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.
Pan Fried Tofu Ingredients
- Firm or extra firm tofu
- Soy sauce
- Garlic powder
- Olive oil or toasted sesame oil
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
- Remove tofu from plastic package.
- Drain the liquid it’s packaged in. Remember no need to pat dry or press.
- Cut in half lengthwise.
- Then cut into 1 inch cubes.
How to Make Fried Tofu
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!!!
What to Serve Pan Fried Tofu With
- Quinoa or brown rice – both are made in a pressure cooker. Prepare to be amazed!
- Fresh or steamed vegetables
- Cucumber and tomato salad
More Healthy Meat Free Dinner RecipesPrint
Crispy Pan Fried Tofu
Your kids will call this easy 20 minute crispy fried tofu “chicken”. It’s that good!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove
- Cuisine: Asian
- 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
- 2–3 tbsp olive oil
- Green onion, finely chopped
- Sesame seeds, for garnish
- 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.
- In another medium bowl, add cornstarch, garlic powder and pepper. Stir well with a fork and set aside.
- 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.
- Add tofu cubes to a bowl with cornstarch mixture and gently stir to coat. Tofu will be coated in sticky wet cornstarch mixture. Perfect!
- 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 marinade now and the other half with next batch). Transfer to a plate and repeat this step with remaining tofu.
- 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!!!
- 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.
- The marinade of soy sauce, cornstarch etc. doesn’t have to be thrown away. You can pour on top of cooking tofu for more flavor.
Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.