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Perfect Crispy Tofu (the BEST recipe)

Learn to love tofu with my foolproof method of preparation! With only 2 ingredients required, it’s guaranteed to be a delicious addition to salads, stir fries, soups, and more. It’s crispy, crunchy, savory, and totally crave-worthy!

cooked tofu

This recipe is an old one from the blog updated to make it even better!

Even in 2019, tofu is still a maligned ingredient outside of the plant-based world. I have had my fair share of mushy, raw dishes to understand this unfortunate reputation. Tofu is a very inexpensive form of protein for all diets and it wonderfully adaptable. It will take on whatever flavor you wish; what’s key to successful preparation is texture. Of course, fried is a go-to for many restaurants; let’s face it, what doesn’t taste good fried?

I have had success baking tofu in the past, but this process typically takes quite a bit longer and I still don’t love the texture. What’s the method of choice here? Broiling!

**It’s important to note: there are many ways to cook tofu with many culture variations. I do not want to erase any storied traditions, or appear to invalidate them. This is simply a simple method I turn to frequently when cooking tofu! I encourage you to learn as much as you can.**

How to Cook Crispy Tofu

Broiling is a fast way to get that crunchy exterior and satisfying bite. My boyfriend and I have taken to calling this “burn-y” tofu…it is rather appropriate name! Personally, I like when there are a few charred edges. It’s important to watch this baking process carefully to insure your end result is not ashen.

The marinade used here is a simply soy sauce and water, but feel free to get creative. I can see barbecue flavors pairing well, or even peanut/lime with a dash of hot sauce.

How to use this crispy tofu

  1. On top of salads, like this Arugula Fennel Salad
  2. In grain bowls, like these Roasted Cauliflower Bowls with Green Tahini
  3. Inside a sandwich, like this Vegan BLT
  4. Thrown into a curry, like this pumpkin curry 
  5. Or just eaten on it’s own!

Pressing tofu can be annoying, but I guarantee it helps with the crisping process. Extra-firm is the best way to go. Did you know that the firmness of tofu directly correlates to its protein level?

I say “foolproof” in the title because it really is hard to mess up. Let’s do this! Be sure to tag @garlic_head on Instagram if you give it a try.

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close up tray of tofu

How to Cook Tofu (The Foolproof Way!)

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  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Learn to love tofu with my foolproof method of preparation! With only 2 ingredients required, it's guaranteed to be a delicious addition to salads, stir fries, soups, and more. It's crispy, crunchy, savory, and totally crave-worthy!


  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup sou sauce, coconut aminos, or tamari
  • Optional seasonings of choice: ground ginger, crushed red pepper, lime juice, hot sauce


  1. Begin by pressing out your tofu for at least 15 minutes (longer if you have more time). I normally place the block in a cast iron skillet with a large pot on top to weigh it down. The edges of the skillet help to collect the liquid.

  2. While tofu is pressing, add soy and hot sauce to a wide brimmed, sealable container. If you'd like, add some additional seasonings to your taste.

  3. Once tofu is done, slice into evenly sized cubes (see photo above).

  4. Add tofu to your sauce container and seal. Shake around a little so all pieces are coated with liquid. Let sit in fridge to marinate for 15-30 minutes (the longer it sits, the more flavor it will absorb.

  5. Set your oven broiler to high. Dump tofu and sauce onto a large and parchment-lined baking sheet.

  6. Broil for 15-30 minutes, stirring every now and then to prevent sticking. Cooking speed will depend on the strength of your broiler, but mine is normally done in 20 minutes. If you don't like slightly burned edges, err on the side of less time.

  7. Remove from oven and let cool fully on baking sheet. The cubes should have puffed up a little. Store in the fridge for a week!

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes

Pin this Crispy Tofu

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Portrait of Emily Meyers, founder of Garlic Head

About the Author

Emily (Frigon) Meyers is the founder of Garlic Head, a plant-based recipe website for all eaters who want to easily, affordably, and sustainably incorporate more vegetables into their diets while saving time and money. She is a lifelong vegetarian and 10+ year vegan. Garlic Head does not focus on labels - it focuses on creating food that everyone can enjoy.

Emily earned a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell University along with degrees in Economics, Spanish, and Global Sustainability from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been featured on numerous podcasts and websites including The Food Institute, VegNews, Buzzfeed, and the Boston Globe.

Meet Emily here.

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