Add the marinade ingredients (2 tbsp of tamari and 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar), stir and let rest for at least 5 minutes, preferably overnight.
Drain the tofu and discard the marinade.
Transfer 1/3 of the tofu cubes to a freezer or plastic bag with 2 tbsp of cornstarch and toss to coat. Repeat this step with the rest of the tofu cubes and cornstarch. Add more cornstarch if needed.
Once the tofu cubes are coated with the cornstarch, heat some oil in a skillet and add the tofu cubes. I used extra virgin olive oil, but any oil will do.
Cook the tofu cubes over medium-high heat until all sides are golden brown. Remove the tofu from the skillet and set aside.
Add the garlic to the skillet (add more oil if needed) and cook over medium-high heat for about 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently until golden brown. Set aside.
Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl (tamari or soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, vegetable stock or water, sugar, cornstarch and red pepper flakes). Set aside.
Add the sauce to the skillet where you had your cooked garlic and cook over medium-high heat until it thickens, stirring frequently.
Finally, add the tofu cubes, stir and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes.
Serve with some cooked white rice and garnish with some sesame seeds and chopped chives (optional). Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Depending on your taste buds and the type or brand or vinegar you’re using, you may want to add less vinegar to the sauce. Some readers love the recipe just like this, but others prefer the sauce with less vinegar. Add only 1 tbsp of vinegar at first and add more vinegar if needed.
I never press my tofu because I prefer to save some time and also think it’s not necessary, but it’s up to you. I just drain the tofu and discard the liquid.
Firm or extra firm tofu works great. I’ve never tried to use soft or silken tofu myself, but I don’t think it’s going to work.
If you don’t want to use a freezer or plastic bag, just add the cornstarch to a shallow dish, then the tofu cubes and toss to coat.
If you don’t eat soy, you could use cauliflower instead. I’ve seen some recipes online, but I’ve never tried it myself. Tamari or soy sauce can be replaced by coconut aminos.
For an oil-free version of this recipe, bake the tofu at 350ºF or 180ºC until golden brown.
Feel free to use any type of vinegar, starch or sugar you have on hand.
The amount of sodium is not accurate, as you’re going to discard part of the tamari or soy sauce of the marinade.