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Sticky Coffee Tofu

Whether you are a coffee lover or not, this dish is worth a try! The sauce is made from instant coffee granules and seasoned with sauces and sugar to create that glossy sheen that sticks to any protein of your choice. It's just SO delicious and easy to prepare.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Singaporean
Keyword: 30-minute, coffee, tofu
Servings: 2
Author: woonheng


  • 1 lb firm tofu drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cornstarch
  • Cooking oil



  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • Chopped scallions
  • Chopped Thai chilis


Prepare the tofu

  • Pat tofu dry with towels, then cut into 2cm wide sticks (I cut mine into trapezoids).
  • Season with ½ teaspoon of salt and a few dashes of black pepper. Add 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch into a fine mesh sieve. Then, dust the tofu until all areas are coated with a thin layer of starch, turning the tofu as needed.
  • Heat a large non-stick over medium heat with 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil. Carefully place the coated tofu into the hot oil, slightly apart. Pan-fry until all sides are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Do not flip until a crust is formed.
  • Remove and set aside to cool. For a crispier tofu texture, place tofu in a preheated toaster or oven to keep warm until ready to use.

Cook and Serve

  • To make the sauce, dissolve instant coffee in hot water. Then, add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk until well-combined.
  • Set the same pan you use to pan-fry tofu over medium heat. Slowly pour in the sauce and cook until it starts to thicken. Tip: When you see large bubbles, the sauce is starting to thicken.
  • Add the tofu and quickly toss until well coated.
  • Transfer tofu to a plate and garnish with toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallions, and chilis.
  • Serve the dish as-is or with a bowl of rice.



  • *Some instant coffee is more bitter than others, so please adjust the sugar level accordingly
  • For a creamier sauce, feel free to substitute water with warm unsweetened plant milk
  • For a homemade vegan oyster sauce, please use this recipe
  • Do not skip the sweetener as it's needed to balance out the coffee's acidity and soy sauce's saltiness. Feel free to use maple syrup as a substitute.