Sweet & Sticky Tofu Knots

Whilst I’ve eaten tofu knots in Japan, they are an ingredient I hadn’t thought to cook at home until I read Bonnie Chung’s cookbook Tofu Tasty: Imaginative Tofu Recipes for Everyday. As she explains, they are traditionally added to soups and stews, but in this recipe, she has fried them instead to create a wonderful crisp and chewy texture. The punchy flavours of a sweet, sticky and spicy sauce complete this crowd-pleaser of a dish.

Sweet and Sticky Tofu Knots

Yuki Sugiura

Find out more about the book in our full review of Bonnie Chung’s Tofu Tasty.

Sweet and Sticky Tofu Knots
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5 from 3 votes

Sweet & Sticky Tofu Knots

This is my team’s absolute favourite tofu dish, which is totally unexpected given that none of them had ever heard of ‘tofu knots’ before I first made it for them. To be fair, it is probably my favourite recipe in the book, too, and my most requested dish. Pretty, crisp and chewy, it is a show-stopper that delivers the most satisfying bite; nobody can believe that it is tofu. ‘It tastes more chickeny than chicken,’ is probably my favourite quote of all. (Thank you, Teresa!) Tofu knots are often called ‘bean curd knots’ in Asian stores, and can usually be found in the aisle with other dried soup ingredients, as they are traditionally added to bulk up stews with their protein and texture, rather than fried until crispy as I do here.
Author Bonnie Chung


For the tofu

  • 100 g (3½ oz) dried golden tofu knots, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then drained
  • 100 g (3½ oz / ¾ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 150 ml (5fl oz / 2⁄3 cup) vegetable oil
  • toasted sesame seeds, to serve
  • spring onions (scallions), finely sliced, to serve

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar, malt vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil


  • In a bowl, coat the softened tofu knots with the cornflour, until all the knobbly angles and curves are covered. Leave for 10 minutes to let the cornflour soak up the moisture around the tofu.
  • In a frying pan, heat the oil until bubbling-hot and add some of the tofu knots. Be sure not to crowd the pan; you may have to cook them in batches. After 2–3 minutes, flip them over. Some angles will be golden brown and crisping up. Keep turning them until each knot is crispy and golden. Drain on kitchen paper (paper towels). If you are not finishing the dish straight away, pop them into a medium oven to keep them warm and crispy.
  • Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, then put in a clean saucepan. Place over a medium heat until the sauce bubbles and starts to reduce.
  • Throw the crispy tofu knots into the sweet, sticky sauce and mix to coat, then serve immediately, scattered with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.

The recipe as given is vegetarian, but can be adapted into a vegan dish by substituting the honey with a natural alternative such as maple syrup, agave nectar or fruit-based molasses.

As a quick and easy recipe that can be pulled together from store cupboard ingredients, this is a great addition to your repertoire.

Sweet and Sticky Tofu Knots Tofu Knots

If you decide to buy this book after reading our content, please consider clicking through our affiliate link, located within the post and in the footnote below.

Kavey Eats received a review copy of Tofu Tasty: Imaginative Tofu Recipes for Everyday by Bonnie Chung from publisher Pavilion. Photography by Yuki Sugiura.

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10 Comments to "Sweet & Sticky Tofu Knots"

  1. Alicia

    oh fab! Thanks! I particularly like that they aren’t fried in loads and loads of oil – I don’t mind deepfrying but sometimes it feels a bit wasteful to heat up all that oil just for one dinner.


    Amazing! Thank you. So quick and delicious, texture and bite. L..served with sova noodles Added to weekly must have. 🙂

  2. Emily

    I just made these and oh my goodness this is so delicious! I love all the crispy/chewy texture. It’s my first time cooking tofu knots and I’m hooked!

  3. NickyB

    I’ve just managed to get some gf knots online so this is getting made next week!

  4. PatS

    I found tofu knots at my Asian Grocer and was intrigued. There was an interesting recipe on the package similar to this, but broiled instead of fried. However, there were no quantities given for ingredients, so I was happy to find this recipe online. I used the ingredients from this recipe, but I broiled the knots (I left out the cornflour) instead of frying, turning them halfway through. They came out crispy enough, but I am sure frying them would be crispier. They were just fine for us–we are trying to reduce fat in our diet. Loved the crunchy/chewy combo! DH says this is a winner.


    Thanks for your comment, Pat! We really enjoy the texture contrasts too. If you enjoy tofu in different forms, do check out the cookbook from which this is shared!


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