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Sassy Sesame Tofu – Vegan Under Pressure

This crowd-pleasing recipe is a simple and delicious way to prepare tofu, which gets firmer under pressure and absorbs the flavors of the cooking liquid. It cooks very quickly. It’s best to cook the sugar snap peas on low pressure for just a minute so they don’t become mushy. The sweet and spicy sauce at the end makes it even more special. Serve this over any type of rice or other grain.


  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 medium yellow white, or sweet onion, sliced from top to bottom to equal about 2 cups
  • 1 carrot peeled and cut on the diagonal into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 cups sugar snap or snow peas cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons Sweet and Spicy Red Pepper Sauce or sriracha
  • 2 tablespoons tahini optional, for a richer dish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallion for garnish


  • Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric pressure cooker to sauté; add the sesame oil if using. Add the onion, carrot, and sweet potato and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds and sauté for mother minute. Add the tofu, tamari, vinegar, and stock.
  • Lock the lid on the cooker. Bring to high pressure and cook for 3 minutes (set your electric pressure cooker to cook for 3 minutes on high pressure). Quick release the pressure. Carefully remove the lid, tilting away from you.
  • Add the peas and lock the lid back on. Bring to low pressure; cook for 1 minute. (If you do not have a low pressure option, lock the lid on and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes.) Quick release the pressure. Remove the lid, carefully tilting away from you.
  • Stir in the pepper sauce and tahini, if using. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and the chopped green onions and serve.
  • Variations: Use broccoli florets or 1-inch pieces of green or wax beans instead of the peas. Cook at low pressure for 2 minutes with a quick release.


Text excerpted from Vegan Under Pressure, © 2015 by Jill Nussinow. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.
Photo © Lauren Volo.