How to Make Tofu Extra Crispy: A Comprehensive Guide

Maple Glazed Tofu steaks on fork

Learn How to Make Tofu Extra Crispy. Tofu, a beloved staple in vegetarian and vegan diets, has the incredible ability to transform into a crispy delight with the right techniques. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best method to make your tofu extra crispy and provide a side-by-side comparison to help you choose the one that suits your taste. If you want to learn more about tofu, check out my informative article, ‘What Is Tofu Made Of,’ here.

The Best Way to Make Extra-Crispy Tofu

Let’s dive right into the best method to make your tofu irresistibly crispy. We’ll also outline the steps to achieve this texture. Properly pressing the tofu is a key step, and we’ve got you covered.

Best Method: Dredged in Cornstarch and Pan-Fried

This method, known for its simplicity and unmatched crispiness, consistently produces fantastic results. Here are the steps:

MethodPreparation TimeTextureRecommended for
Dredged in Cornstarch and Pan-Fried10 minutesIncredibly crispy, delicate crust, creamy interior.Everyone!


  1. Properly Press the Tofu: Before you begin, properly press the tofu to remove excess moisture. Place the tofu between two paper towels or clean kitchen towels and use a heavy object to gently weigh it down. This step is crucial for achieving the desired crispy texture.
  2. Choose extra-firm tofu for the best results.
  3. Cut the tofu into flat squares by halving the block lengthwise and then crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces.
  4. Dredge the tofu pieces in cornstarch.
  5. Pan-fry them in a little oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Turn them occasionally until all sides are golden brown and crispy.
  7. Serve your crispy tofu and enjoy!

Side-by-Side Comparison of Crispy Tofu Methods

To help you choose the best method for your taste, here’s a comparison of various methods we’ve explored.

MethodPreparation TimeTextureRecommended for
Dredged in Cornstarch and Pan-Fried10 minutesIncredibly crispy, delicate crust, creamy interior.People who like crispy and soft texture
Pressed, Coated with Cornstarch, and BakedAbout 1 hourSlightly crispy but chewy.People who like dense, firm tofu.
Pressed, Briefly Sautéed, and Finished in the Oven35 minutesExterior crust is chewy.People who love tofu’s natural, creamy texture.
Lightly Pressed, Coated with Cornstarch, and Air-Fried45 minutesCrunchy and firm.People who want hearty tofu.
Lightly Pressed, Coated with Nutritional Yeast, and Baked50 minutesCrunchy and crouton-like.People looking for crunchy bites.
Pressed, Coated with Arrowroot Starch, and Pan-Fried45 minutesLight, crispy coating, slightly chalky.Cooks with arrowroot starch on hand.
Frozen First, Then Pan-FriedAbout 16 hoursCrispy on the outside, chewy on the inside.People who prefer crispy outside and chewy inside.
Deep-Fried15 minutesTender but firm interior, crispy exterior.Fans of extra-crispy tofu.
Blotted Dry and Pan-Seared13 minutesCrispy exterior, creamy interior.Those short on time or who prefer crispy outside and creamy inside.
Brined in Salt Water35 minutesCrunchy, seasoned throughout.Anyone who wants perfectly seasoned, crunchy tofu.

The best method for How to Make Tofu Extra Crispy, as we’ve highlighted, is dredging your tofu in cornstarch and pan-frying it. This simple yet effective technique ensures an incredibly crispy texture with a delicate crust and a creamy interior.

Crispy Tofu Recipes:

Baked Tofu Bites 4 Ingredients
Discover the delight of homemade baked tofu bites – a tasty, protein-packed snack. Easy to make with only 4 ingredients and irresistibly healthy!
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Check Out This Vegan Recipe
hand holding baked tofu bites
Tofu Sheet Pan Dinner Vegan with Tahini Sauce
This vegan sheet pan dinner recipe features crispy tofu and an array of colorful veggies, all topped with a flavorful maple tahini dipping sauce. Easy to make and packed with nutrients, it's the perfect option for a healthy and delicious weeknight meal.
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Check Out This Vegan Recipe
Sticky Sesame Tofu Air Fryer
This mouth-watering sticky sesame tofu is the best way to transform your tofu into a delicious dish!
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Check Out This Vegan Recipe
Sticky Sesame Tofu Recipe

Making Crispy Tofu in an Air Fryer

If you’re a fan of air fryers and want to enjoy crispy tofu, here’s a quick and easy method for you:

Here’s How to Make Crispy Air Fryer Tofu in Just 10 Minutes:

  1. Place your tofu in the air fryer in a single row, ensuring each piece has a bit of space around it.
  2. Set your air fryer to 400°F and cook for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Shake the basket after 5 minutes and then continue cooking.
  4. Make sure you’re using extra-firm tofu and not silken tofu, as it will yield the wrong texture and may break apart during the cooking process.
  5. If you have a smaller air fryer, consider splitting the tofu into two batches to avoid overcrowding. Adequate space is essential for achieving crispiness.
  6. Please note that air fryers may vary, so check if your tofu needs an extra 5 minutes based on your appliance.

Conclusion: How to Make Tofu Extra Crispy

By following these steps and considering the comparisons, you can enjoy tofu with the perfect level of crispiness that suits your preferences.

Now, make your crispy tofu and elevate your plant-based dishes to a new level of deliciousness!

4 thoughts on “How to Make Tofu Extra Crispy: A Comprehensive Guide

  1. Kamara says:

    This is perfect always looking to crisp up my tofu and find that tofu hold so much water. I will get myself a tofu press off Amazon and see how it goes!

    • spicyveganfood says:

      Great to hear you found the tips helpful! A tofu press can indeed make a significant difference in achieving that perfect crispiness. Wishing you success in your tofu-crisping adventures! If you have any more questions or need further tips, feel free to reach out. Happy cooking!

  2. Kamara says:

    I’m going to try out some of these techniques to get my tofu super crispy!!

    • spicyveganfood says:

      That’s a great idea! I hope the techniques help you achieve super crispy tofu. If you have any questions or need further tips, feel free to ask. Happy cooking!

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