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Deep fried tofu recipe

Deep fried tofu recipe

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Tofu is coated with cornflour and then deep fried. It's served with spring onions and hoi-sin sauce. Use any Asian-style dipping sauce you prefer.

100 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • 1 (349g) pack firm tofu, such as Blue Dragon
  • 3 tablespoons cornflour
  • oil for frying
  • 2 spring onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:5min ›Ready in:15min

  1. Cut tofu into 12 cubes. Place cornflour on a plate or in a shallow bowl and dredge tofu in it, coating thoroughly.
  2. Heat enough oil in a large frying pan or wok so that tofu will be half-way submerged. Fry tofu in hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, or until crispy. Drain on some kitchen roll.
  3. Sprinkle spring onions over tofu and drizzle with hoisin sauce. Serve immediately.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(90)

Reviews in English (74)


It's pretty good, but as a Japanese I just could not pour hoisin sauce over the tofu. I guess it's quick and easy that way, but it's so much better with soy sauce, mirin (rice wine), and kelp broth. You also have to have grated ginger on top of the tofu. Yummy!!-01 Mar 2002

by Kira

YUMMY!! This is exactly like the tofu I get at my favorite asian restaurants!I used it as a replacement for chicken in a stir fry recipe with the following orange ginger glaze:1 tablespoon cornstarch3/4 cup orange juice3 tablespoons light soy sauce1 tablespoon honey1 teaspoon minced ginger-21 Mar 2002

by Z

This is just SO good. I cube the tofu then put them between layers of paper towels for a few minutes. This gets the excess water out so there's no splattering when the tofu hits the oil.-04 Feb 2002

Recipe Summary

  • 1 package (14 ounces) extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup safflower oil
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha
  • Chopped scallion greens and lime wedges, for serving

Cut tofu crosswise into eight 1/2-inch slabs, then cut each slab lengthwise in thirds. Arrange tofu in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with several layers of paper towels. Top with more paper towels and another baking sheet weight with canned goods. Let tofu drain, about 30 minutes.

Dredge tofu in cornstarch, patting with fingers to help adhere. Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium. Add tofu in two batches cook until very light golden, turning gently to cook all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels. Season immediately with salt.

Mix mayonnaise and Sriracha. Serve tofu with sauce, scallions, and lime wedges.


Frying tofu is actually very easy but requires to follow a few steps. First, you want to rinse and drain your firm tofu. There is no need to press it for a long time, just pat it dry and slightly press between a few sheets of kitchen towel.

I used one big block of tofu that I had to cut into 4 smaller rectangles. If using regular tofu you can skip this step.

Once this is done, heat about 2 cups of neutral oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Time to fry!

There are a couple of things to pay attention when frying tofu:

  1. The oil must be hot enough. It should sizzle when you put the tofu in. You can test if the oil is hot enough by dipping a wooden spatula or spoon. If you see bubbles forming around it, the oil is hot.
  2. You do not want to fry too long. As soon as the tofu has a light yellow color, remove from the oil and place on a plate lined with kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil. If you fry too long, the skin will become hard and get a bitter flavor. I found 3 minutes to be the perfect time for the tofu to develop a nice yellow color on the outside while remaining soft inside.
  3. Flip it. To get a uniform skin, use a wooden spoon or spatula to flip it at least once halfway through frying.
  4. Drain. Once the tofu is yellow, immediately remove from the oil and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil.

Crispy Battered and Fried Tofu

  • ½ cup flour, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu, cubed
  • oil, for frying

In a shallow bowl, whisk 1/4 cup flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cayenne, and baking soda. Place the remaining 1/4 cup flour in a separate, shallow bowl.

Fill a small pot with 2 inches of oil over medium heat until rippling. Dripping a small splash of water on the oil should cause the oil to snap and sizzle- this is how you’ll know it’s hot enough to begin frying.

Whisk the seltzer into the seasoned flour-cornstarch mixture.

Dip each tofu cube first in the plain flour, to coat, then dip in the flour-seltzer batter. Carefully drop the battered tofu cubes into the hot oil and let fry until golden-brown, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain. Serve immediately or the tofu will lose its crisp battered crust as it sits.

Tofu Tempura Preparation Tips and FAQ

What frying oil should I use?

When you’re learning how to fry tofu, you need to select an appropriate frying oil. The classic choice is vegetable oil, as this is widely available and cost-effective.

