This easy recipe for Crispy Baked Tofu is simple and delicious, coming together in less than 30 minutes. The resulting tofu texture has a crisp exterior and soft interior, making it perfect for pairing with steamed rice or noodles.
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What is tofu?
Originating from China, tofu (also known as bean curd) is a plant-based product made of soybeans.
It is made by curdling fresh soy milk with a coagulant, such as calcium chloride or magnesium sulphate and pressing the resulting curds into blocks.
The texture of tofu can vary from soft/silken (used in desserts such as tau fu fa/douhua) to extra firm.
Tofu is a versatile ingredient due to its mild flavor, neutral taste and ability to absorb different flavors.
Where to find tofu?
You can find tofu in most grocery stores and in Asian supermarkets.
Fresh tofu packed in water is stored in the refrigerator section, while there are also shelf-stable tofu packaged in boxes (usually soft tofu).
Why you'll love this recipe
This Crispy Tofu is a simple and tasty plant-based recipe that I frequently make as a quick and easy side dish to serve with rice.
With just a handful of ingredients, it is easy to prepare and can be made in large batches for meal prep throughout the week.
The best part is that it is naturally vegan and gluten-free, and uses minimal oil yet still produces a satisfyingly crisp texture.
So, whenever I need a quick and delicious tofu recipe, I simply slide it all into the oven and I'm good to go!
Ingredients you'll need
- potato starch: is a white starch extracted from potatoes; it absorbs moisture and is the key ingredient to producing a crispy texture; you can use also cornstarch, tapioca starch or arrowroot starch
- extra firm tofu: rinsed and drained of any excess moisture; make sure not to use soft tofu for this recipe
- vegetable oil: you can use avocado oil, olive oil or any neutral oil
- sea salt
- white pepper: or use black pepper
- garlic powder: or onion powder
- red pepper flakes or chili: if you like heat; omit if you don't like it spicy
- green onion/scallions: for garnish
How to make crispy baked tofu
Preheat oven to 425F.
Line a baking sheet, oven-safe dish or baking pan with parchment paper.
Under running water, drain, rinse the firm tofu.
Blot dry with paper towel. Try to remove as much moisture from the tofu as you can.
Cut into cubes about 1" in size (you can do large pieces or smaller pieces).
To a large bowl, add the tofu cubes and toss with vegetable oil.
Season tofu with salt, white pepper and garlic powder.
Dust the tofu with potato starch.
Lay the coated tofu onto the prepared baking sheet, allowing space in between each tofu.
Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on the exterior.
Remove from oven and garnish with green onions/scallions and/or red chilies.
How to serve crispy tofu
Serve the crispy tofu with:
- steamed rice
- fried rice or quinoa/grain bowls
- noodle dishes such as soba, ramen, or udon
- grilled or roasted veggies like sweet potato or kabocha squash
- salads with mixed greens
- steamed or stir-fried vegetables like yu choy, broccoli or snap peas
Other flavour variations
Change up the flavor of the crispy tofu and add:
- mala spice
- curry powder
- turmeric powder
- matcha cumin salt
- paprika: I suggest adding it at the end of the bake, as it tends to burn easily
How to store baked tofu
If you have any leftovers, keep the baked tofu in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
How to reheat
Reheat leftover crispy tofu in a 350F oven for 15 minutes, or until warm and crisp once again.
FAQs & troubleshooting
Why is my tofu not crispy?
After rinsing and draining the tofu, try wrapping the tofu it in a clean kitchen towel or paper towel pressing it with a heavy object to expel excess moisture.
Bake the tofu at a higher temperature for a longer period of time, flipping it from time to time.
Ensure the tofu is spread out on the baking sheet, with enough air to circulate.
Make sure the tofu is evenly coated with the potato or cornstarch, and lightly oiled.
Alternatively, deep fry the tofu in vegetable frying oil for a more crunchy, crispy texture.
Can I use firm tofu?
You can use firm tofu if that's all you have on hand, but you will need to press the tofu to get rid of excess moisture.
For this recipe, I highly recommend using extra firm tofu.
Other delicious tofu recipes you may like
Be sure to check out these recipes:
Let me know if you try out this recipe -- tag me on Instagram @siftnadsimmer or leave me a comment/rating below!
Simple Crispy Baked Tofu
For accuracy and precision in baking recipes, use weight (metric) measurements when available.
- 2 blocks extra firm tofu rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt or to your taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper or to your taste
- 3 tablespoon potato starch or cornstarch
- 1-2 red chilies optional
- 1 stalk green onions sliced
- Preheat oven to 425°F/218°C.
- Line a baking sheet, oven-safe dish or baking pan with parchment paper.
- Under running water, drain, rinse the firm tofu.
- Blot dry with paper towel. Try to remove as much moisture from the tofu as you can.
- Cut into cubes about 1" in size (you can do large pieces or smaller pieces).
- To a large bowl, add the tofu cubes and toss with vegetable oil.
- Season tofu with salt, white pepper and garlic powder.
- Dust the tofu with potato starch.
- Lay the coated tofu onto the prepared baking sheet, allowing space in between each tofu.
- Bake at 425°F/218°C for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp on the exterior.
- Remove from oven and garnish with green onions/scallions and/or red chilies.
- Serve with steamed rice, grain bowls, or salad.
The nutritional information provided should be considered as approximate and is not guaranteed. Please use your best judgment to ensure food is safely prepared and/or a good fit for your diet.