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.
Why is 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 makes this a healthy recipe for tofu?
This tofu recipe is healthy for several reasons:
1) It's broiled - rather than fried - so it uses less oil because the tofu is cooked under a direct heat (see full description of broiling below).
2) It won't stick to the pan anywhere near as much as if you were frying, meaning that subsequently, you'll need to use even less oil!
3) The seasoning contains simple, healthy ingredients. Just soy sauce and apple cider vinegar (which may lower blood sugars).
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?
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.
I don't recommend freezing.
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
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!