in the microwave for 3 minutes but if you can’t be bothered then cut the broccoli into really small florets and stir fry it for longer.

Frozen (defrosted) broccoli works well too.


Bon Appétit's Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

  • Prep30m
  • Cook30m
  • Total1h
Serves: 4



  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • ½ tsp cornflour
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped (or grated)
  • 1 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and chopped (or grated)

Tofu and broccoli

  • around 450g firm tofu (I use a large block of Tofoo)
  • large head of broccoli (around 450g)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 spring onion
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • black pepper
  • small handful of cashews
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

Serve with

  • steamed rice

You will need

  • a wok
  • a steamer (optional, see notes)


  1. Sauce: In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of dark soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of tahini, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil and ½ teaspoon of cornflour. Stir in 1 clove of finely chopped garlic and a 1 inch chunk of finely chopped ginger then set to one side.
  2. Tofu: Drain a 450g block of tofu and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Cut into 2cm cubes and add to a medium sized bowl.
  3. Vegetables: Cut a large head of broccoli into florets and cut away the tough outer layer of the stem. Slice the stem into 1cm pieces then steam the florets and stems for 3 minutes (I use a microwave steamer).
  4. Slice 1 bell pepper into 3cm chunks. I griddle the pepper to char it but you don’t have to do this. Finely slice 1 spring onion and set to one side.
  5. Tofu: In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of cornflour, ¼ teaspoon of salt and some black pepper then scatter 1 tablespoon of the cornflour mixture over the tofu tossing well. Repeat until all of the cornflour has been used up and the tofu is evenly coated.
  6. Stir fry: Place your wok over a medium heat (don’t add any oil yet) and add a small handful of cashews. Toast for a few minutes until golden then remove from the wok. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds to the wok and toast until the seeds colour then remove from the wok (a silicone spatula is useful to remove every last seed).
  7. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the wok and once the oil has heated up, add the tofu to the wok in one layer. Fry for around 3 minutes without moving the tofu then turn the tofu roughly every 3 minutes until most of the sides are golden and crispy. This takes around 12 minutes in total. Remove the tofu from the wok.
  8. Add the broccoli and pepper to the wok and stir fry until cooked through then whisk the sauce (which has probably separated) then pour into the wok along with the tofu and some black pepper. Stir fry for 1 minute until the sauce has heated through then turn off the heat underneath the wok, transfer the contents to a bowl and top with the sliced spring onion, toasted cashews and sesame seeds.

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