If you’ve tried cooking tofu, you probably already know how difficult it can be to get it perfectly crispy. Because it’s typically packaged in water and is loaded with moisture, there are some important steps you need to take in order to get that delicious tofu crunch.
Luckily, Gia Stanley, the sustainable chef behind Sustainably Gia, is a total pro and is sharing all her secrets on how to make crispy tofu. “If you have ever struggled with getting your tofu crispy and firm, I feel you and I’m here to help,” she wrote. “In just three steps you’ll have tasty, crispy tofu to add to salads, veggie bowls, or to dip in your favorite sauce.”
Contrary to popular belief, tofu isn’t destined to be wet, boring, and soggy. It’s actually something you can transform into a wide range of mouth-watering plant-based dishes, from sesame “chicken” to Alfredo sauce. Here’s how to make crispy tofu you’ll want to eat all the time.
How to Make Crispy Tofu
What You’ll Need:
Paper towel or a clean kitchen cloth
1. Remove any excess moisture from the tofu. Do this by wrapping the tofu in a paper towel or clean kitchen cloth. Then, stack a couple pots or pans on top. This will help press the water out. The more moisture you get out of the tofu, the crispier it will be. Just don’t squish it in the process.
2. Cut your tofu into bite-sized cubes.
3. In a hot pan, sear the tofu in some avocado oil (1 to 2 tablespoons should do it) for a few minutes. You’ll want a few sides of the tofu to look golden brown.
4. After searing, transfer the tofu to a baking sheet, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 350°F
5. Dunk the crispy tofu in your favorite sauce, add it to a salad, or mix it into a veggie bowl. The options are endless.
How to Store Crispy Tofu
Now that you know how to make crispy tofu, how do you store it? If you don’t finish it all in one sitting, you can certainly save it for later. Cooked tofu will last 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Just make sure to place it in an airtight container. And, most importantly, don’t store it with sauce. (If you do, you can say goodbye to the crispiness you just worked so hard to achieve.) Instead, store any sauce separately.
Once you’re ready to munch on those leftovers, try lightly pan frying, air frying, or baking the tofu in the oven as opposed to microwaving it. This will help maintain that satisfying crunch. Cooked tofu can also be stored in the freezer. One thing to note: Because the frigid temperatures can impact tofu’s color and texture, it may have a slightly different taste and feel when it thaws out.
Of course, no matter how you cook, eat, or store it, tofu makes an excellent protein-packed meat substitute for anyone interested in plant-based eating.