The Best Crispy Tofu is an easy tofu recipe that also happens to be vegan and gluten-free!
Crispy might be my favorite food word.
I would eat pretty much anything if you made it crispy. And while I love my best tofu recipe, it only gets better when crispy!
If you’re still afraid to make tofu, or you’ve had bad tofu (it happens) then hop on board because we’re getting on the tasty tofu train. It’s full of simple ingredients and an easy cooking method. Seriously, you can do this!
If you’re a total newbie, just sign up here and I’ll send you my 4 secrets to tofu success!
What makes this the best crispy tofu recipe?
- This recipe uses my favorite tofu marinade, which is easy to put together with pantry staples and tastes amazing!
- The tofu gets crispy! That exterior texture really makes this dish.
- It’s so easy to take this base recipe and use it many different ways. You can customize the marinade to your tastes or use the finished product in other recipes.
How do you cook with tofu?
- Press it. Using a tofu press is convenient, but not necessary. Read my post about how to press tofu without a press, or here’s an affiliate link if you just want to buy a tofu press.
- Marinate. I like an easy tofu marinade made from soy sauce (tamari if you want to keep it gluten-free), lemon juice, maple syrup, sriracha, and garlic powder.
- Toss with cornstarch. This is what will create that crispy exterior! You could also use arrowroot starch, but it can create a slimy texture when adding the tofu to a sauce, so cornstarch is my favorite.
- Pan fry. Pan frying the tofu cooks it quickly and lets you get it crispy on all sides. Baking and air frying are also options, but for now let’s focus on the stove top.
How do you make tofu crispy?
Cornstarch is the best way to make tofu crispy. After marinating, toss the tofu with cornstarch until a thin white powder covers it completely.
After that, we’re going to fry it in coconut oil until crispy! Then we’re going to try not to eat it all before sharing with others because it doesn’t get much better than crispy tofu unless it’s crispy tofu with the ones you love.
What kind of tofu to use for crispy tofu
I recommend extra firm tofu when pan frying crispy tofu. I like to buy organic, but it isn’t 100% necessary.
Extra firm tofu that you’ve pressed the water out of will give you the best texture possible. Anything softer might not hold together well when cooking.
Tips for customizing and serving
- If you’re not feeling the crispiness, omit the cornstarch for my best tofu recipe
- Serve with coconut rice, roasted broccoli, and a spoonful of sambal oelek
- Add more or less sriracha to the marinade to suit your taste
- Stir fry veggies and noodles to go alongside
- Use whatever other tofu marinade you prefer, then toss with cornstarch and cook according to the recipe
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds at the end
If you make this recipe be sure to rate it, leave a comment, or tag #theliveinkitchen on Instagram!
The Best Crispy Tofu
- In a shallow bowl, whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, maple syrup, sriracha, and garlic powder. Add the tofu and toss gently to coat, arranging the tofu in a single layer in the bowl. Let marinate 15-20 minutes, flipping the tofu once.
- Transfer the tofu to a zip top freezer bag, discarding any leftover marinade. Add cornstarch to the bag one tablespoon at a time, zipping it up and shaking around to coat the tofu entirely. You have enough when there’s a thin white layer of cornstarch covering the tofu.
- Heat coconut oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu and cook 2-3 minutes per side until golden and crispy.
Looking for more tofu recipes? Try one of these: