by Olena

Crispy Pan Fried Tofu

by Olena

4.7 from 3 reviews

Your kids will call this easy 20 minute crispy fried tofu “chicken”. It’s that good!

Fried Tofu

I’m not vegan but we all love this crispy pan fried tofu! Kids call it “chicken. It’s that good!!! And I’m convinced to convert you as well with this best fried tofu recipe in the world. You will never say “I hate tofu” again.

My recipe is simple and requires no extra steps. Like to press the tofu or pat with paper towels – “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

Crispy Fried Tofu Facts

  • Tofu is made of condensed soy milk that is pressed into blocks.
  • It is a great plant-based source of protein. We all should eat less meat for health reasons!
  • To avoid GMO soy, I recommend to buy organic tofu. Mine is from Costco.
  • Raw tofu has zero flavor and spongy texture.
  • You cannot use soft or medium tofu.
  • You do not have to press tofu to remove extra liquid with my crispy pan fried tofu recipe. I don’t even own paper towels.
  • You don’t need to use cast iron skillet either.

Your kids will call this easy 20 minute crispy fried tofu “chicken”. It’s that good!

Pan Fried Tofu Ingredients

  • Firm or extra firm tofu
  • Soy sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Garlic powder
  • Olive oil or toasted sesame oil

Your kids will call this easy 20 minute crispy fried tofu “chicken”. It’s that good!

Firm Tofu FAQs

Do I have to cook tofu?

Yes. Raw fresh tofu has no taste. Technically it is cooked. One of my kids likes to pop a cube or two in his mouth while I’m preparing tofu for frying. You have to cook tofu mostly to give it flavor. Otherwise, it tastes like “nothing”.

How long to cook firm tofu?

My easy crispy fried tofu requires only 2-3 minutes of cooking per side. It’s quick!

How do I know when tofu is cooked?

Tofu does not pose a risk of eating undercooked like meat does. You can tell that crispy fried tofu bites are ready when they are nicely golden and look crispy.

How to Cut Tofu into Cubes

Your kids will call this easy 20 minute crispy fried tofu “chicken”. It’s that good!

  1. Remove tofu from plastic package.
  2. Drain the liquid it’s packaged in. Remember no need to pat dry or press.
  3. Cut in half lengthwise.
  4. Then cut into 1 inch cubes.

That’s it!!!

How to Make Fried Tofu

Your kids will call this easy 20 minute crispy fried tofu “chicken”. It’s that good!

1. Quickly Marinate Tofu Cubes

  • In a medium bowl, add cubed tofu.
  • Drizzle evenly with 2 tbsp soy sauce on top. Helps to stir less.
  • Stir gently with silicone or wooden spoon.
  • Metal spoon will do more damage to tofu’s delicate texture.
  • Set aside.

2. Make Pan Fried Tofu Breading

  • In another medium bowl, add 3 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp garlic powder and ground black pepper to taste.
  • Stir well with a fork.
  • Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium high heat.

3. Combine Both

  • Add tofu pieces to a bowl with cornstarch breading.
  • Gently stir to coat.
  • Tofu will be coated in sticky wet cornstarch mixture. Perfect!

4. Pan Fry Until Crispy

  • Swirl half the olive oil or toasted sesame oil onto preheated skillet.
  • It should be hot enough to make tofu sizzle right away.
  • Add half the tofu to a pan in a single layer.
  • Stir fry until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Flip each cube with a spatula and fry for a few more minutes or until crispy.
  • You can add half of the soy sauce mixture now too.
  • Transfer crispy pan fried tofu to a plate.
  • Repeat this step with remaining tofu.

5. Garnish Crispy Pan Fried Tofu and Enjoy!

  • Garnish crispy garlic tofu with sesame seeds and green onion.
  • Crispy tofu is best served immediately as it loses its crispiness after half an hour I would say. Or if you cover it. Still delish!!!

Your kids will call this easy 20 minute crispy fried tofu “chicken”. It’s that good!

What to Serve Pan Fried Tofu With

More Healthy Meat Free Dinner Recipes

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Crispy Pan Fried Tofu

4.7 from 3 reviews

Your kids will call this easy 20 minute crispy fried tofu “chicken”. It’s that good!

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Asian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 x 12 oz packages firm or extra firm tofu, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 23 tbsp olive oil
  • Green onion, finely chopped
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, add cubed tofu and soy sauce on top. Stir gently with silicone or wooden spoon (metal will do more damage to tofu’s delicate texture). Set aside.
  2. In another medium bowl, add cornstarch, garlic powder and pepper. Stir well with a fork and set aside.
  3. In the meanwhile, preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add half of the olive oil. It should be hot enough to make tofu sizzle right away.
  4. Add tofu cubes to a bowl with cornstarch mixture and gently stir to coat. Tofu will be coated in sticky wet cornstarch mixture. Perfect!
  5. Add half of the tofu to a pan in a single layer. Cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip each cube with a spatula and pan fry for a few more minutes or until crispy (you can add half of the soy sauce mixture now too). Transfer to a plate and repeat this step with remaining tofu.
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onion. Crispy tofu is best served immediately as it loses its crispiness after half an hour I would say. Or if you cover it. Still delish!!!

Notes

You can use toasted sesame oil in place of olive oil. So good and that’s what I usually do. I just ran out of it.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

9 comments on “Crispy Pan Fried Tofu

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  1. Made these last night, and find myself craving them this morning! Best fried tofu recipe I’ve EVER tried!

  2. Just wrote a long comment and clicked submit too soon, omitted email, and it told me to go fix it but it erased my whole comment. I can’t type it again. But the tofu was good.

  3. My daughter and I love crispy tofu!! I made it years ago at home when the kids were little and it was the same, they loved it and it was such a great surprise. It’s all about the crispy cubes 🙂
    You are inspiring me to make it again, my daughter has been asking since she tried mine at a thai place recently.
    Question – what skillets do you use? I have been using same for years but keep going through them (the nonstick ones) and they are not cheap.

    1. I go through new one every 6 months. No way around it friend. I buy ceramic ones. Still they lose their stickiness. Everyone does buy new ones all the time lol. Enjoy sweetie!

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