Deep-Fried Tofu

Deep-Fried Tofu with soy sauce on a plate

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
114 Calories
7g Fat
3g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 12g
Calcium 383mg 29%
*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 find that you enjoy crispy deep-fried tofu. For non-vegetarians, the texture will be more meat-like. The frying will give it extra flavor as well. If you are eating gluten-free, ensure you are using 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 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.

Ingredients

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Deep-Fried Tofu ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    firm tofu cut into triangles on a wood cutting board

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

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

    tofu rolled in starch

    The Spruce / 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 / Cara Cormack

  5. When the oil is heated, carefully add two 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 / Cara Cormack

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

    Deep-Fried Tofu on a paper towel

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Serve and enjoy.

Tips

  • 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.