My new favorite plant based protein is tofu. Not just tofu cooked any kind of way, no, the tofu that is so incredibly desirable is seasoned then deep fried then topped with green onion. This perfectly fried tofu is everything you’ll ever need in your life. Most deep fried tofu recipes come with a dipping sauce but this is enough to eat on its own it doesn’t need the help from anything else. I think I’ve mentioned before that deep frying is my biggest weakness. As much as I want to be healthy and eat clean sometimes you just have those days where you want pure guilty pleasures. For some people that’s candy, ice-cream, chips, doughnuts, cookies, or cake but for me it’s anything fried.
This perfectly fried tofu isn’t covered in dense flour nor is it covered in thick breadcrumbs, it’s instead covered in corn starch which is thinner and lighter than both. It covers the tofu evenly and crisps up beautifully. I chose corn starch for this because flour and breadcrumbs can kind of steal the show, instead of enhancing the protein they cover it up and overwhelm it all together. Not to say it’s not delicious and amazing but there’s a time and a place for everything right? Corn starch enhances the texture of tofu which is delicate. As the corn starch fries it starts to turn golden after two minutes and what you have is a crisp outside while maintaining the soft inside.
Because tofu can be bland I have used paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to season it. I would leave the garlic salt out to sprinkle it on after because some of the seasonings can get lost in the frying process. This just adds extra flavor and puts it over the top. Sprinkling some on after isn’t required but I promise it makes a world of difference. Try it yourself and see.
I have tried this recipe with both extra firm and firm tofu before and I love the firm texture more because it gives a better contrast of textures in my opinion. As the fried tofu comes out golden, after it sits for a minute or two you’re left with a soft cloudlike inside and a crisp flavorful outside. The extra firm gives it a slightly denser texture both inside and outside and I don’t know about you but when I’m frying I like a lighter texture because the heavy oils and such can be overwhelming if it’s all too dense. I don’t recommend trying this recipe with a softened tofu or it may fall apart.
With all tofu it’s important to always drain the water and press it for about an hour. This will help alleviate the mess and give a crisper result.
I love tofu and I really appreciate its ability to change textures and shapes in plant based cooking. This is one of my favorite ways to prepare it. The final tip is to serve it right away after it cools for a minute or two. I hope you love it as much as I do. If you’re looking for a healthy recipe to add fried tofu to check out this post.
- 1 14oz container of firm tofu
- Canola oil
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons of corn starch
- 1½ teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- Pinch of pepper
- Drain and press the tofu for 30 minutes to an hour. When the tofu is pressed and drained slice it into rectangles or squares (your preference)
- In a saucepan add enough canola oil so it will cover the tofu when it's frying and turn the heat on medium to medium high and wait a few minutes for the oil to warm up.
- In a small bowl combine the corn starch, garlic salt, onion powder, paprika and pepper and mix until well combined.
- In batches set a few pieces tofu in the corn starch mixture and coat all sides of it
- Get ready to fry the tofu by making sure the oil is hot enough. You can do this by flicking some water into it. If it pops it's ready. Turn the heat down to medium and place the coated tofu into the oil and fry for a few minutes until golden brown on both sides. You may want to flip the tofu half way if one side is browning more than the other.
- Once done frying set aside on a plate with a paper towel on top then sprinkle the finished pieces with a touch of garlic salt to make it taste even better!