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best crispy tofu recipe baked pan fried

Best Crispy Tofu Recipe Baked And Pan Fried, How To Make Flavorful, Crispy Tofu

Easy baked and pan fried tofu recipe to make the best crispy tofu.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Chinese, Japanese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Calories 216kcal


  • 16 oz tofu (preferably extra firm, 1 block)

for marinating tofu

  • 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup or sauce
  • salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder or use curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

for pan frying marinated tofu

  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt as needed
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or use crushed garlic and ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons dry parsley leaves optional
  • 1 tablespoon parsley leaves (dried) for garnishing, may adjust the amount


Draining the moisture from tofu

  • Let us start by draining the water from the packaged tofu. Gently cut the sides of the package without scratching the tofu, and drain the excessive water used to store the tofu. Though we removed the water from the package, there is a lot more water inside the tofu block, which needs to be removed, and this is a very important step in preparing tofu, as the tofu won't absorb any flavors that you add, if it is lodged with water. I highly recommend using a very good quality tofu presser for best results.
  • However if you don't have a tofu press,  read following instructions on how to remove the water from the tofu block.
  • After draining the excess water from the package which is used to store the tofu block, transfer the tofu block from the package to a cutting board.
  • Gently slice the tofu block in even sized cubes, without crumbling the block.
  • Line a tray with paper towels and transfer the tofu cubes, arranging them in a single layer.
  • Place another paper towel covering the top of the slices.
  • Now place something heavy on top of the slices, you can use something like a heavy cast iron skillet.
  • Let it sit there for a while, say 15 to 30 minutes, so all the water from the tofu will get absorbed in the paper towel.
  • After 15 to 30 minutes, remove the paper towel from the top, press the tofu slices using another new towel, for absorbing any remaining water.

To bake the tofu

  • Preheat oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Gently transfer the sliced tofu to a baking sheet lined with non stick silicon mat, arranging the slices in a single layer in the baking sheet. If you don't have a non stick silicon mat, you may use an aluminium foil, just like I did, but I found that the baked tofu may slightly stick to foil.
  • Bake the tofu slices for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the tofu is lightly browned and crispy (oven times may slightly vary, so just make sure to keep watching).
  • Once the tofu is baked until light brown and crispy, transfer the baked tofu to a large bowl. If you taste the baked tofu at this point, you can see that the baked tofu is crispy but quite bland in taste, as we have not added anything to flavor it yet.

To marinate

  • In the mixing bowl, where we transferred the tofu, add enough salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala and oil, mix everything well. You don't have to worry about the tofu crumbling at this point, as the tofu is baked and crispy!
  • Add one tablespoon of tomato ketchup or sauce to the bowl.
  • Stir well to coat all tofu pieces with all the ingredients including and spices and sauce nicely. (sorry I forgot to click a photo after I mixed the ketchup with the tofu and spices :), the above photo was taken as soon as I added the sauce. Just make sure to mix them up all to coat with the sauce). I used this tomato ketchup which I like as it is very less in sugar and free of preservatives and uses natural ingredients.
  • Let the tofu mixed with spices and sauce sit there for a while, at least about 15 minutes, so the tofu will get marinated in the spice and sauce blend.

Pan frying tofu

  • After the tofu is marinated for 15 minutes, let's go on to pan fry the marinated tofu. Now, we use spices and the same tomato ketchup or sauce to make a mixture, in which the tofu will be pan fried. For the ingredients amount used to make the pan fried tofu, please refer to the 'Ingredients for pan frying marinated tofu' section above and use the amounts specified there accordingly.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the 2 tablespoons of tomato ketchup or sauce.
  • Add the ¼ cup of water to the sauce in the pan and stir well the contents, keeping the heat very low.
  • Add the salt, ginger garlic paste and spices to the pan and stir everything well.
  • As the sauce starts to boil, stir the contents and add the dried parsley flakes to the pan and mix well.
  • Now add the marinated tofu slices and fry in low to medium heat for about 1 to 2 minutes. As the tofu gets fried, the sauce mixture will get coated with the tofu and makes the tofu very delicious and flavorful.
  • Once the tofu is pan fried for 1 to 2 minutes, gently flip the slices of tofu and fry the other side too until both sides are fried well. The pan fried baked tofu will be crispy outside and soft inside with full of flavor.
  • Sprinkle a little more dried parsley leaves to add more flavor and for garnishing. Serve the crispy pan fried baked tofu hot for lunch or dinner or snack!


You can enjoy this crispy tofu as a delicious snack or appetizer or you can enjoy it as a side with rice or use it as a topping for any pasta or noodles for lunch or dinner as you wish.


Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 128mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 300IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 159mg | Iron: 1.9mg