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crunchy pan-fried silken tofu

Pan-Fried Soft Tofu

5 from 2 votes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese, Asian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1 bowl
Calories: 519kcal
Author: Jellie
Cost: $2.05
For a quick, vegan, protein-packed dinner with tons of savoury flavour, I choose pan fried tofu. It uses the most basic ingredients and goes well with anything.
Print Recipe


  • Medium to large skillet
  • Metal spatula (I recommend using a fish spatula)


  • 1 tube silken tofu or soft tofu see Note 1
  • ¼ cup cornstarch or tapioca starch (arrowroot)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder *optional
  • ½ tsp kosher salt or 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil use one with a high smoking point like avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce


  • Drain the tofu and pat dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel. Gently slice into 1-inch thick pieces.
  • Mix cornstarch, garlic powder, and salt together in a bowl. Add tofu pieces to this bowl one by one and coat each side in cornstarch. (Add more cornstarch as needed.)
  • Add oil to a wok or skillet on medium-high heat. If you have a laser thermometer, the pan should read 400 °F. Add tofu in a single layer; they should start sizzling instantly. Fry in batches if you have to (replenish the oil if it gets absorbed).
  • Flip the tofu as they brown on the bottom until all sides are crispy and golden, being careful not to break them apart. Once they're done, transfer them to a plate or bowl.
  • Drizzle with soy sauce and eat as is or read above for 3 ways to take this recipe further.


  1. I love using the variety of silken or soft tofu that comes in a tube. If you're vegan, just pay attention to the label because many of these tubes contain egg tofu instead of regular silken tofu. If you can't find the tofu that comes in tubes, no worries. You can use any type of plain tofu. I prefer a medium tofu or softer because I love biting into a crunchy tofu with crispy breading on the outside and juicy softness on the inside. While silken tofu is my favourite, medium-firm is also great because the pieces are still juicy but aren't as fragile as soft or silken.


Calories: 519kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 1633mg | Potassium: 609mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 3mg