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Deep-fried tofu cubes in a red bowl with cilantro.

Deep-Fried Tofu

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  • Author: erin wysocarski
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


This deep-fried tofu is super crispy and light. Create this sauce with rice vinegar, sugar and red pepper flakes for dipping. Thin shallot rings add a crispy crunch while cilantro sprigs add color and freshness.


for the dipping sauce

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 5 tbsps sugar
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • red chili pepper flakes
  • 23 shallots, sliced thinly

for the tofu

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 tsps Ener-G, whisked with 5 tbsps water
  • canola, grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • cilantro sprigs


to make the dipping sauce

  1. Make your vinegar sauce by first dissolving the sugar with the boiling water in a small saucepan. Add the vinegar, salt and red chili pepper flakes. Add the shallot rings and allow to cool. Transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours.

to make the tofu

  1. Cut the tofu block in half. Then cut each half in half again to make 4 slabs. Cut each slab down the middle to create 8 squares.
  2. Set up a wide shallow bowl with the cornstarch and another with the Ener-G slurry.
  3. In a heavy pot, heat several inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat for about 7 minutes. You can test when the oil is ready by inserting a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil. If it bubbles up around the spoon or chopstick immediately, you are ready to fry.
  4. Working in batches, dunk the tofu squares into the Ener-G mixture, then transfer to the cornstarch. Flip around until evenly coated, then tap off any excess.
  5. Working in small batches of 2-3 pieces, carefully lower the tofu cubes into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, flipping around if needed. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer onto paper towels while you fry the rest.
  6. Transfer the tofu slices in a shallow bowl. Garnish with the shallot rings and cilantro. You can spoon the vinegar sauce over the top or serve on the side.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes