Deep-Fried Tofu

Deep fried tofu
Sce Hwai PHANG / Getty Images
  • 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: Serves 4
Ratings (35)

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 find you enjoy crispy deep-fried tofu. For meat-eaters, the texture will be more meat-like. The frying will give it extra flavor, as well. If you are eating gluten-free, you can ensure you are using gluten-free cornstarch and you should not use flour. If that's not a concern, the cornstarch or flour are interchangeable.

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

The recipe directions use a wok, which 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.

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound tofu (medium or firm)
  • 3-4 tablespoons cornstarch (or flour, as needed)
  • 4 cups oil (2 inches deep in wok, pan, or fryer)

How to Make It

  • Drain the tofu well. If you would like it to be very firm and crispy, you can press it to remove even more water.
  • Cut the tofu into four large triangles or cubes as desired
  • Roll the tofu in the cornstarch or flour.
  • Heat wok and add oil for deep frying. When the oil is heated to at least 350 F, carefully add two tofu pieces into the wok.
  • Fry, stirring occasionally until the tofu is golden on both sides.
  • Remove the tofu with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack over paper towels. Continue to deep-fry the other tofu pieces. Keep the fried tofu warm while frying the remaining tofu.

You can serve 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.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 114
Total Fat 7 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 10 mg
Carbohydrates 3 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 12 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)