I thought it wasn’t possible to make crispy tofu without baking it for at least 30-40 minutes. But, I was wrong.
One night when I was super hungry and desperate for dinner fast, I tried this new-and-improved method and it worked so well I’ve since used this one exclusively! It’s that good. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner. Plus, it easily carves 5-10 minutes off of the original method and includes the opportunity to add more seasonings. Hello, quick and crispy tofu!
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) and wrap your extra firm tofu (this is important – anything less than extra firm won’t crisp up as fast or as well) and set something heavy on top like a cast iron skillet.
Step 2: Cube tofu and add to a mixing bowl. Season with salt and, depending on what type of dish you’re adding it to, season accordingly (i.e. curry powder for a curry dish, or a bit of tamari and/or chili garlic sauce for a stir-fry). I was adding mine to a green curry (coming later this week!), so I went with curry powder.
Step 3: Sauté in oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until browned on all sides (shaking the pan as needed to cook all sides).
Step 4: Finish baking in the oven for about 15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown. Mmmm, yes, please.
Now what to do with crispy tofu? Add it to salads, curries, stir-fries and more! While seasoned well on the outside it will still benefit from a hearty sauce, like my stir-fry glaze, Almond Butter Tofu Glaze, or a NEW green curry sauce coming soon!
If you try this new-and-improved method, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Quick & Easy Crispy Tofu
- 14-16 ounces extra firm tofu (extra firm is important)
- 1 healthy pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp desired seasoning (such as curry powder, chili powder, tamari, tandoori spice, etc.)
- 1 Tbsp coconut, avocado or grape seed oil (if avoiding oil, skip this, but tofu may stick to a bare pan)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and wrap your extra firm tofu in an absorbent towel. Set something heavy on top – like a cast iron skillet – to press out extra moisture for 5 minutes. Alternatively, use a tofu press.
- Unwrap tofu and cut into small cubes (see photo), then add to a medium mixing bowl and season with a pinch of salt and desired seasoning, which will vary depending on your dish. I was adding mine to a curry, so I added curry powder. If adding to a BBQ dish, try a BBQ seasoning blend. Or if adding to a Thai dish, try a Thai curry powder. If you want it to remain neutral in flavor and just crisp up, simply season with salt and skip the extra seasoning.
- Heat a large oven-safe metal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and the seasoned tofu. Sauté for 5 minutes, shaking/flipping occasionally to cook on all sides, until tofu has a slight crust on each side and has begun to brown.
- Transfer skillet to oven to bake for about 15 minutes, or until the tofu is firm to the touch and has begun to dry out and crisp up. The longer it bakes, the firmer it gets. I found the 15-minute mark to be about right.
- Now you have crispy tofu to add to virtually any dish you’d like! While the tofu is crispy and slightly seasoned, it does still benefit from a sauce, such as Peanut Sauce, my Almond Butter Glaze, a Curry Sauce, or my Garlic Dill Sauce. Best when fresh, but can be stored in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Reheat in a 375 degree F (190 C) oven until very hot.
*Method adapted from my Make Tofu Taste Good recipe.