It’s not the healthiest option, though, and you could try other oils such as coconut oil or peanut oil if you want lower numbers of saturated fats and a lower number of fried tofu calories!

How long does it take to deep fry tofu?

Remember that it doesn’t take long to deep fry tofu. If you want the coating to be nice and light, you don’t want to overfry your tofu strips. You also need to make sure your oil is hot enough before you add your tofu strips.

If you place one strip into the oil first, then it should stay afloat as the oil bubbles up. If the tofu strip sinks, then the oil isn’t hot enough. Remove the strip and wait a few more minutes.

When the oil is hot enough, you need to leave your tofu strips to fry for 2 minutes minimum and for no longer than 3 minutes (depending on how large your tofu strips have been cut). You can turn the tofu strips as they bubble away, deep frying, to give them an even, crispy finish!

How do you keep tempura tofu crispy?

The best tempura tofu is served fresh. After deep frying, you can keep your tofu tempura crispy by leaving it on a rack and placing it in a slightly warmed oven. This keeps the tempura hot while you have a chance to prepare the rest of your tempura strips and any other food.

Why do I need to freeze the tofu?

You don’t have to freeze the tofu in advance, but freezing does add a lot to the texture of the tempura tofu. The freezing and thawing process gives the tofu a much firmer, almost chewy texture, which is perfect for this dish. Without it, the tofu can easily become too soft as it’s deep fried in the oil, leading to mushy tempura sticks!

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Deep Fried Tofu Recipe

This is a recipe for deep frying tofu at home. It has a discussion about things to try while experimenting with what is in fact, quite a popular Asian restaurant food. Keep in mind, according to , deep-fried tofu has different ways to cook, and has different firmness and brands, so it's a fun thing to experiment with! Although some tofu is way too soft to cook this way, it's recommendable to use firm tofu for this recipe because it holds its shape, I used Evergreen Original (regular firm) brand tofu - available from Woolworths supermarkets around Australia.

Block Tofu, wash and cut into small cubes (the smaller the cube, the lesser the cooking time).

Canola Oil in a suitable amount to fill the pan or deep fryer to sufficient levels.

Use your preferred deep frying equipment (in the case of the accompanying photos, I used a regular steel saucepan - smaller width is more economical for oil use, means more height to the oil).

1. Heat oil as per one's preferred deep frying method. When you are sure the oil is at the right heat, add one cube to test it. If there are many bubbles around the cube, then it is suitable for deep frying.

2. Add tofu cubes, by tongs or preferred method.

3. Using tongs to turn tofu regularly, so the crispiness is occurring on all sides of the cubes and to prevent sticking. The inside of the cubes won't overcook and you'll get the desired effect of a crispy outside and a creamy inside. Try adjusting the stove temperature, to get the perfect effect. The pieces need to be golden and float to the surface of the oil.

4. Remove from oil and place on bowl or plate with kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil,

5. Serve as per your choice, in the accompanying photos, you can see the progression and then I chose to present mine on a large baby wombok leaf. I topped it with a pickled julienned zucchini in a red curry dressing.

The dressing possibly worked against the aesthetics but was a delicious low-calorie complement to the tofu, which cools mighty fast and in the case of my offering, was quite porous and chewy and crunchy in the right way. Overall, I was stunned by how tasty it was, it obviously lifts the spirits to see or taste a pleasant surprise. It's fine to pour some Fountain Sweet Chilli Sauce beside the baby wombok leaf, as my red curry dressing was only sparingly poured. For fewer calories, just put the red curry dressing in a small serving dish and dip the tofu into it. I used sugar, vinegar, water and a hint of red curry paste to make it - the fun bit is it is cheap, healthy and easy to make up to personal taste - fun to experiment with, and improves cooking skills.

Admittedly, I would have served any sauce or dressing in a bowl on the side if it was a restaurant standard occasion, but as it was a recipe that encourages experimentation as opposed to a perfect presentation (often deep-fried tofu is presented minimally in restaurants), I poured the red curry dressing over the dish (I realise it looks like a boat but tastefully done!). It is essentially, a great idea to experiment because there are different brands and tofu is healthy and tastes good deep-fried. However, the baby wombok leaf looks great. It was almost so nice I needed to pour the red curry dressing over it, as it would get some of that delicious dressing directly onto the tofu and provide a less predictable view on presenting the leaf with the tofu.

