Easy Vegan Crispy Fried Tofu

Cubed fried tofu on a plate with a leaf of romaine lettuce

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Press Time: 10 mins
Total: 20 mins
Servings: 4 to 5 servings
Yield: 2 3/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
156 Calories
11g Fat
6g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 5
Amount per serving
Calories 156
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 219mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 263mg 20%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 186mg 4%
*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.


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"I used extra-firm tofu in the recipe and pressed it for about 10 minutes. I found that the more browned the cubes were, the crispier they were. The flavor was excellent, and the fried tofu would be delicious with a dip or incorporated into a stir-fry dish." —Diana Rattray

Cubed fried tofu on a plate over a bed of mixed greens
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu

  • 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.

    Ingredients for vegan crispy fried tofu gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Press the tofu by placing paper towels underneath and on top of the block and weighing it down for 10 minutes.

    Tofu weighed down by a bowl and cutting board and lined with paper towels

    The Spruce Eats

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

    Pressed tofu cut into cubes

    The Spruce Eats

  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.

    Tofu cubes tossed with nutritional yeast, flour, and spices

    The Spruce Eats

  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 a skillet with a wooden spoon

    The Spruce Eats


  • 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.

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.

How To Use

  • Serve fried tofu cubes as an appetizer with a dip or sauce.
  • Top a tossed salad with fried tofu cubes.
  • Toss some cubes into a stir-fry dish.
  • Add crispy fried tofu to pad thai or another kind of noodle dish.
  • Use fried tofu as a meat or poultry replacement in a spicy curry.
  • Add the fried tofu to soup.
  • In a bowl combine 1/4 cup of low sodium soy sauce, 2 tablespoons of water, 2 teaspoons of sweetener, 1 teaspoon of sambal/chili garlic sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch; stir to blend. Add the sauce mixture to the skillet with the fried tofu and toss to coat. Continue to cook just until the sauce is thickened. Serve sprinkled with sesame seeds or chopped cilantro.

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