Easy Vegan Crispy Fried Tofu

Fried Tofu
The Spruce
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 5 mins
  • Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
278 Calories
17g Fat
21g Carbs
14g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 278
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 22%
Saturated Fat 3g 14%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 655mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 14g
Calcium 398mg 31%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you're looking to reduce your meat intake, tofu is a great alternative. While some meat-eaters might turn up their nose at the mention of the stuff, tofu is a versatile ingredient that takes on flavor easily and can be steamed, baked, fried, and scrambled.

Pan-fried in just a little bit of oil, this crispy tofu will even please picky kids. It's just fine fried up on its own, but a little salt, garlic, and nutritional yeast completely transforms it. You'll want to bookmark this easy recipe for crispy fried tofu bites and use it again and again. 

Fried tofu can be dipped in just about any kind of sauce: barbecue sauce, vegan ranch dressing, honey mustard, Chinese hoisin sauce, or even wing sauce. You can also use fried tofu in any vegetable stir-fry, fried rice, vegetarian curry or noodle dish, or just as a crispy-crunchy snack or main dish. Toss fried tofu into vegetarian soups and salads for extra protein and a bit of crunchy texture.

Ingredients

  • 1 block tofu (firm or extra-firm)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Crispy Fried Tofu Ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Press the tofu by placing paper towels underneath and on top of the block and weighing it down for several minutes.

    pressing tofu
     The Spruce
  3. Slice the pressed tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.

    cube tofu
     The Spruce
  4. In a small bowl, combine the tofu with the nutritional yeast, flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss gently to coat the tofu well. Or, place all ingredients in a zip-lock bag or covered container and shake well.

    adding seasonings
     The Spruce
  5. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot. Add the tofu. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and lightly crispy on most sides.

    Crispy Fried Tofu in Skillet
    The Spruce

Recipe Variations

  • Use a gluten-free flour in this recipe if you're on a gluten-free diet. 
  • Add other spices to the mix if you like, such as cayenne pepper, paprika, or turmeric.

Tips

  • Firm or extra-firm tofu is best for frying since it will hold its shape and adhere to the flour coating. It also has a texture closer to other fried foods like chicken nuggets.
  • Pressing the tofu allows the tofu to absorb more of the flavorings and seasonings, as well as keeps it from being watery.
  • If the paper towels become too wet after absorbing the initial moisture, you may want to place the tofu on a second, fresh layer of paper towels.
  • If you would like a firmer and "chewier" version of tofu for this recipe, feel free to freeze it for up to 30 minutes after you press and cut it.

Is Tofu Healthy?

The merits of soy products are hotly debated, but research has shown tofu to be a nutrient-dense food and a good source of protein and essential amino acids. This recipe uses a minimal amount of oil for pan-frying, making it a healthy, low-fat option compared to dishes like fried chicken or pork cutlets.

Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Rizzo G, Baroni L. Soy, Soy Foods and Their Role in Vegetarian Diets. Nutrients. 2018;10(1):43. Published 2018 Jan 5. doi:10.3390/nu10010043