The crunchy outside coupled with its airy texture is really something else, it's like eating 'deep-fried air'. Yet that's the amazing thing. I've started labelling it a phenomenon, due to how such an airy flavor can be so satisfying. Admittedly it's hard to pinpoint - try it and leave a comment in the field below, I'm fairly certain that provided one can cook it so the exterior is crispy, that one won't be disappointed. With 0.9 kilograms of tofu on sale at major supermarkets for AUD 4-5 dollars, keep a lookout for Evergreen brand tofu as one of many good brands worth considering. Hopefully, this recipe presents some fun, tasty and deliciously moreish ways to eat healthy tofu!

Agedashi Tofu Recipe

The warm tentsuyu broth added to the dish just before serving is full of savory umami and just a touch of sweetness. Meanwhile, the grated ginger on top brings a spicy freshness, that rounds out the flavor profile beautifully.

Our history with Japanese fried tofu

How to cook Agedashi Tofu

Lightly dust your drained silken tofu with a bit of potato starch. This will provide an airy, crunchy exterior to your tofu once fried.

Then heat your cooking oil to around 340°F. Once hot, carefully place your tofu cubes inside and deep fry until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels until the excess oil has run off.

Meanwhile in a small pan, heat up your dashi stock, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and salt. Stir until the sugar has disolved.

Serve your fried tofu cubes in the broth – and top with scallions, katsuobushi and grated ginger and daikon.

Agedashi tofu makes a great side to noodle dishes such as miso ramen, ja ja men (dry ground pork noodles) or Vietnamese chicken noodle soup.

Here are some of my other favorite tofu dishes:

Deep Fried Soft Tofu in Soy Sauce

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This recipe is adapted from Samui Institute of Culinary Arts in Thailand, Koh Samui island


  1. 1 Cut the soft tofu thickly into pieces about 1 inch long. Season with a little salt and pepper and coat with crispy flour. Fry until golden brown. Place on a serving plate.
  2. 2 Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan
  3. 3 Add the garlic, onion, red and green pepper, baby corn, mushroom, green peas and stock and stir for about 20 seconds.
  4. 4 Add the soy sauce (or fish sauce), seasoning sauce, sugar, black pepper and stir briefly. Add the cornstarch and spring onion and stir briefly again. Pour the mixture on top of the soft tofu
  5. 5 Garnish with coriander leaves and deep fried dried garlic.

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Deep Fried Tofu with Eggplant

Cut eggplants in half lengthwise, then in ¼” diagonal pieces. Boil eggplant until soft then set aside.

Heat oil in fry pan and add garlic, round onion, shrimp, deep fried tofu, oyster sauce and green onion then add eggplant.


RT @AlohaTofu That's right, today is Tofu Tuesdays! Today's recipe is Deep Fried Tofu with Eggplant: Enjoy the recipe!

火曜日は豆腐の日なんだ!Tofu Tuesday ってw RT @AlohaTofu That's right, today is Tofu Tuesdays!

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How to Deep-Fry Tofu (and Pan-Fry It, Too)

Follow these tips from cookbook author Andrea Nguyen, and golden, crisp-chewy tofu is just a few steps away.

Shatter-crisp chicken. Crunchy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside fries. Warm, golden-brown fritters. There&aposs something so irresistible about deep-fried food, all the more satisfying when you make it at home𠅊nd if you haven&apost added the joys of deep-fried tofu to your repertoire yet, consider this your primer.

We chatted with tofu aficionado and cookbook author Andrea Nguyen (whose many books include Asian Tofu and Vietnamese Food Any Day) to get her recommendations for deep-frying tofu, from the kind of tofu you should be cooking with to the dishes you can use the final product in. She also shares why she likes to salt her tofu before frying, and if you&aposd like to pan-fry your tofu, her guidelines for that as well. No matter which method you choose, with just a few simple steps, you&aposll be on your way to golden, crisp-chewy tofu you won&apost be able to get enough of.

First Thing's First: Get Your Tofu

Tofu comes in several different varieties, including silken, firm, and super-firm. Typically, Nguyen will use firm tofu for deep-frying, but you can use extra-firm if you&aposd like. Frying tofu gives it "extra character," she says.

"The beauty of deep-frying tofu is that it makes it much more sturdy, and it&aposs also fatty-rich tasting," Nguyen explains.

You can also buy tofu already fried, if you want. But as Nguyen points out, you won&apost know when it was fried, or what kind of tofu was used, so she recommends frying your own.

