Crispy Fried Tofu

Impossibly crunchy fried tofu with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce
Impossibly crunchy fried tofu with a sweet-spicy dipping sauce

Fried tofu is truly one of my favorite things!  I was first introduced to crispy fried tofu in a vegetarian recipe for Chicken Marsala – the fried tofu cutlets were standing in for chicken breasts.  My man is not a fan of tofu, but I loved them!  Nowadays whenever I get a yen for it, I fry myself up a whole block of tofu, whip up a bowl of sweet-salty-spicy dip and happily crunch away.  You could serve these as an app or first course, use them in stir-fries, or sub them in for fried chicken cutlets for a vegetarian main.  Since I’m the only one around here who eats these, I reheat the leftovers in a dry non-stick skillet – but nothing beats them fresh from the oil. While I cut my tofu into slabs, you could use any shape that makes sense for how you intend to eat them.  The cornstarch fries up into an insanely crispy, crackly coating that shatters in your mouth.  I use a mix of Sweet Chili Sauce and Sambal Oelek as a dip, but any Asian-inspired dip will work.  In fact, these tofu crisps have kind of a chicken nugget flavor profile, so you could also use anything you like to dip chicken into.  So so simple and so so yum!  Enjoy!

  • 1 block firm tofu (preferably organic)
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • canola or coconut oil
  • Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Sambal Oelek or Sriracha Sauce

Slice tofu lengthwise into ½” slabs.  Place on paper towels and pat dry.  Mix cornstarch, salt and pepper in shallow bowl.  Dredge tofu in cornstarch, turning and patting to thoroughly coat.  Pour ¼” of oil in a 12″ non-stick skillet and heat till shimmering.  Carefully add coated tofu slabs.  Fry for several minutes until golden on bottom – be patient, you want that coating golden brown.  Do not let the oil smoke at any point – turn down the heat if necessary while frying.  Carefully turn tofu over (I use two forks to gently lift, flip and lay them back in the oil without splattering myself with hot grease) and fry till the other side is golden brown.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together the Sweet Chili Sauce and either Sambal Oelek or Sriracha to taste.  Drain fried tofu on paper towels.  Serve piping hot!

Trader Joe's makes a very yummy Chili Sauce
Trader Joe’s makes a very yummy Chili Sauce

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