No-Cook Spicy Tofu

Spicy No Cook Tofu

Summer has finally arrived!

As temperatures rise, my interest in stove-top cooking drops dramatically. I’m sure you feel similarly. 

Anything that can be popped onto the grill, prepared in advance, or eaten cold from the fridge takes precedence. Over the past few weeks, we’ve turned to this No-Cook Spicy Tofu more times than I can count. 

It is deliciously spicy and packed with flavor. In fact, it might be one of my favorite recipes from this year and it couldn’t be simpler to make. As the name suggests, this dish requires zero cooking! 


This spicy tofu dish comes together in less than 15 minutes, but you’ll want to marinate it in the refrigerator for several hours (or, preferably, 12 to 24 hours) before serving.  

While the ingredient list is short, it might require an online order or trip to a specialty grocery store. Either way, I guarantee you’ll want to make this recipe over and over again. 


Here’s what you’ll need: 

No-Cook Spicy Tofu Ingredients: 

  • Firm Tofu – you’ll want to seek out firm tofu for this recipe and cut it into 1/2-inch cubes. I prefer vacuum packed, as it is already drained and pressed. If you’re local to Chicago, I love and highly recommend Phoenix Bean brand
  • Sambal Oelek – an Indonesian chili sauce, which goes by the name chili garlic sauce. I recommend Huy Fong brand, which can be found in most grocery stores. We’ll be using two entire tablespoons in this recipe! 
  • Spicy Chili Crisp – a popular, famous Chinese condiment, made from chilis, crispy onion, soybeans, and oil, originating from China’s Guizhou province. This recipe was tested with the most widely available brand, Lao Gan Ma. It is delicious and versatile! You can order it online if you can’t find it in stores. I’ve also heard that Trader Joe’s Chili Onion Crunch works as an OK substitute (although the ingredients are very different and I do recommend picking up Lao Gan Ma). 
  • Soy Sauce – for added seasoning and flavor. 
  • Sliced Scallions – thinly sliced green parts only. Don’t skimp on the scallions! 
  • Fresh Ginger and Garlic – finely grated with a microplane. 
  • Crushed Peanuts – this adds a lovely texture and flavor to each bite. I recommend using dry roasted, unsalted peanuts and pulsing them in a small food processor until roughly ground. 
  • Lime Juice and Cilantro  – for brightness! 

Spicy Tofu Ingredients


How to Make Spicy Tofu: 

  1. Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. 

Spicy Tofu Ingredients in Bowls

2. Toss together gently until the tofu is evenly coated. 

Spicy Tofu Ingredients in Bowl

3. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours (minimum) or overnight for best flavor.

Spicy No Cook Tofu in Glass Bowl


How to Serve No-Cook Spicy Tofu: 

This tofu doesn’t need any accompanying dish! It tastes fantastic served straight from the fridge. Feel free to garnish it with additional chopped cilantro, sliced scallions, or crushed peanuts for added texture. 

However, if you want to turn it into a more substantial meal, I love serving it on top of my favorite coconut rice with a side of sautéed greens (tatsoi, Chinese spinach, or baby bok choy are great options) or grilled asparagus. 

Spicy Tofu in Bowl

Spicy No Cook Tofu

No-Cook Spicy Tofu

Yield: 4 Servings

Deliciously spicy and packed with flavor, this No-Cook Spicy Tofu comes together quickly and requires zero cooking. For best flavor, allow the tofu mixture to marinate in the refrigerator for several hours (or, preferably, 12 to 24 hours) before serving. Serve cold from the fridge. It tastes great on its own or spooned on top of coconut rice! Naturally vegan and dairy free.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 block (14 ounces) vacuum-packed (or drained and pressed) firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 
  • 2 tablespoons sambal oelek (ground fresh chili paste)
  • 1.5 tablespoons spicy chili crisp (Lao Gan Ma brand)
  • 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 scallions, green parts only, finely sliced
  • 3 tablespoons finely crushed unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated with a microplane 
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro


  1. Combine the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss together gently until the tofu is evenly coated. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours (minimum) or overnight for best flavor.
  2. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Make Gluten Free: Substitute soy sauce with tamari.

Recipe inspired by Phoenix Bean's Vegan Mapo Tofu.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 124Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 359mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 13g

A Beautiful Plate provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

Share your Beautiful Plate!

post it on instagram and tag it #abeautifulplate.