If you've been looking for a way to make crispy tofu, this is the recipe for you! To obtain a crispy texture and lots of flavour, there are different ways to prepare and cook it and this is one that works well!
Crispy Tofu [Vegan]
- One block of extra firm tofu: 230 grams or 8 ounces
- 1/4 cup soya or tamari sauce, reduced sodium; naturally brewed
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable -or- canola oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger -or- ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper paste -or- cayenne pepper
- Option: Roasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top
- Drain the water from the package and rinse the tofu block under cold running water. Pat it down with your palms and a towel a few times to dry. If your tofu block is very thick, slice it in two lengthwise. It should be about 2 cm (0.8 inch) thick.
- Pressing the tofu (this part is essential): For at least 15 minutes to reduce the moisture in order to obtain (1) better texture and (2) allow those flavors to get in. Place the tofu block on a hard surface like a chopping board covered with a tea towel or paper towel. Place another towel on top of the tofu. Then place one or two heavy objects on top, like a chopping board topped with a pan and/or a heavy book. Half way through, you can change the top paper towel.
- While the tofu is being squeezed, make your marinade sauce. Hand mix in a small bowl the soya/tamari sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, sesame and veggie oils, ginger, garlic and red pepper paste or cayenne. Set aside.
- After the tofu has pressed, slice it in cubes. Place the cubes in a shallow container and pour the marinade over them. Cover with a lid and let the cubes marinate for 1 hour or overnight in fridge.
- Heat up 1 or 2 tablespoons (not more) of veggie oil in a cast iron or non-stick frying pan. Reduce the heat to medium-high (or a little lower if need be) and add the tofu cubes without the marinade sauce. Do not toss or shake the cubes around! Be gentle and patient and let the cubes fry for a minute or more and turn them over gently and let them fry on the other side and repeat this until they are all fried. Some will be a little more fried than others, but in all, frying should generally take about 10 minutes.
- When the cubes have browned, pour in half or a few tablespoons of the marinade sauce (NOT ALL OF IT). With the heat still on, gently toss and roll the cubes (you can sprinkle some sesame seeds on top) until all of the sauce is absorbed and the cubes are caramelized.
- Transfer the cubes to a plate or bowl and serve as is or with a drizzle of heated leftover marinade sauce on top. Tastes great accompanied with rice, noodles, veggies. I like to heat up the remaining marinade sauce in the microwave and mix it into the cooked rice or noodles. This will give you a nice flavorful meal high in plant-based proteins and other goodies.
- You can refrigerate leftover tofu cubes in a sealed container. They taste great heated or cold the next day.