I believe I have FINALLY mastered crispy tofu!! It’s been a bit of a journey, but this post details my final product. One of my goals this year has been to learn how to make more tasty plant-based proteins. This recipe is a staple!
There’s two tricks to crispy tofu: 1st, buy an extra firm block of tofu. Anything softer will fall apart as you make this recipe.
2nd, extract the moisture from the tofu. Tofu is like a sponge, so getting all the water out will allow it to absorb whatever sauce you are going to use. This is my set-up below. I wrap the tofu in some paper towels, put it between two plates, and place a large mason jar of water on top to squeeze out the moisture. I let this sit on my counter for ~30 min.
While you’re waiting, make the marinade: 2 tablespoons soy sauce + 3 tablespoons rice vinegar + 2 cloves of garlic. When the time is up, cube the tofu and then pour the marinade over it. Stir it gently, or cover it with plastic wrap and shake it up to get each cube in some sauce. Set this aside for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in a deep pan, about 1/4 cup, or enough to cover the whole pan with 1/4 inch of oil. Also get together your curry powder (1 Tablespoon) and flour (1/2 cup). Mix that up and set it aside.
Drain any remaining marinade from the tofu, holding back any garlic if you can manage. Spoon half the curry flour over the tofu, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and shake it good. Repeat this process until there aren’t any clearly wet pieces of tofu, like the picture below. You might not end up using all of the flour.
Now, your oil should be pretty hot. CAREFULLY place each piece of tofu in the oil. If you drop them in, hot oil will splatter which is no bueno.
Fry on each side about five minutes, turning them over with tongs or a slotted spoon. They will get nicely brown and crispy, cook them longer if it looks like they need it. Be patient but watch them closely so they don’t burn.
When they are done, remove the pan from the heat. With tongs or a slotted spoon, take out the tofu and set them on top of a paper towel on a plate. Cover with another towel and let it sit a few minutes to soak up excess oil.
That’s it folks. Beautiful. Crispy. Tofu! This recipe can be modified to use whatever spices sound good in the same ratio of 1 Tablespoon spices to 1/2 cup flour. Make it gluten-free by using any gluten-free flour, and gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.
Serve with rice and veggies for a super delicious vegetarian/vegan meal.
Crispy curry tofu
A tasty plant-based protein with some crisp and a kick of spice.
- 1 block extra firm tofu
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Vegetable oil, enough to cover the bottom of a pan 1/4 inch deep
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
1. Press moisture out of tofu by wrapping it in a paper towel and placing it between two plates, with a heavy object on the top plate. Let sit 30 min.
2. Mix together garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar.
3. Cut tofu into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes and place in a small bowl. Pour marinade over the tofu and gently stir, or cover with plastic wrap and shake, until all tofu pieces are covered in marinade. Set aside for 15 min.
4. Pour vegetable oil into the bottom of a deep frying pan and heat over medium-high heat.
5. Drain any excess marinade from the tofu, holding back garlic pieces. Mix together curry powder and flour. Spoon 1/2 this mixture over the tofu. Cover the tofu bowl with plastic wrap and shake so all tofu pieces get covered in flour. Continue adding more flour and shaking until the flour covering the tofu no longer appears wet. You might not use all the flour.
6. Gently place each piece of tofu in the hot oil. Fry on each side about 5 minutes. Continue flipping and cooking until it is brown and crispy.
7. Remove tofu with tongs or a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel covered plate. Cover with another paper towel. Let the oil soak off for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot with rice and vegetables.