An easy recipe for the most flavorful Crispy Tofu that can be pan-seared in just 15 minutes on the stovetop! Never serve bland tofu again! You’ll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it – adding it to meals you are already making- like Tacos, Buddha Bowls, Soups, Veggie Lo Mein or Thai Noodle Salad. With a video!Here's a simple easy recipe for Crispy Tofu that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

How to make the BEST Crispy Tofu! A fast and easy way to prepare tofu on the stovetop that turns out crispy and delicious every single time! The best part? It only takes a few minutes and you can season it however you like! Scroll down to see all the options. If you rather bake your tofu in the oven, please go to this post:  Baked Tofu -3 Ways!

After 20 years in the restaurant and catering business -I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard people tell me how much they dislike tofu. Most often it is not the tofu they dislike, but the way it was prepared.

But there is no convincing. There is only experiencing it for yourself.  So make this – or don’t make this -up to you. But I know if you do, you might be pleasantly surprised. And the fact that you will have added one more plant-based protein into your diet, may just come in handy someday.

Crispy Tofu ( 3 ways) | 60-sec video 

 

What kind of Tofu to use?

It starts with a good block of tofu. Opt for:

  1. Organic
  2. Non-Gmo Tofu
  3. Firm or extra firm
  4. “Sprouted” (optional, but easiest to digest) I love Trader Joe’s Sprouted Organic Tofu.
  5. Do not use silken tofu for this recipe. 

Here's a simple easy recipe for Crispy Tofu that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

How to make basic Crispy Tofu:

  • Blot with paper towels (FYI: pressing all the liquid out will make it dry and chewy. So just lightly press.)
  • Cut into cubes, pat gently with paper towels.
  • Sear in a well-seasoned (salted and pepper) skillet (or wok) with oil (olive, avocado, coconut, peanut, etc)
  • Let it crisp up before turning. (Tofu likes to stick, but once it crisps, it will naturally contract and release itself from the pan. If it is sticking, it is not ready to turn. )
  • Pan-sear most sides until golden.
  • Place on a paper towel-line plate.

Here's a simple easy recipe for Crispy Tofu that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

Cut into ¾-1 inch cubes. Gently pat with paper towels.

You really don’t need to get every single drop of water out.

Here's a simple easy recipe for Crispy Tofu that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

Heat oil in a skillet.

EXPERT TIP:

Season the oil (not the tofu) with a generous five-finger pinch of salt and pepper. It will smell amazing.

Here's a simple easy recipe for Crispy Tofu that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

Carefully add the tofu allowing space around each piece and cover with a splatter guard if you want.

crispy tofu on the stovetop

Over medium heat, let the tofu get deeply golden. Be patient and don’t try to turn the tofu before it develops its crust. If you turn too early it will stick. As it browns, the tofu will naturally release itself from the pan. Give the pan a shake. 

Wait for this!

Here's a simple easy recipe for Crispy Tofu that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

I usually just sear two sides but feel free to sear all sides if you prefer. Taste a piece for salt. Most of the time I add a little more salt while searing.

Here's a simple easy recipe for Crispy Tofu that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

Crispy Tofu Variations:

Place tofu in the hot oil seasoned with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with any of the following. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of each, add more to taste. Flip tofu, then season the other side, flip one more time to coat.

  1. Mexican:  chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin.
  2. Indian: Yellow curry powder & turmeric (or Garam Masala).
  3. Middle Eastern:  Zaatar.
  4. Moroccan: Ras El hanout
  5. Chinese:  5 Spice Blend
  6. Cajun Seasoning
  7. Granulated garlic or onion powder

How to make flavorful Crispy Tofu on the stovetop in 20 minutes! You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

Here I’ve seasoned half with curry powder and turmeric and the other half with Mexican Spices. Just sprinkle the tofu with spices before searing.

You can also season the tofu in the pan at the end. Either way will work.

How to make flavorful Crispy Tofu on the stovetop in 20 minutes! You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

Crispy flavorful and yummy!

How to make flavorful Crispy Tofu on the stovetop in 20 minutes! You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

I know you will find so many ways to play around with this using spice blends you already have at home.

And if you don’t feel like being creative, I seriously love the basic salt and pepper recipe, so simple fast and easy! We use it ALL the time.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

xoxo

RELATED: How to Bake Tofu in the Oven!

 

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
How to make flavorful Crispy Tofu on the stovetop in 20 minutes! You'll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it - adding it to meals you are already making. #crispytofu #simpletofurecipes #easytofu #tofu #tofurecipes #friedtofu #stirfriedtofu

Crispy Tofu Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: vegan, main
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s a easy recipe for Crispy Tofu that can be made on the stovetop in 20 minutes with just 3 ingredients. You’ll find a million uses for this crispy tofu and fun ways to season it – adding it to meals you are already making!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 ounces tofu (non-GMO, firm, extra firm, or sprouted- do not use “silken”)
  • 23 tablespoons oil ( olive, coconut, avocado, peanut)
  • five finger pinch salt
  • five finger pinch cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. BLOT: Place the block of tofu on a kitchen towel or paper towels, and bring up the sides, wrapping it up and pressing gently. (FYI: weighting or pressing all the liquid out will make it chewy. So just lightly press.)
  2. Cut into cubes, again, pat gently with paper towels. It may still feel damp, it’s ok. 🙂
  3. Heat oil over medium-high heat and season the oil in the skillet generously with salt and pepper (not the tofu).
  4. SEAR: Carefully place each piece of tofu in the oil – don’t just throw it in, it will splatter. Season the top  with a little salt and pepper.
  5. TURN: Let the tofu crisp up before turning. (Tofu likes to stick, but once it crisps, it will naturally contract and release itself from the pan. If it is sticking, it is not ready to turn. ) Give the pan a good shake to test. Using a metal spatula turn over. Sear most sides until golden. Or just sear two sides for less oil.
  6. Place on a paper towel-line plate until ready to use (or keep warm in an oven- don’t stack, single layer is best to retain crispiness.)

