Crispy Fried Tofu

Shallow fried to a crispy exterior, this tofu retains its silky interior. All in very short order.

Elevate tofu with this simple technique. At last you can prepare it with a combination of textures; like crispy fried chicken. Serve it with a few Japanese condiments, or to gild the lily, brush on this sweet miso glaze and broil. Perfection!

INGREDIENTS:   Serves 3-5

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • cornstarch
  • oil, bland


  • daikon radish, grated [or common radish]
  • ginger, grated
  • scallions, minced [or shiso leaves]
  • ponzu sauce [find at Asian markets]


  1. Microwave the tofu for 2 min, to remove the excess moisture. Alternately, wrap tofu block in toweling and place a weight on top for about 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the tofu into eight equal pieces.
  3. Coat all surfaces of the cut tofu with cornstarch. Immediately heat a large skillet and add enough oil to come up the sides of the tofu by a 1/16 inch or so to create shallow fry. If using a smaller pan, cook in batches.
  4. Fry until golden brown, occasionally spooning oil over top and turning the tofu. Just a few minutes a side.
  5. Garnish with condiments, then pour ponzu soy sauce over and serve.

TIP: Fry the tofu immediately once it has been coated with cornstarch. If you wait, the cornstarch will absorb moisture and become too wet to fry nicely.

Crispy Fried Tofu
Tilt pan and quickly ladle hot oil over tops to create crispy exterior

MISO SAUCE: Also good over steamed vegetables

  • bland oil, 2 TBS
  • water, 1/4 cup
  • miso, light, 1/4 cup
  • rice vinegar, 1-1/2 TBS
  • maple syrup, 2 TBS [or agave nectar or honey]
  • mustard, dry, 1/4 tsp
  • onion, 1-1/2 TBS, minced finely

1 Make the sauce by prepping the onion. Combine all in a small sauce pan and simmer gentle until it thickens—a few minutes.

Crispy Fried Tofu
Miso Glazed & Broiled

Preheat broiler and brush sauce liberally onto cooked tofu cubes and then broil a few minutes until caramelized in spots, a few minutes.

Recipe adapted: original on Dining with the Chef TV show

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