The Best Pan-Fried Tofu
photo by Jonathan Melendez
- Ready In:
- 1 lb extra firm tofu (extra firm only)
- 1 1⁄2 - 3 tablespoons canola oil or 1 1/2-3 tablespoons peanut oil
- cayenne pepper
- Take your block of tofu and wrap it in several layers of paper towels.
- Gently press the tofu with your hands or against the counter top to release the liquid. This will take about a minute.
- Slice the tofu into pieces about 1/2 an inch thick.
- Set tofu aside.
- If you are using a non-stick pan heat it slightly on medium-high heat (about 30 seconds) before adding oil.
- If you are using a cast iron pan, please heat for about 1 minute to 1 1/2 minutes on medium-high heat. Cast iron is very thick and you want the pan to be heated evenly before adding the tofu.
- Add oil to heated pan.
- Gently spread oil over the entire surface of the pan.
- Set the tofu pieces in the pan, leaving ample room between them. They should sizzle when placed in the oil. Sprinkle the tops with salt and a little cayenne pepper.
- Now, the MOST IMPORTANT step is -- LEAVE THEM ALONE for about 6 or 7 minutes. Just gently shake them to make sure they don't stick to the pan. Do NOT turn them or agitate them in any other way. When you see a golden crust beginning to creep its way up the sides of the slices, turn them and spice the other side. Add more oil if the pan seems too dry.
- The second side will only take about 4 minutes to cook.
- When they are evenly browned take them out of the pan and place them on paper towels to drain.
- These are very simply seasoned and basic and can now be used any way you like. I like these with steamed broccoli and peanut sauce -- or in a sandwich with grilled peppers and mushrooms and aioli -- or just eaten with ketchup:-).
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THE BEST TOFU RECIPE IF YOU LIKE IT CRISPY on outside and NOT MUSHY on inside ! Thanks you so much for sharing this awesome recipe . For years I had been in search of a recipe that actually makes the tofu crispy and have now I have finally found it. Perfect texture. I make a big batch of this on weekends then reheat some of it with the spices I choose for the particular dish I am making that night. So convenient.
on frying tofu...the directions should warn you of the hazard of not draining tofu completely! I drained mine extensively on many changed layers of paper towels. Still I had a LOT of splashing of hot oil from the moisture that remained in the tofu. It did get beautifully crispy but please be sure that the tofu is as dry as it can be!
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Everything was great! We tried frying it in little cubes first, which came out like tofu croutons. They were great on our salad! Then, we tried making them as suggested, and they were also very good, but not as crispy. Next time, I will use olive oil instead of canola (which splattered all over the kitchen and wasn't as flavorful), and experiment with different herbs and spices (they were a little bland for my taste). Thank you for this delicious base recipe! ~ For PAC 2008
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I'm 26, married with two four legged children:-). My husband and I love to spend time playing scrabble, riding our bikes, messing around with our dogs and in general enjoying life. We just joined our local Adult Kickball league so we're both excited about that! We do have to figure out ways to work off all the yummy food I make from 'Zaar after all:-)