Notes

VARIATIONS: Place tofu in the hot oil seasoned with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with any of the following. Start with 1/2 teaspoon of each, add more to taste. Flip tofu, then season the other side, flip one more time to coat.

  1. Mexican:  chili powder , smoked paprika, and cumin.
  2. Indian: Yellow curry powder & turmeric (or Garam Masala).
  3. Middle Eastern:  Zaatar.
  4. Moroccan: Ras El hanout
  5. Chinese:  5 Spice Blend
  6. Cajun Seasoning
  7. Granulated garlic or onion powder

EXTRA CRISPY:

If you like more of a crispy “crust” on the tofu, feel free to dredge in cornstarch before adding to the oil. Add a generous pinch of salt and sugar to the cornstarch before dredging.

If tofu tastes “bland” it needs more salt. Remember to season the oil in the pan generously. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4 ounces
  • Calories: 206
  • Sugar: 0.7 g
  • Sodium: 298.6 mg
  • Fat: 19.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 2.1 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 9.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: crispy tofu, crispy tofu recipe, how to make crispy tofu, easy tofu recipe, how to cook tofu, crispy tofu recipes

 

Share this with the world

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

Subscribe
to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

Comments

  1. Great instructions! Cast iron pan, firm tofu, just salt and pepper – It turned out amazing and crispy. I used it as a protein for the Thai eggplant stir-fry, incredibly yummy. Thank you, Sylvia for the wonderful recipe – you have truly changed my tofu outlook. 🙂 <3

  2. In about 15 years of trying, I’ve never been able to make crispy tofu and couldn’t figure out what I was doing incorrectly — and until now, no recipe helped me understand it! This is the first recipe that I’ve tried from your website and I’m swooning — the tofu was so excellent that my tofu-hating husband loved it and wants me to make it for snacking! Yowza! I used it in the Lo Mein recipe on your site and it was all outstanding. Tonight, I’m trying the Peanut Tofu — it’s baking as I write. Your website is now my go-to, all-out favorite, thank you!

    I

    1. Yay Heidi- and I love your persistence! So happy you enjoyed this- lots you can do with it!

  3. I love making crispy tofu. I’m even more excited with the different ways to flavor them now. Thank you!!!!!
    My little tip: after frying tofu for years I now use a 5qt Dutch oven to fry the tofu. Result: no grease to clean up from splatters.

    1. Oh! May try that! However, even with a bit of splatter, this was great! Added to the vegetarian Moo Shu recipe on this site – very, very, good – both recipes! Both are definite do-overs!

  4. Sylvia!!
    Have been trying to season and make crispy tofu for years with disappointing results. This technique worked perfectly.
    Delicious and crispy!! Loved it!

    1. Glad you like this Ruth. Too much of anything is never a good thing, but enjoying this a few times a week is probably just fine!

  5. Have tried other crispy tofu recipes that didn’t work. This one worked perfectly! I used a little less oil and a non-stick skillet. Topped with a homemade pasta sauce. Made a delicious lunch!

  6. Meatless Monday just got delicious. Thanks so much for this recipe and all the variations. Going to make some yummy garlic rice (or quinoa) and broccolini to serve with it.

  7. Should spell check your website better.

    “Cut into cubes, pat gently with pepper towels.”

    Pepper towels?

      1. You’re brilliant Silvia, I don’t mind the odd spelling mistake. I can’t believe anyone would care about such a trivial matter. I didn’t even notice. Really appreciate all of your amazing recipes and your devotion to developing new and inspiring ways of cooking Annette x

  8. Made this and used Italian seasoning in the oil and dusted them with dry ranch seasoning when they came out. So yummy.

  9. Amazing recipe and love the versatility. Next time I’ll slice the tofu into rectangles because I’m too impatient to wait for all sides of the cubes to brown.

    This will be on my quick weeknight dinner menu for sure.

  10. I made the mistake of buying soft tofu, and then didn’t know how I would handle it. I didn’t find any good tips for that, but your gentle method worked beautifully, even on the soft stuff! Thank you

  11. I made this and it turned out beautifully! Normally, my cubes turn into mush because I wasn’t doing as you advised and letting it release when it was actually ready to be turned. Thank you so much for the recipe ideas and explanations, it was delish and I am very happy to know how to make this properly!

  12. Thank you for this!! I finally know the secret to easy, delicious, crispy tofu and I might eat it all before the rice is done! 🙂 I added a little garam masala and turmeric and salt and pepper. Also dredged in cornstarch first. Yummmmmmmmm

  13. Most delicious seared tofu!! Indeed easy and fast just like you said.
    I made the salt& pepper one. I also used leftover peanut sauce that I had made awhile ago from your site. Another one of your super yummy recipes! And it freezes so well!
    I highly recommend this pan seared tofu. You won’t be disappointed!
    Thank you so beautiful Sylvia!
    From my house to yours –
    Here’s to a peaceful & fulfilling Thanksgiving holiday!
    🙏🙏