Q&A: Tips for Crispy Tofu

How to get tofu crispy

Facebook friend, Susan, asks: How do you make tofu nice and crisp?

Now, some of my readers might be surprised that I LOVE tofu, but I do…I just like it WITH meat, not INSTEAD of it. 😉

Most restaurants deep-fry crispy tofu, which, while delicious, negates the healthy aspect of the dish, plus is tricky to do at home without it coming out soggy and greasy.

The problem is, tofu has a LOT of water in it, and you have to get a LOT of that water out, before it will crisp up, instead of just sitting in the pan, poaching in it’s own liquid.

Sure, you can press it, but it takes a LONG time to do it right, and if you try to do it faster, chances are good you’re going to end up with a bowl of tofu mush.

Personally, I like (and use) Mark Bittman’s tofu hack:

Freeze and then thaw your block of tofu.

This allows the water pocket inside to expand, and the drain, which makes more room to soak up flavors.

Simmering Tofu

Simmer the block in salted water for 5-10 minutes.

This plumps and firms up the tofu, helping with the sometimes mushy consistency.

Cube and sauté in just a little oil

I use Grapeseed, which has a high smoke point, and is flavorless. Peanut oil is probably the most traditional, barring any allergies.

When crisp, lower heat and add flavoring.

I like ginger, garlic, and fish sauce. Spicy Thai peanut sauce is great too.

My favorite way to eat is is with some grilled chicken, and Amy Roloff’s Fried Rice recipe. I usually top with some chopped scallions and fresh-toasted sesame seeds.

Amy Roloff's Fried Rice

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