In my house, we get through a LOT of tofu. We absolutely love it. Because it’s so versatile! You can do so much with it. I’ve been testing this Crispy Chilli Tofu recipe out for a little while now and think I’ve finally cracked it. So here it is! Enjoy!
How To Make My Crispy Chilli Tofu Recipe
Looking to make my crispy chilli tofu recipe? You’ll need these ingredients…
For the tofu:
- Extra Firm Tofu (400g): Tofu is the star of this vegan dish. Extra firm tofu is used because it holds its shape well during cooking and provides a substantial, meaty texture to the dish once it’s crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
- Salt (large pinch): Salt is used to season the tofu, enhancing its flavor. It also helps to draw out excess moisture from the tofu during the pressing process, which aids in achieving a crispy texture when frying.
- Cornflour (3 tbsp): Cornflour, also known as cornstarch, is used as a coating for the tofu. It helps create a crispy and golden exterior when the tofu is fried. It also helps thicken the sauce later when it’s added.
- Oil for frying: The choice of oil will impact the flavor and texture of the tofu. Most neutral oils, such as vegetable or canola oil, work well for frying. Frying adds a rich, crispy exterior to the tofu cubes.
For the sauce:
- Oil (1 tbsp): Oil is used to sauté the minced garlic, imparting its flavor to the dish. It also helps create a smooth texture for the sauce.
- Garlic (3-4 cloves, minced): Garlic adds a savory and aromatic depth to the sauce. It’s a common flavor enhancer in many Asian dishes.
- Sesame Oil (1 tbsp): Sesame oil is rich and nutty in flavor, contributing a distinct Asian taste to the dish. It’s used sparingly due to its strong flavor.
- Sriracha (1 tbsp): Sriracha sauce is known for its heat and tangy flavor. It adds a spicy kick to the dish and enhances its overall flavor profile.
- Chilli Flakes (1 tsp): Chilli flakes provide additional heat and a slight smokiness to the sauce. They can be adjusted to suit your preferred level of spiciness.
- Rice Vinegar (1 tbsp): Rice vinegar adds a hint of acidity and tanginess to the sauce, balancing out the other flavors and providing a more complex taste.
- Soy Sauce (3 tbsp, dark): Soy sauce is a fundamental ingredient in Asian cuisine, offering a salty and savory umami flavor. The dark soy sauce provides depth of color and flavor to the sauce.
- Maple Syrup (2 tsp): Maple syrup adds a touch of sweetness to balance the heat and saltiness in the sauce. It also helps create a well-rounded flavor profile.
- Cornflour mixed with cold water (1 tbsp cornflour + 3 tbsp cold water): This mixture acts as a thickening agent for the sauce. It ensures that the sauce adheres to the tofu and creates a glossy coating.
- Rice: Rice serves as the base for the dish, providing a neutral and filling component to complement the flavorful tofu and sauce.
- Spring Onions (sliced): Spring onions add freshness and a mild onion flavor to the dish. They also contribute a pop of color and texture.
- Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are often used as a garnish in Asian cuisine. They add a subtle nutty flavor and provide visual appeal to the finished dish.
Crispy Chilli Tofu
For the tofu
- 1 400g block extra firm tofu drained and pressed
- 1 large pinch salt
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- Oil of choice For frying
For the sauce
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce dark
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 3 tbsp cold water
- Spring onions sliced
- Sesame seeds
- To make the tofu – slice it into cubes, then place in a bowl or tub and toss with the cornflour and salt. Heat a frying pan with a generous glug of oil over a medium-high heat and add the tofu. Fry until crispy and golden brown.
- In a bowl, stir together all of the sauce ingredients.
- Add back to the pan and cook until thickened (keep stirring for 1-2 minutes). Add in the tofu and stir so all the pieces are coated with the sticky sauce. Serve with spring onions and sesame seeds and enjoy!
Why Won’t My Tofu Get crispy?
Getting tofu crispy can be a bit tricky, but there are several common reasons why your tofu might not be achieving the desired crispiness:
- Moisture Content: Tofu contains a lot of water, and excess moisture can prevent it from crisping up. To remove moisture, you should press your tofu before cooking. Wrap the tofu block in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel, place it on a plate, and then put something heavy on top (like a cast iron skillet or cans) to press out the excess moisture for at least 15-30 minutes.
- Tofu Type and Firmness: The firmness of tofu matters when it comes to crisping. Extra-firm tofu is the best choice for achieving crispiness. Softer varieties may not hold their shape and texture as well.
- Slicing and Drying: After pressing, make sure to slice the tofu into uniform pieces. Pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any remaining moisture. Wet tofu will steam rather than crisp in the pan.
- Oil Temperature: If your oil isn’t hot enough, the tofu will absorb more oil and won’t get crispy. Heat your cooking oil (preferably a high-smoke-point oil like canola or grapeseed oil) until it’s hot but not smoking before adding the tofu.
- Crowding the Pan: Overcrowding the pan can lead to steaming rather than frying. Cook tofu in batches if needed to ensure that each piece has enough space in the pan.
- Not Enough Oil: Be generous with your cooking oil. You don’t need to deep-fry tofu, but using enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan will help achieve the desired crispiness.
- Stirring Too Much: To get crispy edges, allow the tofu to sit undisturbed for a few minutes on each side while it cooks. Stirring too frequently can prevent it from crisping up.
- Seasoning: Make sure to season your tofu with salt and any desired spices or sauces. Seasoning not only adds flavor but can also help with the crispiness.
- Cooking Time: Cooking tofu for too long or too short a time can affect its texture. Keep a close eye on it and remove it from the heat when it reaches your preferred level of crispiness.