Crispy tofu is a delightful dish featuring golden-brown tofu cubes with a crunchy outside & soft middle, it’s a delicious protein-rich meal!
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Why you’ll love this recipe!
📌 A fun option for Meatless Mondays!
📌 Satisfying and yummy play on textures and flavors.
📌 Easy to make with your own favorite spices.
Crispy fried tofu ingredients
- Tofu – Extra firm tofu.
- Cornstarch – This is what gives it the crispy golden outside.
- Seasoning – We used garlic salt, but definitely feel free to experiment with your own flavor combinations.
- Oil – Mild vegetable oil. We used olive oil.
- Optional dipping sauces – This simple peanut sauce is our preferred dip!
How do you make crispy tofu? (step-by-step directions)
⭐ First, prepare the tofu by wrapping it in paper towels, placing it between two plates, and putting something heavy on top for about 15 minutes. This will help to squeeze much of the excess water out.
⭐ Next, slice the tofu into small cubes, then toss with the cornstarch and garlic salt.
⭐ Then, fry in vegetable oil to golden brown, making sure to turn and flip so each side is cooked evenly.
⭐ Finally, remove the tofu to a paper towel to draw off excess oil before serving.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card toward the bottom of this article for ingredient measurements and detailed cooking instructions.
How do you get tofu crispy?
- Using extra firm tofu is important as it has a lower water content and allow better browning.
- Make sure to press and pat the tofu dry before tossing it in corn starch. This will keep the coating from getting soggy and help it crisp up in the oil.
- Get your oil nice and hot so it crisps rather than sitting and soaking up oil.
- Keep it still. Allow the tofu to sit undisturbed in the frying pan until it develops a golden crust.
- Don’t crowd the pan.
Should I marinate my tofu before frying?
This is a personal preference. We like to use a lightly seasoned coating and then dip in sauces rather than marinating for this recipe, but marinated tofu is also delicious!
Try marinating in a teriyaki sauce or ponzu sauce for about 15 minutes before coating and frying. Try adding soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and water to bring it to your desired consistency and flavor before marinating.
What seasonings for fried tofu?
We like to season the cornstarch with garlic salt, but you can absolutely use whatever seasonings you love. Seasoned salt is another simple and delicious option.
What kind of tofu for crispy tofu?
Extra firm tofu is used in crispy tofu recipes. Firm can also be used in a pinch, but make sure to press as much liquid out as possible before coating and cooking.
Leftovers and storage
How long does crispy tofu last?
Crispy tofu is best enjoyed immediately after cooking when it is warm and super crispy. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
The longer it is stored the more moisture it will absorb. We suggest reheating in a convection oven, toaster oven, or air fryer for best results.
Can you freeze fried tofu?
We do not recommend freezing this recipe.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best way to press moisture out of tofu?
To get the most moisture out of your tofu, wrap the tofu block in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Place a heavy object on top, such as a cast iron pan or a plate with weights. Allow it to sit for about 20-30 minutes to extract the maximum amount of excess moisture.
How do I keep the tofu from sticking to the pan?
Be generous with the oil. Make sure the oil is fully coating the bottom of the pan and comes up the sides a bit.
Make sure your pan is properly heated before adding the tofu. You can check to see if it’s heated enough by adding a drop or two of water and seeing if it sizzles, or by placing the end of a wooden spatula into the pan and seeing if it creates bubbles.
A non-stick or well seasoned cast iron pan will also help keep the tofu from sticking.
What is a substitute for the cornstarch coating?
Arrowroot powder or potato starch are good substitutes for cornstarch.
We do not suggest using all purpose or wheat flour.
What to eat with homemade crispy tofu (serving suggestions)
Definitely serve with this easy peanut sauce recipe for dipping! And if you’re making this as part of a meal, try it with other Asian inspired favorites like teriyaki chicken wings, sweet and sour chicken, easy fried rice, or vegetable chow mein.
More delicious Asian inspired recipes
- Peanut butter ramen
- Bourbon chicken
- Sesame noodles
- Bang bang chicken
- Chicken fried rice
- See all our easy Asian inspired recipes
Other awesome appetizer ideas
- Stuffed celery
- Rotel dip
- Sweet and sour meatballs
- Cucumber sandwiches
- Air fryer fried pickles
- See all our appetizer recipes!
Tools we love
- Pre-seasoned cast iron skillet – I have six of these (not kidding).
- Non-stick pan – The great thing about these pans is you can get away with using very little oil to cook.
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How to Make Crispy Tofu
- 14 ounces extra firm tofu
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- vegetable oil
- peanut sauce for dipping
- Prepare the tofu by wrapping it in paper towels, placing it between two plates, and putting something heavy on top for about 15 minutes. This will help to squeeze much of the excess water out.
- Slice the tofu into 1" cubes, then toss with the cornstarch and garlic salt.
- Heat vegetable oil in a high walled skillet on medium-high heat, and carefully add the tofu. Cook until golden, 3 to 5 minutes, then carefully flip and cook another 3 to 5 minutes, until golden on each side.
- Remove the tofu to a paper towel to draw off excess oil before serving.
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