How to Cook Tofu–Fry It!

by Daisy

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Tofu is one of those things–you either like it or you don’t. If you dislike tofu, chances are you have never had fried tofu or you are just fundamentally opposed to the idea of a bean curd product, period. I respect that. I’m not a tofu pusher. It is a little widgey. This post is for the people who want to like tofu, but who haven’t found a palatable way to prepare it and are at a loss for what to do with it. I say fry the stuff.

Here’s how:

Buy firm tofu. If your market sells only the soft version, follow these tips.

Cleave in twain, thusly:

Slice into strips, about 10. (I re-stack the two halves and then slice.)

Lay strips on a dry towel and pat dry with another towel.

Heat about 1/2 inch of oil (I used canola) until it sizzles when you dip a corner of a slice of tofu in it, but not so hot the oil is going to smoke. About medium to medium-high heat.

Put your tofu strips into the hot oil. Let them sizzle undisturbed for several minutes, keeping an eye on them. You want the bottom to brown and crisp up. If you try to move the strips too soon, they will be very stuck to the pan. Letting them brown first will allow for an easier release from the pan. They will still be stuck, but not horribly. A thin, strong metal spatula/egg turner is best for this.

Turn strips over. Continue to brown in the oil until the strips are golden brown on all sides.

Remove from oil and allow to drain.

Now here’s where it gets really tasty: Stir up one clove of garlic, minced; about two teaspoons honey; and a pinch of salt. Cut the fried tofu into cubes and toss with the honey/garlic mixture.

1/2 teaspoon of cardamom or coriander is another good addition here. Now your fried tofu is ready to toss in a stir fry. You might want to plan on doing two packages–they make good snacking and might not make it past the cook to the dinner table.

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

DayPhoto October 23, 2008 at 2:38 pm

I have printed this off, THANK YOU!

I buy the stuff (soft, watery)and then don’t know what to do with it. I do like it is soup, but….


ga.farmwoman October 23, 2008 at 4:17 pm

I have to admit I haven’t ate much tofu but you do make it look good. I may just have to try it fried.
Have a good day.

Stephanie October 23, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Proof that anything fried in oil tastes good!

Netta October 24, 2008 at 5:42 pm

I’m not a big tofu fan, but this looks really tasty. I agree with stephanie — anything fried, especially with honey and garlic on it, should taste good. Heh.

BrighterPlanet-CB October 24, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Frying firm tofu is definitely the way to go. Thanks for this recipe. This is a great one to offer people who are trying tofu for their first time!

Tomato Lady October 25, 2008 at 2:40 am

Linda–I hope it does good for you!

Pam–Give it a try, if you don’t like it maybe Jack will eat the leftovers.

Stephanie–You can say that again!

Netta–Thank you! Yea, what else can we think up to fry and cover in honey and garlic? Hmm. I know–chocolate.

brighterplanet–You’re so right-first timers are plenty skeptical. I know I was. . .

Red Icculus October 26, 2008 at 11:52 am

This is the only way I will eat tofu. I am more of a seitan man, myself. Thanks for the great writeup.

Tomato Lady October 26, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Thanks. And thank you for the seitan reference. I confess I had never heard of it but I looked it up. Sounds like an improvement over tvp. Found several recipes that look good. Future post, maybe?

Red Icculus October 27, 2008 at 2:08 pm

I am planning on doing a writeup on making seitan from scratch. My family seems to think it has a little more character than tofu, but my girlfriend swears by the old tried and true block of bean curd.

Ivory Soap October 27, 2008 at 4:25 pm

Red Icculus,

Can’t wait for the seitan post. I saw a recipe in a vegan cook book a while back. I’ve been wanting to try it.

Brown Thumb Mama September 25, 2009 at 11:39 am

Thanks! Found this from the Thai Fried Rice recipe. I could never get it to turn out right, but I wasn’t drying them off. Mmmmm, will have to make a double batch because I won’t want to share!

Tomato Lady September 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Brown Thumb Mama–I’m feelin’ you. I could eat the whole batch standing in the kitchen!

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