The secret to crunchy tofu 

 January 6, 2021

By  Tatiana

What a hectic day I had in the kitchen yesterday! I feel like I have stepped back in time years now I’m eating meat for a month. But it’s Wednesday again, and that calls for a delicious healthy bite!

Why does it feel like I have gone back in time years? Because I started my own challenge three or four years ago. I was going to live completely plastic-free and go without alcohol, without meat and without all kinds of other things. And the first two days I was so hungry, I didn’t feel at all prepared and that was also because everything came from plastic and because it was difficult to find a tasty snack to cook for myself! Eventually I had to stop after nine days because it was barely doable, everything is packaged in plastic.

Of course it is not difficult at all to banish meat from your food. As I just said, it is ‘difficult’ to make a snack that I would really like and even eat again the next day! And yesterday after three hours of aimless thinking in my kitchen, stirring and grinding in my head, I finally cracked the code!

If I had to rate my own meal I would give it a good ten out of ten out of surprise alone. That’s because the rice was very tasty. The thickened sauce for the tofu stuck wonderfully to every bite of rice. And I finally managed to cook a nice rice. The tofu was very tasty and crispy, which gives me lots of ideas, and the green beans and tomato topped it off. I have to admit that I deserve a pat on the back. This dish was also warmly received in the house!

The big question is, how did I make the tofu so deliciously crunchy? Well, of course I’m going to tell you that too. I have once again noticed that it is really an art to cook with tofu, especially now that I have really immersed myself in the multiple preparation methods. And believe me that the internet is full of nonsense, but also full of useful tips and tricks. Today we’re going to make crunchy tofu together with a delicious sauce!


for 2 to 3 people


  • a block of tofu of about 250 gr
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)


  • 5 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon of chili oil

Honey Garlic Sauce:

  • 1 squeezed lemon or 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 4 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • a 2 cm piece of fresh ginger, grated, or 10 g ginger paste


  • sesame seeds
  • spring onion, cut
  • chili flakes

Extra ingredients per person:

  • 5 tablespoons of rice
  • a few handfuls of fried green beans
  • 1 tomato, cut into smaller pieces


This recipe consists of 3 parts: first draining the tofu, then marinating the tofu and finally frying the tofu. If you don’t have enough time, I recommend that you drain the tofu the day before and put the tofu in the marinade in the fridge. Then turn it the next day before baking it.

We start by squeezing the water out of the tofu. I don’t have a tofu press for that yet, so I use two cutting boards and a large heavy pot of flour. Remove the tofu from its packaging, wrap it with regular kitchen paper and place it between the two cutting boards. Put the weight on it and let the liquid drain out in about 30 minutes. You do have to replace the paper after 15 minutes.

In the meantime you can make the marinade. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl and set it aside. When you think the tofu has drained well enough, place it in a container and pour the marinade over it. Turn the tofu through the marinade a few times and put the bowl back in the refrigerator. If you only want to prepare the tofu the next day, put it in a airtight container that you can close well.

Now we’re going to make the sauce. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Put a pan on a low heat and pour the mixture in so that the sauce can simmer and thicken. Meanwhile, remove the tofu from the container with the marinade. Cut the tofu block into strips. It is true that the center can still be white. Then put the pieces back in the container with the marinade and toss everything together.

Heat some vegetable oil in a frying pan. Let the oil get hot. In a bowl, mix half your tofu strips and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Toss everything together so that all sides of the tofu are covered with cornstarch. Place your cornstarch-covered strips of tofu in the pan. Repeat with the remaining tofu and cornstarch until the tofu is finished. Now let the tofu fry in the frying pan for about 3 to 4 minutes per side. You will notice that the tofu will have a delicious brown crust. That’s the result you want! Don’t forget to keep stirring the sauce while you cook the tofu.

In the meantime, heat up your rice and prepare the other ingredients that you want to use up or enjoy with it. I still had some fried green beans and a fresh tomato. I had already cooked the rice earlier in the day. From now on, I will cook at least 1 kilo of rice twice a week for January so that I always have it in stock.

When your tofu has turned nice and crispy to your liking, place all your ingredients nicely on top of the rice. Give your tofu a thick tablespoon of the sauce and top it all off with your yummy toppings. Voilà, a delicious and healthy snack for the whole family!

The result

To be honest, I really had to keep myself from eating all the tofu rice, I liked it that much! But now I have a delicious snack for tomorrow at lunch, and I’m already looking forward to it. It seems like a lot of work to cook with tofu, but once you have worked with it more often and got the hang of it, you will quickly become an expert!

This way of making crispy tofu has given me great courage today to invent even more good ways to prepare tofu! This afternoon I didn’t see it anymore and I was so tired of everything. It may sound very exaggerated, but I often have trouble getting started. That’s okay, it just means I want to do it right! What I was really surprised about was that I really liked my rice. Usually I don’t eat rice, and not at all without sauce, but the sweet taste of the sauce made this dish really complete!

My goal has been achieved. I’ve finally been able to make the best crispy tofu in the pan after cooking tofu ten times, so now I can move on to my next tofu goal! But I just need a few more days for that, because there are other leftovers in my fridge that need to be used up first. And no, they do not contain meat!

Now I’m curious, of course, how you prefer to replace your meat. Do you leave it out completely or do you go for meat substitutes? Let me know, even if you have a nice sauce for it or of course if you’ve cooked this recipe!

Tatiana Tor

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and if you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Wishing you a great day, love Tatiana.

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