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How to Make Crispy Tofu

Tofu is one of those foods that most people either love or hate. I think the reason some people dislike tofu is not because of the food itself but because they just haven’t had it cooked properly.

The spongy, chewy tofu that most people are used to is not my preferred way to have it. I want to share with you a different way to make tofu- how to make crispy tofu that just about anyone should love.

Even people who don’t really like tofu should like this one, and when I have served it, I received some great compliments about it.

Even people who are vegetarians can enjoy tofu once it is cooked properly and flavoured well. So, once you know how to make tofu crispy, you can make it in a way that family and friends both should like.

How to Make Crispy Baked Tofu

There are a few different ways you can make tofu with a crispy texture to it. Some people like to fry it up and others would grill it, but I suggested baking it. I’ve tried cooking tofu in a skillet and the texture is fine, but it’s a little tough to work with.

There is a problem with it sticking to your pan and then you having to use too much oil to make it not stick. That excess oil can affect the taste the tofu and keep it from getting crispy. So, frying your tofu is not the way I’d recommend someone to cook it who hasn’t tried to cook tofu before.

It’s much easier to bake tofu, so that’s what I’m going to share with you- how to make crispy tofu in the oven. You should start by getting firm tofu that’s not overly squishy and spongy. I prefer tofu that is been grown naturally and treated conventionally, without using harmful chemicals like herbicides and pesticides.

If you’ve not bought tofu before, it should be over in the produce section of the grocery in the refrigerated area.

If your tofu has a lot of moisture in it, you’ll have to get that out for it to come out crispy. So, what I do is slice the tofu into small pieces and then press it. I don’t suggest trying to press a large block of tofu, as that can create a puddle of liquid. Instead, press the smaller cuts of tofu and it’ll work a lot easier for you.

Before I bake tofu in the oven, I toss it in a little bit of seasoning and lubrication. I mix together oil, soy sauce, and starch. You can use whichever kind of oil you like, but I prefer vegetable oil or coconut oil.

Now, let me show you how to make tofu crispy in oven. The trick to baking tofu is to just cook it until it is golden brown and crispy on the outside. That’s when you know it’s done. Simply preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use parchment paper to line a large baking sheet. This will prevent the tofu from sticking to the sheet as it bakes.

Ensure your tofu has been drained all the way, and you can use the palms of your hands to squeeze out the extra water. Remember to slice your tofu small before you try to drain it out. I would recommend cutting the tofu until squares that are about an inch cubed.

While the oven is heating, you can cast your tofu in the ingredients I recommended. If you want more seasoning, feel free to use tamari, kale, any kind of Asian seasoning, or some red or green curry.

How long to bake your tofu in the oven for? If you want to know how to make baked tofu crispy in the oven, you need to cook it for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. You don’t need to flip it over during the cooking process.

Simply take it out of the oven once it is done cooking and it looks golden brown. You may want to cook it for extra 3 to 5 minutes if it doesn’t look dark enough or if it is not crispy yet. Allow the tofu to sit for about 10 minutes after baking.

How to Make Crispy Tofu without Cornstarch

Can you make tofu without using any cornstarch? you could, and I suggest arrowroot starch as an alternative. You can use a tablespoon of cornstarch or arrowroot starch with each block of tofu. A block of tofu is around 12 to 15 ounces. Use the same amount of arrowroot starch as you would cornstarch.

Does it matter which kind of starch to use? If you care about using natural ingredients that haven’t been processed a lot, then arrowroot is the best option. If you want a really nice texture that’s crispy, then cornstarch is the best option.

Arrowroot works pretty well, but the exterior of the tofu can be kind of slippery. It may not work perfectly well with a dish that is somewhat liquid or that has a lot of moisture. So, if you are making your tofu with a wetter dish, such as a curry, you may want to use cornstarch for the best results.

How to Make Crispy Fried Tofu

I told you that baking is the best way to make tofu nice and crispy, but you can pan fry if you want. Just don’t expect the same kind of high-quality results as you would get with baking. Also, it will be a little tougher to work with.

The benefit of pan frying your tofu is that it takes less time to cook, and you can be done faster. There isn’t any need to press the water out of the tofu before you pan fry it, but you can if you like to. I tested tofu in some soy sauce, cornstarch, olive oil, garlic powder, and sesame seeds.

The cornstarch is really needed for this to give it that crispy exterior. The tofu won’t be crispy on its own just by frying it up in the pan.

Be sure to cut your tofu into small cubes to make it easier to work with and to ensure it cooks through completely and gets crispy all over. Also be sure to toss and coat your tofu before you put it into the pan.

Make sure you preheat the oil so that the tofu will start sizzling as soon as it goes into the oil. You will know it’s hard enough when you put a piece of tofu in there to test it and it starts sizzling right away. Be sure to cook your tofu in a single layer in the frying pan.

Don’t stack them on top of each other or place them too close together inside the pan. You want them to cook all over and to cook evenly.

If you are cooking the tofu on a high enough heat to where it sizzles as soon as it goes into the pan, then it should take about 2 to 3 minutes to cook on each side. Once it turns golden brown on one side, you can flip the tofu over to the other side and cook for an additional couple of minutes.

Just keep cooking until it is crispy and golden brown. You can garnish your tofu with green onion or sesame seeds, or you can cook them in the pan with the tofu if you like them to be cooked as well.

You don’t have to wait to eat the fried tofu, as it is ready to eat right away as it is besr served as soon as it is done cooking.

 

Written by Pauline

I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!

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