Hiya everyone! How are you doing? Well, I hope you’re doing even better now you’ve stumbled upon this delicious recipe for how to make crispy baked tofu. If you haven’t tried cooking tofu in the oven, boy you are in for a treat.
In fact, used to always pan-fry my tofu instead of baking. So experimenting with this recipe was a treat for me too! And much to my surprise, I actually prefer baked tofu over pan fried!
Turns out, baking tofu in the oven is really easy. In fact, it’s even easier to pan frying because you can prep the tofu, toss it the oven and walk away. Instead of hovering over the frying pan, checking often to see if it’s gone crispy. But. more on comparison to come…
This easy crispy baked tofu recipe is made using just 6 ingredients! It’s crispy, golden and full of flavour. Enjoy this baked tofu topped on salads and buddha bowls, or added to saucy dishes/marinates for a comforting dish.
So, let me tell you exactly how to make this easy crispy baked tofu. So you can enjoy it pronto.
How to make crispy baked tofu
It takes just 6 ingredients to make this flavourful and crispy baked tofu. That’s right, six! And since it’s made with pantry staples, it’s likely you already have what you need.
For this recipe, we will use:
- neutral oil (like avocado or coconut)
- corn starch (or arrowroot)
- sea salt
- garlic powder
It’s no doubt that a few ingredients go a long way to making this baked tofu ultra crispy and flavourful. The corn starch aids in it’s crispiness, while the the sea salt, pepper and garlic powder gives it so much flavour.
How to cook tofu in the oven
Now, in order to get perfectly crispy and flavourful tofu, I’ve got a few tips to consider:
Using “extra firm” tofu
Firstly, if you’re new to cooking tofu, it’s important to know that tofu comes in various consistencies. From smooth silken tofu (great for sauces, creams and desserts), to firm and extra-firm. Each variety can be used for different methods of cooking. Check out this article for all the full guide on tofu varieties, and how to use them.
Now, for baking tofu – I like to use the “extra firm.” This is because extra firm tofu holds its shape better. It has less water content so you’ll get those crispy golden cubes when baking.
So, when shopping for tofu for baking, make sure you pick the package that reads “extra firm” on the label.
How to press tofu
So, what does it mean to “press your tofu?” It means to press out all the water content before cubing and seasoning. Which will result in a crispier, more golden baked tofu.
Contrary to belief, you do not need any fancy gadgets to press your tofu. Yes, are many tofu pressers on the market, from best to budget picks, if you’re interested in buying a tofu press. But it’s not necessary to make deliciously crispy tofu.
In fact, my preferred method is to wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel, and set a few heavy books on top. Lean the books against your countertop backsplash for support and leave for 10 minutes. This presses out the excess water so you have a drier tofu to work with. Which in turn will result in a crispier, more golden tofu when baked.
How to season tofu
A few key ingredients go a long way to making deliciously seasoned tofu that’s crispy and flavourful.
Firstly, corn starch helps to make your tofu nice and crispy! You will notice a major difference to your tofu when baking with and without corn starch.
Alternatively, you can replace corn starch with arrowroot powder for a healthier option. It works great for baked tofu. However, the result is slightly less crispy (hardly noticeable in my opinion). In addition, consistency may be affected if you’re adding the baked tofu to sauces or stews, since arrowroot powder is more gelatinous when wet.
As for flavour, we are keeping it simple adding sea salt, pepper and garlic powder. You won’t believe just how much flavour these three simple ingredients can make! Honestly, it’s hard not to pop them into your mouth like popcorn chicken!
Most often, I will serve the baked tofu as is. With no additional ingredients, topped on salads and buddha bowls.
Baked tofu vs. pan-fried
Now this is the big debate…
Which is better? Baked tofu vs. pan fried. I’m not going to lie, I’ve always been a fan of crispy pan-fried tofu! It’s quick and easy to create, with minimal ingredients, and packed with flavour.
However, since experimenting with baked tofu, I must say that I am hooked. Although baked tofu takes longer to cook (about 25 minutes vs. 10), it’s actually more simple! Because we don’t need to watch over the oven readying to flip and turn the tofu. We can literally just season, pop in the oven and walk away.
Plus, with baked tofu we don’t need to worry about the tofu getting stuck to the pan, nor do we need to use as much oil.
Of course, whether you prefer baked vs. fried tofu is based on preference. I urge you to try both! This baked tofu recipe vs. my crispy pan-fried tofu, and let me know which you prefer!
How to eat crispy baked tofu:
As I’ve mentioned, I really like this crispy baked tofu just as is, with no extra steps or frills. Top on salads and buddha bowls and enjoy!
You can also add baked tofu to sauces for comforting and wholesome dishes, like my vegan butter chicken, or add to asian-inspired marinades. Check out Silvia’s blog post for 3 flavourful tofu marinades.
Other recipes you might like:
If you’re digging this baked tofu recipe, you might also like these:
- Crispy Pan-Fried Tofu
- Vegan Butter Chicken
- Easy Vegetable Lo-Mein
- Vegetable Tempeh Spring Rolls
- Quick and Easy Pho with Creamy Miso Broth
So, there we have it. Your simple and straight forward guide for how to make crispy baked tofu that golden and flavourful! I know you and your loved ones are going to enjoy this recipes as much as we do.
And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
How to make crispy baked tofu
- 16 oz extra-firm tofu 450g
- 2 tbsp neutral oil avocado oil or coconut oil melted
- 2 tbsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp sea salt finely ground
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Drain extra firm tofu and rinse well. Wrap in a tea towel and press tofu by wrapping in a clean tea towel and placing a few heavy books on top. Use your backsplash to secure books in place. Press for 10 minutes. Then unwrap tofu and cut into bite-sized cubes.
- In a mixing bowl combine tofu, oil, corn starch, sea salt, garlic powder and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Line a baking tray with parchment and transfer tofu cubes onto tray spreading out so there aren't any clumps. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until golden and crispy.
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – WHEAT-FREE – GLUTEN-FREE