"Tofu always tastes really, really good when it&aposs freshly fried, so I just want to encourage people to do it," she says.

Cut, Soak, and Drain

To start, take your tofu block and cut it up into pieces. You could do cubes, or little logs, roughly the size of "if you were to stack two or three dominoes together," Nguyen explains. She then places the tofu pieces in a bowl, and dissolves one and a half teaspoons of fine sea salt in two cups of very hot water. Next, you pour the water over the tofu and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes, seasoning the tofu in the process. At that point, pour off the water and put the tofu pieces on a paper towel or clean dish towel for another 15 minutes so they can drain. 

"The salt helps to create a really beautiful color and flavor," Nguyen says. "And it helps it drain, so that&aposs why I do that."

Start Deep-Frying

After the tofu has soaked and drained, you&aposre all set to fry. Just be sure to give the pieces a final pat to dry them off beforehand. Nguyen likes to deep-fry tofu in a wok at "a moderately high heat, so between 360 and 370 [degrees Fahrenheit]," with a neutral oil. Since a wok has more surface area, you won&apost have to use as much oil as you would in a Dutch oven, she says, but you can certainly use one if you don&apost have a wok. She typically pours about an inch and a half of oil into her wok for deep-frying.

You&aposll want to deep-fry the tofu in small batches, around three to four pieces at a time (this may vary depending on the size of the tofu pieces). Too much tofu in the pan at once could result in the oil temperature fluctuating. She also notes that the tofu pieces may stick together while they&aposre frying in the oil, so have chopsticks or a skimmer on hand to separate them if needed.

"They strangely like wiggle and float themselves toward one another and they stick," she says. "And it&aposs the darndest thing, you&aposre like, &aposwhy do you have to be friends?&apos Sometimes they stick and sometimes they don&apost, it depends on the tofu."

Ultimately, when she&aposs deep-frying tofu, she says that a batch will take two to three minutes to cook. The end result should have golden and crispy exteriors. Once they&aposre done, you can transfer the pieces to a plate lined with paper towels or a rack and let them cool. Then, they&aposre ready to eat, or you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

How to Pan-Fry Tofu

You can also pan-fry tofu, like Nguyen does in her recipe for Shaking Tofu from Vietnamese Food Any Day. When pan-frying, she uses a pound of firm or extra-firm tofu—"most people like extra-firm because it&aposs a little sturdier." She takes the tofu, cuts it up, and like with deep-frying, reaches for fine sea salt for some pre-fry seasoning. However, instead of mixing the salt with hot water, she sprinkles it directly on the tofu, saying it&aposs like dry brining. The tofu sits on top of two layers of paper towels or clean dish towels (use non-terry, to avoid fibers) for 15 to 20 minutes, and will naturally drain in the process.

After the tofu has drained and you&aposve blotted the pieces dry to get rid of excess moisture, it&aposs time to fry—Nguyen says you can use a well-seasoned skillet or a nonstick skillet with one to two tablespoons of neutral oil. If you want a nutty flavor, she suggests trying semi-refined peanut oil (such as Lion & Globe), or blending unrefined peanut oil one-to-one with a neutral cooking oil.

Cook the tofu over medium to medium-high heat, searing it for one to two minutes on each side. (She typically sears three sides). "What you learn when you&aposre pan-frying tofu is you just look at the edges on the side that&aposs touching the pan, and you&aposre going to see it get golden," Nguyen says. "And so once it&aposs golden, then it&aposs time to turn it. It&aposs a very meditative process."

Just like with deep-fried tofu, transfer the pieces to a plate lined with paper towels or a rack to dry, and then you can store them for up to one week in the fridge in an airtight container. 

Dishes That Use Fried Tofu

Whether you&aposre working with deep-fried or pan-fried tofu, Nguyen says there are plenty of ways you can use it, including curries, stews, noodle soups, and sandwiches. Pre-frying makes it hold up well for stir-frying, too. "It&aposs going to have this wonderful exterior that&aposs fatty and kind of chewy," she says. "So it makes for very interesting tofu dishes." She likes to fry at the beginning of the week and then keep the tofu on hand for different meals.

And if you&aposre worried about misstepping while you cook it? Don&apost be. 

"It&aposs very forgiving, and I&aposve made a lot of mistakes—what I&aposve thought to be mistakes—with tofu, and it turned out just fine," she says.