There’s nothing better than the texture of crispy pan fried tofu! The secret to that crunch is one simple ingredient, which we’ll get to later.
Tofu is a staple around here because it’s a wonderful source of protein and it takes on any flavour you add, like our recipe for Zucchini Tofu Lasagna and Tofu Chili! With just a few simple ingredients, you can have dinner on the table in 20 minutes.
The marinade makes this dish extra flavourful – which tofu really needs because on its own, it’s very bland. The ingredients shown below are core ingredients, but we also add Sriracha and Hoisin to the marinade for a sweet and spicy twist to make this tofu recipe flavourful. I think ginger is another ingredient that would marry well in the marinade but we haven’t tried that yet. If we do, we’ll either use powdered ginger or add fresh ginger near the end so it doesn’t burn.
Cut the tofu into cubes and marinate.
Gently mix being careful not to break the cubes and let it sit in the marinade for while you heat the pan.
A high smoke point oil, such as grapeseed oil, is important for getting that crisp exterior without burning.
Add the oil and let the pan get good and hot. It should smoke when it’s ready.
Now add the cornstarch and mix again – that’s what makes it crisp!
As you cook the tofu, turn the cubes onto all sides to get them crisp and brown.
Serve as a side dish with scallion and sesame seeds sprinkled over top. Or make it a meal and serve with a side of salad.
If you have leftovers, you can reheat again in a toaster oven.
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Crispy Pan Fried Tofu
- 2 x 12 oz packages firm or extra firm tofu cut into 1” cubes we use organic Tofu
- 3 tbsp cornstarch we use gluten free
- 2-3 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp tamari tamari is gluten free
- 2 tsp Lee Kim Kee Sriracha Chilli sauce Optional if you like it spicy
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp hoisin Optional if you like sweetness
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Ground black pepper to taste
- Green onion finely chopped
- Sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, mix together first 7 ingredients to combine. Cube the tofu and add to the bowl. Gently toss the tofu into the marinade using a silicone spatula. Set aside.
- In the meanwhile, preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add half of the grapeseed oil. It should be hot enough to make tofu sizzle right away.
- Sprinkle the tofu cubes with cornstarch mixture and gently stir to coat. The marinade should soak in so don’t be worried if the cornstarch mixture is wet and sticky.
- In a large teflon skillet add the tofu in a single layer. If you don’t have a large enough pan, cook it in two batches.If pieces stick together, you can gently separate them if you wish.
- Cook on first side until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip each cube with teflon tongs, or a spatula, and pan fry for a few more minutes or until crispy. Halfway through cooking, as you rotate the cubes to crisp each side you can add the reserved marinade that collected at the bottom of the bowl (if you are cooking in two batches, split the marinade in two). Transfer to a plate and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds.