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Garlic and Chilli Crispy Tofu

When we first became vegan, none of us were a fan of tofu. I found the texture really strange and no matter what I put it in I just couldn’t enjoy it.

We visited Yang Sing Cathay Cantonese restaurant before Christmas and tried the Salt & Pepper Beancurd, I was expecting the mushy tofu that I was used to, but this was something else. The tofu was crispy, yet soft inside and covered in salt and chillies – it was delicious. I finally found a way to enjoy tofu.

I have tried many different ways to make crispy tofu and found this way to prepare the tofu always the easiest and my preferred way.

I press the tofu for 10 minutes to remove any excess moisture – I usually place it on a plate on a kitchen towel, put a kitchen towel on top, place a chopping board on top and put one of my favourite heavy cook books on top of this (very professional I know).

I then chop into the desired sized pieces and place in a bowl and coat in cornflour and a little salt.

Then, I place oil in a frying pan around 1cm deep and heat the oil so it is very hot, then fry the tofu for around 3-4 minutes on each side until crispy, then set aside.

I make a sauce to coat the tofu in the same pan, and then return the tofu to the pan to coat in the sauce and fry for a minute. You don’t want to fry this in the sauce for too long as it will loose it’s crispiness. You can even just make a sauce and pour over the tofu if you prefer.

This recipe is a spicy one, but you can try any combination to make a saucy coating for your tofu. Another favourite in our home is simply soy sauce, mirin and garlic with spring onions.

Garlic & Chilli Crispy Tofu

Crispy tofu in a spicy sticky garlicky sauce.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins


  • 1 pack firm tofu pressed to remove moisture
  • 100 grams cornflour
  • a pinch of salt
  • oil for frying (we fill frying pan 1cm deep)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp hot chilli paste of choice (we use gochujang)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger grated
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium red chilli diced
  • sesame seeds to garnish


  • To make the crispy tofu, once pressed cut your tofu into desired sizes.
  • Place into a bowl with cornflour.
  • Make sure all the tofu is evenly coated and shake off excess flour.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry tofu for around 3-4 minutes on all sides until crispy.
  • Set aside while you prepare your sauce. I tip some oil out of the frying pan and use the same pan, the bits of flour left in the pan helps thickens the sauce slightly.
  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl except the chillies and spring onions.
  • Add the sauce to the hot pan and cook stirring for around 3-4 minutes – if the sauce becomes too thick add a little water, if it is too thin you can add a little cornflour.
  • Add the tofu back to the pan and stir to coat everything, cooking for around 1 minutes.
  • Garnish with spring onions, chillies and sesame seeds and serve.

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