How to make easy vegan crispy tofu that’s chewy on the inside, with a delicious breading and plenty of flavour! Perfect for adding to dinners or lunches, as well as for snacking on. With a baked and fried option.

Easy vegan crispy tofu baked or fried

Tofu is one of those ingredients that unfortunately has a bad rep because it’s often prepared wrong. When done wrong, it comes out dry, bland and weirdly textured. Done right, however, it can become a delicious staple food.

I’m all about disputing the myth of boring tofu. Thus, I have a post all about how to make tofu taste good. Here, however, we will go into one specific method – making crispy tofu! This is probably my personal favourite way of cooking with tofu. I will share two methods: baking and frying. Keep reading to learn the details of each one.

Crispy baked tofu with rice and a sweet and sour sauce

What tofu variety to use for crispy tofu?

It’s really important to use extra firm tofu for making crispy tofu – this will inevitably lead to the best results. This tofu variety has the lowest level of water, and therefore the firmest texture that turns sponge-like during the cooking process.

Baked tofu cubes with rice and sweet and sour sauce

Do not use silken tofu – while great for recipes like soups or even desserts, it does not hold its shape very well. If you can only find firm, as opposed to extra firm, tofu, it may be necessary to press it for longer.

Fried tofu and creamy kale pasta

How to press tofu

First of all, I want to say that you should not press tofu for too long. This will result in a texture that’s quite dry and unappetising. Usually, 20-30 minutes is enough.

Fried tofu cubes over a bowl of pasta

Before pressing, pat the tofu dry and cube it into bite-sized pieces. You can press tofu using a tofu press, which you can buy online for around $10. Alternatively, layer a set of paper towels on top of it, followed by a frying pan, and then heavy objects such as books.

Making crispy fried tofu

Crispy fried tofu is great because it takes no time to make, and the preparation process is so straightforward.

Firstly, cube and press the tofu as necessary. Meanwhile, whisk together breadcrumbs (gluten-free if necessary), salt and cumin. In a separate bowl, add cornstarch to plant based milk and whisk together thoroughly.

Heat a thin layer of sesame oil (around 3 tbsp) in a frying pan or wok. Add the tofu cubes to the oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, lightly shaking the pan occasionally, before rotating the cubes. Repeat until golden brown on all sides.

How to make crispy baked tofu

This method also works very well, and does not require any oil. You will be amazed by how delicious and flavourful it is!

Start by marinading the tofu. Stir the tofu cubes together with tamari and maple syrup, setting aside for around 30 minute.

When done, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 F) and lining a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.

Whisk together breadcrumbs (gluten-free if necessary), paprika and onion granules. Dip each tofu cube in the breadcrumb mixture and lay out on the baking tray. Once again, it’s important not to overcrowd. If necessary, use more than one baking tray.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy.

How to serve crispy tofu

  • There are so many ways to serve crispy or fried tofu! I love snacking on it by itself while it’s still fresh for ultimate deliciousness.
  • You can serve it with a simple sauce. For instance, you can simply stir together 2 tbsp tamari, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1 tbsp maple syrup and 3 tbsp water. Transfer that to a pan together with 1 tbsp cornstarch and whisk over a medium heat until it thickens. You can then pour over the tofu and enjoy!
  • Serve it with a dip of your choice, such as simple ketchup, chunky guacamole, sour cream, or cashew cream.
  • You can add it to salads as a great topping and a source of plant based protein, or on top of soups such as spicy butternut squash soup.
  • Add it to wraps, burritos, tacos, sandwiches and nourish bowls for extra deliciousness and a crunchy texture.
Fried tofu with coconut pasta

Other tofu recipes you might like

  • The best scrambled tofu
  • Sesame peanut tofu
  • Tofu eggplant pasta
  • Oat and tofu vegan ‘egg’ muffins
  • Simple tofu curry
Easy vegan crispy tofu baked or fried-

Let me know in the comments: how do you like to serve crispy tofu? If you give either of these recipes a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa) together with a star rating, and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating.

Crispy tofu with rice

Get the Recipe: Easy Vegan Crispy Tofu (Baked Or Fried)

How to make easy vegan crispy tofu, either baked or fried! With a crunchy breadcrumb coating and a spongey, soft texture, this tofu is perfect for a snack or as an addition to dinners like pasta, burritos, salads and wraps. You'll be amazed at how easy it is!

Ingredients

For fried crispy tofu

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, gluten-free if necessary
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 cup plant based milk
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 10 oz extra firm tofu, cubed

For baked crispy tofu

  • 10 oz extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, gluten-free if necessary
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion granules

Equipment

  • Conventional oven
  • Baking tray
  • Mixing bowl
  • Frying pan or wok

Instructions 

To make fried tofu

  • Whisk together the breadcrumbs, salt and cumin.
  • In a separate bowl, add cornstarch to plant based milk and whisk together thoroughly.
  • Heat a thin layer of sesame oil (around 3 tbsp) in a frying pan or wok. Add the tofu cubes to the oil, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, lightly shaking the pan occasionally, before rotating the cubes. Repeat until golden brown on all sides.

To make baked tofu

  • Stir the tofu cubes together with tamari and maple syrup and set aside to marinade for 30 minutes.
  • When done, preheat the oven to 200 degrees C (400 F) and line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the breadcrumbs, paprika and onion granules. Dip each tofu cube in the breadcrumb mixture and lay out on the baking tray, making sure not to overcrowd. If necessary, use more than one baking tray.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden and crispy.

Video

Notes

Use extra firm tofu for best results, and press it if not using a pre-pressed variety. Before pressing, pat the tofu dry and cube it into bite-sized pieces. You can press tofu using a tofu press, which you can buy online for around $10. Alternatively, layer a set of paper towels on top of it, followed by a frying pan, and then heavy objects such as books. 
Calories: 184kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 582mg, Potassium: 151mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 71IU, Calcium: 87mg, Iron: 2mg
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How to make crispy tofu
How to make the perfect crispy tofu