How to Fry Tofu

How to fry tofu to crispy perfection in four easy ways! Use this step-by-step guide to learn the best way to cook this affordable yet delicious and versatile protein source!

Table Of Contents

How to prepare
Four ways to cook
Serving suggestions
How to store
More how-to tips
How to Fry Tofu

Tofu is soft cheese-like curds derived from soya milk processing with a coagulant, then pressed down into white blocks. It’s usually sold in stores water-packed in sealed containers or aseptic cartons.

A staple in Asian cuisine, tofu is a very affordable yet delicious and versatile protein source. It has a bland, neutral taste and comes with a range of textures (silken, soft, and firm), making them easy to incorporate in sweet and savory applications.

How to prepare

Drain the tofu well. Wrap with a thick layer of paper towels to absorb the excess liquid.
For an extra crispy texture, press the tofu to extract moisture. You can use a kitchen tool called a tofu press or just set the wrapped tofu on a wire rack and weigh it down with a plate or bowl for about 15 to 20 minutes until dry to the touch.
Cut to uniform size to ensure even cooking.

Four ways to cook

Depending on the recipe, tofu can be pan-fried or deep-fried. To cut down on fat, you can also air-fry or bake in the oven.

Deep-Fry

Choose a high smoke point oil such as canola, safflower, peanut, or avocado oil.
Use enough oil and do not overcrowd the pan. Allow enough room to easily toss the tofu so they’ll evenly brown.
Choose a high smoke point, neutral oil such as canola, safflower, peanut, or avocado oil. Heat and maintain the oil at the optimal temperature of 350 F to 375 F.
Carefully add the tofu in the hot oil and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack.

Air-Fry

Spray the air-fryer basket or tray with cooking spray.
In a bowl, toss cubes with about 1 tablespoon of corn starch to coat.
Arrange in a single layer in the basket. Do not overload and cook the tofu in batches as needed.
Spray the tofu with cooking spray and air-fry at 375 F for about 15 to 20 minutes or golden and crisp. Shake the basket a few times during cooking to ensure even browning.
Remove from the air-fryer and keep warm.

Pan-Fry

Use a wide pan to allow more surface area for the tofu to have contact and crisp up.
Swirl oil to fully coat bottom of the pan. Heat until oil begins to shimmer and add tofu pieces in a single layer.
Cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned before turning to prevent tofu from falling apart.
Remove from pan and drain on a wire rack.

Oven-Bake

In bowl, toss tofu cubes with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If you want a super crispy texture, spinkle in about 1 tablespoon of corn starch and toss to evenly coat.
Arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 400 F oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until edges are golden-brown.
Remove from pan and keep warm.

Serving suggestions

Crispy tofu is delicious and filling on their own, but also makes a great addition to a variety of dishes. Use as a nutritious meal alternative in your favorite recipes.

Ginisang Togi at Tokwa-a light yet satisfying veggie stir-fry made with tofu cubes and crisp bean sprouts
Lugaw at Tokwa-crunchy tofu make a delightful topping for congee
Tokwa’t Baboy-succulent pork pieces and freshly-fried tofu are tossed in a tangy, spicy vinaigrette dressing

How to store

Fried tofu are best when freshly cooked as they tend to get soggy over time.
If you do have leftovers and don’t mind the softer texture, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
To reheat, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and warm in a toaster or conventional oven for about 2 to 3 minutes or until warm and crispy.
You can reheat in the microwave but the tofu will become soft and chewy.

 

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