Deep-Fried Tofu

Deep-fried tofu with soy sauce on a plate

The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
288 Calories
24g Fat
9g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 31%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 151mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 320mg 25%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 148mg 3%
*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.)

Deep frying gives the tofu a golden color and a crispy texture in this easy-to-make tofu recipe. You can enjoy deep-fried tofu as its own course, served with a dipping sauce. It can also be added to recipes for stir-fries, noodles, rice dishes, pasta, or salads as a vegan protein.

If you don't like the usual texture of tofu, you may enjoy crispy deep-fried tofu. For nonvegetarians, the texture will be more meat-like. The frying will give it extra flavor as well. If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure you use a gluten-free cornstarch. If that's not a concern, flour is a suitable substitute for cornstarch.

It's best to use firm or extra-firm tofu for deep-frying, not soft silken tofu. Firm tofu will hold its shape and brown better when fried.

If you use a wok as suggested in the recipe directions, it will require less oil for deep-frying (due to the sloped sides) than a traditional flat frying pan. You could also use a deep-fryer. Adjust the amount of oil used so there are 2 inches of oil as measured at the deepest part of the wok, pan, or deep-fryer.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for deep-fried tofu recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. Cut the pressed tofu into 4 large triangles or 1-inch cubes, as desired.

    Firm tofu cut into triangles on a wood cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. Roll the tofu in the cornstarch, tapping to remove any excess.

    Tofu rolled in cornstarch

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Fill a wok or deep pan with enough oil for a depth of 2 inches. Heat over high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350 F.

    Red pot with oil

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. When the oil is heated, carefully add 2 tofu pieces into the oil. Fry, stirring occasionally, until the tofu is golden on both sides.

    Frying tofu in a pot of oil

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Remove the tofu with a slotted spoon and drain it on a wire rack over paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Continue deep-frying the other tofu pieces, working in batches to maintain the oil temperature.

    Deep-fried tofu on a paper towel

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Serve immediately and enjoy.


  • You can serve fried tofu with any of several dipping sauces. Consider soy-ginger dressingsweet and sour sauce, or Chinese-style peanut sauce.
  • Your tofu will be crispy when served immediately after frying. After about an hour, the tofu won't be as crispy, but it will still have the flavor added by the frying process. For many dishes, such as stir-fries, noodle dishes, or rice dishes, the crispiness will be lost in any case due to the sauce.
  • You can store leftover deep-fried tofu in the refrigerator. It won't be crisp the next day, but it will still be firm and tasty. As well, it is pretty stable at room temperature as there are no animal ingredients and the frying process ensures any surface germs are killed. You could take it along in a brown-bag lunch safely.