Golden brown crispy tofu in a cast iron skillet

Easy ‘Pea’zy Vegan Crispy Tofu

Too many people hate tofu without having tried it or having tried it prepared wrong. We’re here to show you how to make it the right way and it just so happens to be the easiest crispy tofu recipe out there!

Fried anything is delicious so when I discovered crispy fried tofu I knew I needed to experiment with it! One of the things I love most about tofu is it’s bland and flavorless. Now, most people would take this as a bad thing, but it’s actually amazing because you can make it taste like whatever you want. So really if your tofu sucks it says a lot more about you than tofu… just saying lol

One thing most people don’t realize is how many different types of tofu there are, so they get the wrong type for the wrong recipe and end up hating it. It would be like buying a reel mower but you own a farm and need a tractor, basically the same thing.

I’m going to break down the different types of tofu here so we have a good understanding of them! Here are the most common types of tofu and their uses:

Types:Uses:
Extra FirmMeat substitute
Fried Tofu
Feta
Medium FirmTofu Scramble
Spreads/Creams
Soft/SilkenSoups
Sauces
DessertFlavoured
Dessert recipes
SmokedMeat Substitute
Tough, Smoky

Most tofu will need to be drained of excess water before you prepare them. I use this tofu press but you could get the same results covering in a paper towel and putting a cast iron skillet on top. Smoked tofu doesn’t need to be drained and is good to go right out of the package.

I could go on for hours about tofu and how amazing it is but for your entertainment, I won’t. I will eventually do a whole masterclass on tofu, all of its properties, and all of its uses, for this blog post, will be focusing on extra firm tofu.

Extra firm tofu usually has some excess water in it but not much so you don’t need to press it for as long.

As I’ve been on this vegan journey for a while now (going on 4 years) I’ve experimented with a lot of tofu. I’ve tried it pan fried, baked, barbecued, deep fried, marinated, you name it I’ve probably tried it at some point!

It’s Liv B. has a great crispy tofu recipe that I used since her cookbook came out! You can get hers here!

I did a lot of testing to see which the best base which would provide you with the crispiest tofu. I started with arrowroot flour. This is a fan favourite of many vegans. It actually worked pretty well, except for the fact that it had air bubbles and pockets develop. The texture was also slightly gummy so if you’re looking for crispy I don’t recommend this one.

I started making a batch with flour before giving up that dream, it was too bulky and time-consuming. I was looking through my pantry and found my tapioca starch sitting there. Now honestly I don’t even know why I have this. Like seriously I can’t even remember buying it let alone what I used it in but here we are. I decided to give it a shot though. At first, I coated them in oil and then dipped them in the tapioca starch as a sort of makeshift egg wash.

Dipping tofu in oil before tapioca starch
Did not work out as planned.

I found that this actually made it a lot harder for the starch to stick to the tofu so I tried no oil just tofu and success! It was such a simple recipe I couldn’t believe it! Still, need some convincing? Let’s talk about how good tofu is for you!

How Nutritious is Tofu?

Tofu is made from boiling soy beans and then pressing them together to make blocks. The process is pretty simple and retains most of the nutrition from the beans.

I actually made an entire video on this subject because there seems to be a lot of misconceptions floating around about what soy is and how it effects the human body (especially mens). You can watch it here:

Hint soy is good for you even if you’re a man!

The long and short of it is, soy and soybeans are good for you. They’re a great source of protein and other nutrients you might find hard to get as a vegan, including Leucine which is one of the building blocks of building muscle and isn’t found heavily in most vegan foods.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

Serving Size1 servings


  • Amount Per ServingCalories377
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 24g 37%
    • Sodium 4.8mg 1%
    • Potassium 591.5mg 17%
    • Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
      • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    • Protein 45g 90%

    • Calcium 128%
    • Iron 51%
    • Vitamin K 16%
    • Vitamin B6 19%
    • Folate 10%
    • Phosphorus 50%
    • Magnesium 40%
    • Zinc 32%
    • Selenium 84.5%
    • Copper 45%
    • Manganese 151%

    * The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

    All of the nutrition data I get from a site called Cronometer. They’re a great site/app they provide you with a lot of extra information that most other nutrition apps or sites don’t!

