How to Make the Perfect Crispy Tofu

August 28, 2021

Whenever I meet someone who says they don’t like tofu, I’m convinced they haven’t had it made the *right* way. For many, tofu can be a bit of a tricky ingredient to master, partially because it’s not often used in western cooking! We tend to default to meat, which is, of course, great, and the staple of so many amazing recipes. But for my plant-based friends, learning the art of cooking tofu can not only be valuable as a replacement to meat, but a high-protein, super-satisfying way to meet your nutritional needs!

In this post, I’m taking it back to the basics, and sharing the BEST way I’ve found to make crispy tofu. If you don’t like tofu, you have to try it this way; my crispy tofu gets soft and pillowy and practically melts in your mouth underneath the crispy coating! 

And the best part of this recipe? It’s practically foolproof. It’s so easy, and yields the perfect crispy tofu every time. I promise, you’re going to love it!

What You Need to Make the Perfect Crispy Tofu

To make this Perfect Crispy Tofu, you only need a few key ingredients. It’s super easy!

  • Tofu: Of course, you need a package tofu to make crispy tofu! I use sprouted, extra-firm tofu.
  • Soy Sauce: Soy sauce helps give the tofu a nice flavor. Since tofu is so plain on its own, seasoning it well is crucial!  You can also use gluten-free tamari, liquid aminos, or coconut aminos, if you prefer.
  • Corn Starch: This will get our tofu perfectly crispy on the outside! You can also use arrowroot starch.
  • Garlic Powder: Remember what I said about seasoning your tofu? Don’t skip this!
  • Olive Oil: I use olive oil for frying my tofu, but you could also use avocado oil.

How to Make the Perfect Crispy Tofu

  1. Prepare tofu by pressing it; Start by taking a cutting board and layering it with paper towels. Then, place your block of tofu on top. Next, place another few layers of paper towels on top of the tofu, and then place something heavy on top. Leave your tofu to “press” for at least 20-30 minutes, or overnight
  2. Once the tofu is pressed, cut it into 1-inch cubes and toss in a bowl with the soy sauce.
  3. In another bowl, add cornstarch and garlic powder, mixing well.
  4. Heat a non-stick skillet with olive oil.
  5. Coat the tofu in the cornstarch mixture and add in the tofu once the oil is VERY hot.
  6. Cook until the tofu is browned, which is about 3 minutes. Then, flip the tofu to the other side and cook for another few minutes.
  7. Serve with your favorite sauce, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Type of Tofu Should I Use?

There are so many types of tofu, from silken to firm and even pumpkin tofu (seriously). But, crispy tofu works best when you’re using firm or extra firm tofu. I personally like using sprouted, extra-firm tofu that I buy from Whole Foods, but any extra-firm tofu will work.

Q: Do I Need to Press the Tofu First?

Yes, pressing the tofu is a must. It takes a little bit of prep work, but is so worth it once you get that perfectly crispy texture! To press your tofu, you can use a tofu press, or do what I do and use the DIY method!

Start by taking a cutting board and layering it with paper towels. Then, place your block of tofu on top. You’ll want multiple layers of paper towels, so you can soak up as much water as possible. Next, place another few layers of paper towels on top of the tofu, and then place something heavy on top. I usually use old books, but you can also use jars, cans, or anything that you don’t mind getting wet!

Leave your tofu to “press” for at least 20-30 minutes, or overnight (just be sure to change the paper towels every so often).

Q: What are the Best Ways to Serve This Tofu?

The best part about this tofu recipe, is that it’s not only so easy, but it’s also so versatile! You can absolutely eat this crispy tofu on its own, served alongside your favorite sauce, but here are a few good recipes it would work well in!

Healthy Pasta Salad with Creamy Peanut Sauce – simply add the tofu to the existing recipe!

Cucumber Avocado Salad – these two would make for two awesome, asian-inspired sides!

Paleo Cashew Chicken – Replace the chicken with your crispy tofu!

Tuna Poke Bowls – Again, you can replace the tuna with the crispy tofu, or serve on the side!

Thai-Inspired Crispy Tofu Wraps – No substitutions needed!

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment/rating below. And, since I practically live on Instagram, be sure to tag me in your creations, so I can see them and repost on my IG stories! Enjoy! xx

The Perfect Crispy Tofu

Author: Nicole Modic of @KALEJUNKIE

SERVES 4 Servings
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In this post, I'm taking it back to the basics, and sharing the BEST way I've found to make crispy tofu. If you don't like tofu, you have to try it this way; my crispy tofu gets soft and pillowy and practically melts in your mouth underneath the crispy coating! 
And the best part of this recipe? It's practically foolproof. It's so easy, and yields the perfect crispy tofu every time. I promise, you're going to love it!

Ingredients

  • 1 Package Extra-Firm Tofu
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Prepare tofu by pressing it; Start by taking a cutting board and layering it with paper towels. Then, place your block of tofu on top. Next, place another few layers of paper towels on top of the tofu, and then place something heavy on top. Leave your tofu to “press” for at least 20-30 minutes, or overnight
  • Once the tofu is pressed, cut it into 1-inch cubes and toss in a bowl with the soy sauce.
  • In another bowl, add cornstarch and garlic powder, mixing well.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet with olive oil.
  • Coat the tofu in the cornstarch mixture and add in the tofu once the oil is VERY hot.
  • Cook until the tofu is browned, which is about 3 minutes. Then, flip the tofu to the other side and cook for another few minutes.
  • Serve with your favorite sauce, and enjoy!

Did you make this recipe?

I’d love to see what you made - tag @kalejunkie
in your posts and I’ll re-share!

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