Crispy Pan Fried Tofu (basic recipe)

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If you’ve always wondered how to successfully prepare your tofu so that it’s ultra crispy, here are my tips and my basic recipe for Crispy Pan Fried Tofu! You can serve this pan fried tofu as an side or topping to a curry, a salad or simply with soy sauce.

How to choose your tofu?

The first step in preparing crispy tofu is to choose the right tofu. Indeed, there are different types of tofu:

  • Classic Tofu: This is the one you probably know and need for this recipe. You will find it in supermarkets under vacuum and it can be kept several weeks in the refrigerator. If you have the opportunity to taste the fresh tofu sold in Asian grocery stores, I recommend you to try it. The tofu will taste much more delicate and tender at the same time. Be careful when buying fresh, as there are different textures: semi-firm, firm or ultra-firm. You need the firmest tofu possible.
  • Silken tofu: A very delicate tofu, hence the name “silken”. If you cut it, it may break easily. It also has a creamier texture than traditional tofu. It is often used in vegan cooking as a replacement for cream or eggs.
  • Smoked tofu: Smoked tofu is similar to classic tofu in texture. However, it has, as its name indicates, a smoky taste. This tofu is interesting as a replacement for meat in vegetarian recipes such as bolognese or Pasta al Ragú.

For this recipe, you need classic vacuum-packed tofu or fresh firm tofu. I highly recommend trying fresh firm tofu, which is what I used for this recipe. You can find it in Asian grocery stores.

Crispy Pan Fried Tofu (basic recipe)

How to press the tofu (without breaking it)?

Pressing the tofu is an important step because it allows to remove the excess of water. However, fresh tofu is a little more delicate than vacuum-packed tofu, so be careful to press it gently.

To do this, start by draining the tofu well. Then place it on a small cutting board or plate covered with paper towels or a clean cloth. I recommend folding the paper towel in half. Place a new sheet of paper towels on top.

Place a small cutting board or book on top. Finally, place a weight on top. Be careful, the weight should not be too heavy, at the risk of crushing the tofu. I recommend a weight of max. 500 g (max. 17 oz). I used a package of rice for example.

How do I prepare tofu to make it crispy?

Once your tofu is pressed, you can cut it into cubes. I advise you not to cut them too small.

To finish preparing the tofu cubes, the most important and essential step in this recipe is to roll the tofu in rice flour. If you don’t have rice flour, cornstarch or another starchy flour also works well. You don’t need to use a lot of rice flour. It’s just a matter of creating a thin film of rice flour that will allow the tofu to crisp up nicely once it’s in the pan.

If you want to season your tofu, this is the time to do it. Add spices to the rice flour such as garlic powder, paprika, curry powder, salt, pepper depending on how you want to use the tofu.

Crispy Pan Fried Tofu (basic recipe)

How to fry your tofu?

Once your tofu cubes are ready, you have two options to fry them:

  • Pan-fried: The version I choosed. Heat a drizzle of neutral oil such as rice or sunflower oil in a pan. Once the pan is hot, carefully place the tofu pieces. Then, fry them for 2 minutes without touching them, turn them over one by one and cook them for 2 minutes on the other side. Finally, add a dash of soy sauce to the pan to season them.
  • In the oven: Place tofu cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or baking silicon. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C, turning the tofu cubes halfway through cooking. If you choose this technique, I recommend seasoning your tofu before baking with soy sauce or a pinch of salt.

And that’s it! Your tofu is ultra crispy and you can use it as a topping or accompaniment to Asian recipes such as :

Crispy Pan Fried Tofu (basic recipe)

Basic recipe for Crispy Pan Fried Tofu

For 4 servings you need the following ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 block of fresh tofu, or vacuum packed
  • 2 tablespoons of rice flour
  • 10 ml of soy sauce
  • Neutral oil

Preparation

Start by draining your tofu. Then, place it between two sheets of paper towels or a clean cloth. Then, place a small cutting board on top of your tofu and place a weight (max. 500 g) on the board to allow the water in the tofu block to drain away.

Cut the tofu into relatively large cubes. Then roll them gently in the rice flour.

In a frying pan, heat a little neutral oil. Add the tofu cubes and let them cook for 1 minute. Turn them over and cook them, ideally on each sides. Avoid stirring them too much to prevent them from breaking.

At the end of cooking, pour in the soy sauce and mix well to season the tofu cubes.

Serve as an accompaniment or topping to a curry or other Asian dish.

Crispy Pan Fried Tofu (basic recipe)

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do this tofu keep?

You tofu cubes will keep for three days in the refrigerator in a sealed container. 

Can I prepare this tofu in advance?

Even if this tofu is better freshly made, you can prepare it in advance and add it to your dish a few hours or days later. Perfect for meal prep or lunch to go ideas!

Can I freeze this tofu?

Yes, you can freeze these crispy tofu cubes. They keep at least 3 month in the freezer.

For more inspiration, here are my latest recipes:

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Crispy Pan Fried Tofu (basic recipe)

If you’ve always wondered how to successfully prepare your tofu so that it’s ultra crispy, here are my tips and my basic recipe for Crispy Pan Fried Tofu! You can serve this pan fried tofu as an side or topping to a curry, a salad or simply with soy sauce. 
Like to support my work?Rate this recipe by clicking on the hearts!
5 de 1 vote

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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Side dish
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4
Calories 98 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 block of fresh tofu or vacuum packed
  • 2 tablespoons of rice flour
  • 10 ml of soy sauce
  • Neutral oil

Instructions
 

  • Start by draining your tofu. Then, place it between two sheets of paper towels or a clean cloth. Then, place a small cutting board on top of your tofu and place a weight (max. 500 g) on the board to allow the water in the tofu block to drain away.
  • Cut the tofu into relatively large cubes. Then roll them gently in the rice flour.
  • In a frying pan, heat a little neutral oil. Add the tofu cubes and let them cook for 1 minute. Turn them over and cook them, ideally on each sides. Avoid stirring them too much to prevent them from breaking.
  • At the end, pour in the soy sauce and mix well to season the tofu cubes.

Nutrition

Calories: 98kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 9gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 144mgPotassium: 8mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 125mgIron: 1mg
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