    If you like me talking about nutrition of the foods we cook let me know in the comments down below and we can go more in depth for all of you!

    Now that we have a good understanding of tofu and the different types let’s dive into this week’s recipe!

    How-To Make Crispy Tofu

    Step 1. Take your tofu out of the package and press it for a couple of minutes to get any excess water out.

    Step 2. Cut the block into small cubes. However big you want them to be in the end product. I like cutting down the middle then horizontally and vertically.

    cubed extra firm tofu
    This is how I set mine up

    Step 3. Next you’re going to put the tofu into a bowl of tapioca starch one piece at a time making sure to cover all the sides in starch.

    tapioca starch on tofu
    You can do a few at a time but don’t go overboard or they all won’t be evenly coated.

    Step 4. From there transfer the coated tofu on to a pan with oil on medium-high heat. Cook until golden brown and crispy (about 10 min).

    Golden brown crispy tofu in a cast iron skillet
    Voila!

    It really is as simple as that to make crispy tofu! Now as I said before tofu is quite bland and takes on the taste of whatever you put on it so since we haven’t put anything on this yet it will also be bland. Thats where our sauces come in! Check out the sauce categories for some delicious and easy sauces to pair with your crispy tofu!

    Remember that the ad proceeds we get from the website go back to helping animals in need so we really appreciate it when you click on our links and share the website and social media posts with your friends! 🙂

    If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you! You can rate it, comment about it, sending me pictures about it, I don’t care how but I want to hear from you and see how you enjoyed it!

    Kitchen equipment I used:

    • The world’s sharpest knife set (my personal opinion but I have cut myself a bunch of times with them lol)
    • Our bamboo cutting board – This bamboo board is inexpensive and has lasted us a long time and show no signs of wear and tear so we love it!
    • Our favorite cast-iron skillet – Most people think cast iron skillets cost you a lot of money, and they can but they don’t need too! This skillet has been working well for us for almost 2 years now.
    • The tapioca starch we used – Most health food stores will carry this but if you can’t find it or it’s expensive this is a pretty good price and the same brand they we use!

    Easy peezy crispy tofu (y)

    5 from 1 vote
    Recipe by John Course: SidesCuisine: AsianDifficulty: Easy
    Servings

    4

    servings
    Prep time

    5

    minutes
    Cooking time

    10

    minutes
    Calories

    377

    kcal

    Literally the easiest and crispiest tofu recipe you’re going to find on the internet. All you have to do is add some sauce and enjoy!

    Ingredients

    • 1 Block Extra Frim Tofu (450 g)

    • 1 cup Tapioca starch

    • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

    Directions

    • Take your tofu out of the package and press it to get any excess water out.
    • Cut the block into small cubes. I cut them down the middle then horizontally and vertically.
    • Put the tofu into a bowl of tapioca starch one piece at a time making sure to cover all the sides in starch.
    • Transfer the coated tofu on to a pan with olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook until golden brown and crispy (about 10 min).

    Pup’s Notes

    • Freezing the tofu before cooking can lead to a more meat-like texture if that’s what you’re going for.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Tag @rescuedogkitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #ForTheDogs

    Easy Crispy Tofu
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    2 Comments

    1. Barb Kendall

      That looks so delicious AND simple to make. There’s no excuse not to try it!
      Thank you for this wonderful blog!

    2. Yasmin Gordon

      Yum, crispy fried tofu is one of my favs. One modification i do when I make a vegan version is add chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper to the cornstarch, then rub veganaise on it the dip it into panko crumps that are also infused with s&p, garlic powder and chili powder then fry it up!

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