If you think tofu isn’t your cup of tea, you haven’t tried this crispy tofu yet! It’s covered in a deliciously sticky, sweet, umami sauce that pairs well with rice or noodles. Bonus – it’s ready in 15 minutes!
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Did I mention this recipe is ready in only fifteen minutes?! It only takes about five minutes to prep the tofu and sauce ingredients. Plus, another ten to fry up the crispy tofu and have it ready to serve! It can last in the fridge for about five days, so it’s an excellent option for lunch or dinner meal prep during the week.
Even though this pan-fried tofu recipe is fried and saucy, the crispy tofu is still relatively low in calories (about 200) per serving. It also has a good amount of protein in each serving, which will help keep you full and satisfied until your next meal.
If you have any leftover tofu from making this crispy tofu dish, you can use it up with these easy tofu dishes Crispy Soy Tofu, Aubergine & Rice, Sticky Tofu on Rice with Crispy Kale, or Vegan Egg Fried Rice.
The key to crispy tofu is to heat the oil in your pan before adding tofu cubes. Coating the pan-fried tofu in corn flour helps create a crispy coating as the cubed tofu cooks in the oil.
Another key to getting uber-crispy tofu is removing excess liquid/moisture from it before you cook tofu. As it cooks, the tofu naturally releases any moisture left inside, which can turn your crispy exterior into a soggy tofu bite. Many people use a tofu press or press tofu between heavy objects (like a cast iron skillet) to remove this extra liquid.
This recipe requires firm tofu, as options like soft and silken will fall apart in the pan while cooking. Extra firm tofu is also fantastic for creating this crispy tofu dish.
This ingredient is necessary for adding a savoury, umami flavour. If you can’t consume gluten, you can use tamari or coconut aminos to provide a similar taste to this crispy sauteed tofu.
Corn flour is the secret behind this crispy tofu recipe. However, you can also use cornstarch to achieve a crunchy exterior. Mixing corn flour and cornstarch in a 1:1 ratio will produce the crispiest tofu.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
3. Add the tofu cubes to a large bowl with 1 tbsp of soy sauce and toss to combine. Then using a sieve, sprinkle the cornflour over the tofu (Image 3).
4. Mix with a spatula to ensure the flour evenly coats the tofu (Image 4).
5. Using a non-stick frying pan, add a tbsp of rapeseed oil. Wait until the oil is hot (start on high heat) and then add the tofu into the pan. Evenly distribute the pieces tofu across the pan so none of the pieces are touching, otherwise they’ll stick together (Image 5).
6. Leave to fry for around 3 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on one side. Then keep turning to get that crispy brown coating (Image 6).
7. Then add the remaining soy sauce and honey into the pan and rotate the pieces of tofu, until the tofu starts to brown further (Image 7).
8. Once the honey and extra soy sauce is added continue to fry until super cripsy and golden browned.
Serving suggestions: Serve over rice, with noodles, in a salad or with roasted soy veggies (Image 8).
A few quick swaps will help you turn this crispy tofu dish into a gluten-free and vegan recipe. The only ingredient with gluten is the soy sauce. You can use coconut aminos or tamari as a gluten-free swap (as mentioned above). Use maple syrup or agave as a replacement for honey, and you’ll have vegan crispy tofu in one easy swap.
Press the tofu before frying
If you want to make tofu recipes easy, get in the habit of pressing or removing as much excess moisture as possible. Removing the extra moisture gives you the best chance of getting a crispy tofu crust.
Pick a firm tofu you like
No particular brand of tofu will make a better batch of crispy tofu than another brand. Instead, picking your favourite tofu is best as you’ll enjoy the dish more. Remember to select a firm, extra firm, or super firm variety.
Use a non-stick pan to pan-fry tofu
Even though you’ll be using oil to fry the tofu, there’s still a chance it may stick to your pan while cooking. Avoid broken tofu bits and pan scraping by using a non-stick pan for this crispy tofu dish.
Season the corn flour for extra flavour
Add seasoning (like garlic powder) to the corn flour before dipping the tofu cubes if you want a bolder taste for your crispy tofu.
If your crispy tofu isn’t getting crispy, it could be because there is too much moisture in the tofu. Another issue could be the oil isn’t hot enough to fry the tofu. Or you forgot to add the corn flour. These three reasons can cause your tofu to be soggy or not crisp up as much as you’d like.
As mentioned, you can use cornstarch instead of flour to create crispy tofu recipes. Rice and potato flour are also great alternatives that help you achieve a deliciously crispy exterior. Additionally, you can use an egg and breadcrumb coating, though it will change the dish’s flavour slightly and alter the calories.
It’s not necessary to press tofu to make it extra crispy. However, removing as much moisture as possible from the tofu before frying it helps create golden and crispy tofu. Removing moisture can be done by wrapping the tofu in a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel and squeezing it.
If you know you won’t be eating all your crispy tofu at once, separate some of the fried tofu and sauce and pack it in airtight containers separately.
You can make a satisfying meal by pairing this crispy tofu with a veg and carb. You can also add a bit of heat by drizzling your favourite chili garlic sauce on top. Below you’ll find some options for side dishes that you can enjoy with this saucy tofu.
– Creamy Gochujang Pasta
– Singapore Fried Rice
– 10 Minute Vegetable Noodle Soup
If you tried this Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x