Tofu can be deep fried or pan fried. If a recipe calls for crispy tofu, I deep fry. When making stir fry, I pan fry the tofu until golden or light brown with crisp skin and moist inside.
Instead of frying, you can also air fry tofu with only 1 tablespoon of oil.
What type of tofu do I use for pan or deep frying?
The best tofu for frying is firm or extra firm tofu.
How to prefer tofu before frying?
When buying tofu it is submerged in liquid. Poke plastic wrapper and drain water.
Once water is drained lay 5 paper towels on a flat surface and place tofu. Lay another 5 paper towels on top of tofu.
To remove excess liquid place something heavy on top of tofu. I use a heavy skillet or mortar. Leave it for fifteen minutes to half an hour. Replace paper towel if too soaked. Once excess liquid is removed discard paper towel and dice up tofu.
I have no time to drain excess tofu liquid how do I do it?
There are times when I am in a rush to cook and have no time to wait draining excess liquid. I take 6 paper towels, three folded paper towels in each hand and placing tofu in between both hands (like a sandwich) and pressing both hands inwards to squeeze out water.
Another way is laying paper towels on a flat surface, place tofu, add more paper towels on top of tofu and pressing it with your hand to squeeze out liquid.
How to Deep Fry Tofu?
Deep fry for a crispy tofu. Fully submerge cut tofu in oil. An example is when I made a Filipino dish tokwa’t baboy (tofu and pork) I deep fried the tofu. Some people lightly coat the tofu with cornstarch before frying for a crispier tofu.
Steps in Deep Frying
When deep frying, pour enough oil to cover tofu. Don’t over crowd so it cooks evenly.
Once it turns golden or light brown in color use a slotted spoon to drain oil. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
If not serving right away, when excess oil is removed transfer to a wire rack to retain its crispiness before serving.
How to Pan Fry Tofu?
An example of pan frying tofu is when making stir fry. I made Stir Fried Chicken with Tofu and Celery and I pan fried the tofu instead of deep frying. Pan frying is adding just enough oil to brown one side of tofu. It is not crispy but it stays firm and soft when pan fried.