Ever wondered how to make perfect crispy tofu? This simple method is less hassle than frying and will give you crispy tofu every time.
Tofu confused the heck out of me when I was first figuring out how to go vegan.
I had no idea how to season or cook it and every time it ended up tasting bland and mushy. I couldn't figure out why it always tasted good in restaurants but was a complete disaster when made by me at home, and assumed I'd never crack it.
But here's the thing: I was wrong! For anyone who is terrified of cooking tofu (and I know because I was one of them), I'm here to show you that you don't need to be!
Delicious, crispy tofu is actually surprisingly easy to make and not as much fuss as you might think.
So if you're wondering how to cook tofu and make it taste incredible in your vegan noodle bowl, look no further! The secret is: BROILING.
This broiling method takes 20 minutes, is a healthy way to cook tofu, doesn't need any fancy ingredients and bonus: your tofu will stick to the pan WAY LESS than if you fry it! Tempted? Read on.
What makes this crispy tofu so good?
Healthier - For starters, broiling tofu is a healthier method of cooking than frying, and it requires less oil to create crispier cubes.
Easy - It's also really easy to make. The recipe requires just 4 ingredients and no marinating (tofu, soy sauce or Bragg's Soy Seasoning, apple cider vinegar and oil), so it takes about 25 minutes from start to finish. Perfect!
Hassle-free - It's incredibly low maintenance. You need to flip the tofu once halfway through, but otherwise can just leave it under your oven's broiler/grill to cook. It's as simple as that!
What is broiling?
Broiling is a North American term used to describe the process of cooking something directly under a high heat, usually in the top of your oven (although some stoves have a separate broiler).
If you're not in North America, you might also know this term as grilling. (Ironically, grilling in North America means barbecuing! It's all very confusing.)
Tofu - I like to use medium firm, or firm tofu because it holds its shape when being broiled. I don't recommend using soft - it will fall apart!
Soy sauce/tamari - This is pretty crucial for flavour, as tofu naturally has a very bland taste. Either soy sauce or tamari can be used. Tamari is a (generally) gluten free soy sauce, whereas regular soy sauce usually contains wheat.
Apple cider vinegar - Adds a mild tanginess to the tofu. Feel free to omit if you don't have it - it's not as important for flavour as the soy sauce.
Oil - You need to use some oil as otherwise the tofu will stick to the pan (however we're using much less than if we were frying). Use a cooking oil that's stable in high temperatures, like avocado oil.
Looking for recipes to use this healthy tofu in?
Why not try my Vegan Tofu Noodle with Almond Butter, Vegan Butter Tofu, Buddha Bowls, or my Healthy Burrito Bowls?
How to make crispy tofu
1) Preheat your oven's broiler/grill (top heat in oven).
2) Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and place on baking tray. (You're welcome to press the tofu if you want to, to remove excess water, but it's not essential as the water will evaporate while cooking.)
3) Toss cubes in soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and avocado oil and make sure they're well coated.
4) Broil in oven for 10 minutes until golden on top, then flip tofu cubes.
5) Broil for another 10 minutes, or until tofu is golden.
Check out my web story showing you how to make this healthy crispy tofu.
Store any uneaten cooked tofu in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It's great on buddha bowls and vegan noodles.
I don't recommend freezing.
Stress less. Cook fast. Eat well.
No time to cook? In my 20 Minute Vegan Dinners ebook you'll find 10 satisfying meals that take just 20 minutes to make. Never be hungry again!
It might be due to the oil you're using. I strongly recommend cooking with an oil that is stable in high heat (like avocado) to promote crispiness - when I've used olive oil I find my tofu doesn't get as crispy.
You don't have to, and I don't usually (because I'm lazy!), but it will make your tofu a little crispier and absorb flavours more easily. It also helps it hold its shape better when cooking.
This is normal if you haven't pressed your tofu. It will eventually evaporate as you keep broiling it, don't worry. If it bothers you, press your tofu before you cook.
You can, and it's safe to add to raw desserts like cheesecakes. Personally I like cooking it as I prefer the taste.
Dishes this tofu is great in
Vegan Tofu Noodles with Almond Butter
Like this post on how to cook tofu? Check out all my vegan how to guides.
How to Make Crispy Tofu (easy, healthy, no-fry)
- 1 454g block medium or firm tofu (I've used medium - don't use soft, it will fall apart)
- 1½ tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (use gluten free if needed - I like Braggs Soy Seasoning for a gluten free, lower sodium alternative)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or another flavourless cooking oil)
- Preheat your oven's broiler (top heat in oven - your 'grill' if you're not in N. America).
- Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes and place on a baking tray. (You're welcome to press your tofu if you like, but it's not essential.)
- Toss cubes in soy sauce, apple cider vinegar and avocado oil and make sure they're well coated.
- Broil in oven for 10 minutes, then flip tofu cubes.
- Broil for another 10 minutes, or until tofu is golden.
- Enjoy in your favourite stir fry, salad or buddha bowl!
Nutrition per serving
If you’ve tried this healthy tofu recipe, please leave a comment or tip for others below. I'd love to know how you’ve made it your own!
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I often struggle with making tofu. It can be soft and mushy or flavourless. This recipe makes it really tasty!
Thanks - just tried this and it’s delicious!
Thank you Caroline - so happy that you loved it. 🙂
So glad to hear that Sharon. Thank you!
Such a solid recipe. Tofu never tasted better!
Glad you love it Allan - it's so much easier than frying isn't it?
Helen at the Lazy Gastronome
This is amazing! So easy to make and so full of flavor!!
Thank you Helen - I quite agree!
This was so easy! My sister is going to be shocked next time she visits! Thanks.
Excellent! So glad to hear it Mary.
This is awesome! Tofu tastes so much better when crispy! Thank you for the recipe!
I totally agree, and personally I love that this method is so much less hassle. 🙂
This crispy tofu was really delicious. And because of the flavoring, it didn't taste blend at all (what tofu sometimes tend to do). I've saved this recipe, because I'm certainly going to use it in the future for making tofu.
So happy to hear that Andrea - I agree, it's so important to flavour tofu well!
This turned out perfectly, I loved the texture!
Oh good Lindsay! So glad you enjoyed it.
Never thought of broiling it. Crispy tofu is perfect for stir frying where the hot wok, fast cooking doesn't give the tofu enough time to get crisp. Thanks!
It's not obvious, is it? But I love the method. Glad you do too!
This is great! We only had a block of firm tofu at the end of the week for our protein, loved how quick and easy this was to make (plus it was such an easy clean up!)
Agreed! The cleanup is so simple isn't it? Happy you loved it. 🙂
The best tofu recipe I’ve found! So good and so easy!
Oh I'm so happy you love it Elizabeth! And hi to a fellow Elizabeth. 😉
Crispy tofu looks delicious perfect meal. Great with lettuce.
I've never thought to broil tofu- total game changer!! Thanks so much for this tofu recipe.
I may need your help. I tried many ways but couldn't solve it, but after reading your article, I think you have a way to help me. I'm looking forward for your reply. Thanks.