Okay, I’m having a moment.
A moment with tofu.
Let’s be real for a sec: tofu is straight-up gross when not treated correctly.
Flavorless, spongy mush. That’s pretty much the textbook definition of bad tofu.
But tofu can be good. Really good. And nothing has hit the spot more for me lately than good tofu.
I’ve been working out a lot more than I have in the past, so I think my body is just craving more protein. Gotta get dem mad gainz, right?
I love tofu when it’s done right. Rightest being that crispy fried goodness you order at your favorite Chinese restaurant. Isn’t it the best? Crispy edges, tender insides, and all-around scrumdillyumptious.
But friend. I have a not-so secret to tell you: you can get that tasty, amazing, crave-worthy tofu in your very own home.
And you don’t even need to deep fry it.
This is so happening, and I’m so stoked. And it’s oh-so simple! I’ll show ya.
6 tips for Easy Crispy Marinated Tofu success
- Use extra-firm tofu. My fave kind of tofu! The firmness is key here because it helps the tofu keep its structure once it starts cooking. Anything softer than extra-firm will be much too, well…soft. I find mine at Trader Joe’s, but you should be able to find it pretty much e’rywhere.
- Press dat tofu good. You want to remove a lot of the water that’s trapped inside the tofu so that you can make way for our tasty marinade! It’s super simple: wrap your big block of tofu in a towel, put something heavy on top, wait 20 minutes. You just pressed your tofu good!
- Use arrowroot flour. The KEY to this crispy situation. If you don’t have arrowroot flour / starch, you can probably use cornstarch instead! But you toss the tofu in this flour / starch, and cook it on the stove with a wee bit of coconut oil. The arrowroot crisps up perfectly and gives our tofu cubes a nice little crust.
- Try to keep the tofu from touching. Tofu cubes coated in arrowroot love to touch one another. It’s annoying because they stick together and prevent all of the sides from getting crispy. Try to keep them from touching. Let me rephrase: they will touch, but try to keep them from touching too much. When they do touch, you can easily pull them apart!
- Cool on a cooling rack. Weird, right? You know what’s weirder? My cooling rack had chocolate cookies on one side and this tofu on the other because I was making them both at the same time. Don’t do that. But do put your cooked, crispy tofu on a cooling rack so that it doesn’t lose its…crispness. You don’t want it to steam on a plate or a baking sheet—you want the air to help it crisp up even more.
And that’s that! It might sound a bit intimidating, but trust me, friend: it’s ridiculously easy.
SO easy in fact, I’m dubbing it a fab weeknight meal! Serve it over some Protein Fried Rice, noodles, ramen, curry, or the bowl that’s coming to you soon, and you have a delectable, protein-packed meal on your hands.
Look at you. You go gurl.
Easy Crispy Marinated Tofu
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: 15 oz.||Total:|
Super simple tofu that's just as good as takeout! Naturally vegan and gluten free, and perfect for topping fried rice, curry, ramen, and more!
- 15 oz. extra firm tofu
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce / tamari
- 1/4 tsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced or pressed
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 Tbsp. Sriracha
- FOR COOKING:
- 2 Tbsp. arrowroot flour
- 1-2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- Wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel and place a heavy object on top to help it drain. I like using a cutting board with the base of my blender on top, but a few heavy cans would work too! Drain your tofu for 20 minutes.
- Remove your tofu from the towel, and cut into 1/2 inch squares. Place them on the towel to help them drain after they're cut.
- Place the tofu chunks in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix up your marinade. Pour the marinade over the tofu, and mix to coat. Allow the tofu to sit in the tofu for 10 minutes.
- Toss your tofu in the 2 Tbsp. arrowroot flour. Make sure the arrowroot flour coats each piece of tofu.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add your tofu to the skillet so that each piece has its own space—this is what helps it get nice and crispy. You'll probably need to cook them in batches.
- Cook each side of the tofu, carefully flipping each piece once the side that's cooking is crispy. You don't want to flip the pieces too much because the coating will steam rather than get crispy. Try to keep the tofu from touching one another—they easily stick together when they start cooking, but once they're crispy, they can touch all day long.
- Once your tofu is crispy, carefully remove it from the skillet and place it on a cooling rack to cool. Enjoy warm or at room temp!
Adapted from The Kitchn
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