Crispy Asian-Glazed Tofu with just 5 Ingredients delivers restaurant-quality tofu in 15 minutes. Quick, easy, and super versatile, this vegan tofu recipe will become a staple.
The Best Crispy Tofu Recipe:
This Crispy Asian-Glazed Tofu is officially a weeknight staple in my house. I’ll top salads or grain bowls with it, or toss it in stir-fries for a quick and easy dinner. It only requires 5 ingredients and comes together in just 15 minutes. And, most importantly, it’s downright delicious with rich umami flavor and coveted sticky-sweetness.
It’s also a great gateway recipe if you’re new to cooking tofu. I know some folks are intimidated by it, but I promise it’s one of the EASIEST proteins to cook. Let’s review the basics:
What is Tofu?
Tofu is made from soymilk that has been coagulated and either curdled and pressed into blocks (firm or extra-firm tofu) or left in its coagulated state to retain moisture (silken tofu). As a result, tofu has a soft, creamy mouthfeel and mild flavor. I always purchase extra-firm tofu for recipes like this because it holds its shape best. Look for it in the refrigerated produce section of most grocery stores.
Is Tofu Healthy?
- Tofu is rich in calcium and protein (which ranges from about 4g in 3 oz. of silken tofu to 10g in 3 oz. of extra-firm tofu). It’s also a complete protein, therefore it contains all nine essential amino acids. In addition, it’s a top source of isoflavones, a type of flavonoid that has estrogen-like effects and may help lower the risk of certain cancers.
- When it comes to buying organic vs. conventional tofu, organic will ensure that the soybeans are not GMO, therefore it’s worth the negligible extra cost. (Tofu is SUPER cheap as it is, so another plus!)
How Do I Cook Tofu?
In short, cooking tofu at home is dead simple, and only takes about 15 minutes. Here are some of my tips for the crispiest, sautéed tofu:
- Tofu can be a suitable stand-in for most meals, and can take on just about any flavor profile you throw its way. When purchasing blocks of tofu packed in water (which help preserve and keep it fresh), be sure to drain the water and press any excess moisture out using a kitchen towel. I usually slice it into 6 even slabs and then press each one to remove as much moisture as possible.
- Tofu has a tendency to latch onto pans, therefore using a nonstick pan will help better set you up for success when it comes to sautéing. Use medium-high heat and a neutral cooking oil for best results, and, above all, avoid crowding the pan! Giving the tofu ample space to cook will ensue it reaches its crispiest potential.
- Add sauce during the final 2 minutes of cooking so the tofu doesn’t become soggy. Using a sauce with sugar in it will caramelize the tofu and really take it up a notch in terms of flavor and texture.
What to Serve with Crispy Tofu:
This crispy tofu goes well with just about anything. Here are some of my favorite ways to serve it:
- With rice and roasted veggies in a grain bowl with a delicious sauce.
- In a stir-fry with seasonal vegetables and brown rice noodles.
- As “croutons” over a hearty kale salad with roasted squash and fruit (pictured below).
It’s a great recipe to make for meal prep and enjoy throughout the week. Upon reheating, it will lose some of its crispiest, however the flavor will stay strong. You can either reheat it in the microwave, toaster oven/air fryer, or a sauté pan. And if it becomes a little dry, add another splash of soy sauce to liven it back up. If you give this recipe a try, be sure to tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations!
- 1 (14-oz.) package extra-firm tofu, drained
- 1 Tbsp. hoisin
- 2 Tbsp. lower-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
- 1 Tbsp. unseasoned rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
- Slice tofu width-wise into 6 slabs. Use a kitchen towel to gently press each slice to remove excess liquid; cut into 1-inch cubes.
- Combine hoisin, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, and vinegar in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add tofu and cook, untouched, for 3 minutes, until bottom of cubes are golden-brown. Toss and cook 5 extra minutes, tossing occasionally, to brown all sides. Add Asian glaze and cook 2 more minutes, stirring often, until tofu absorbs glaze and becomes caramelized. Remove from heat and serve.