This recipe has definitely been a staple in our house in the last couple of months and I am so excited to finally be sharing it with you. Behold – 30 minute crispy peanut tofu. Satisfies that takeout itch but is SO MUCH BETTER. In every way. Seriously.
If you’ve never had tofu before and are a little scared to try it, this is the perfect introduction to tofu. Or, if your only tofu experiences were bland, soft, or mushy, give this recipe a try! This is how tofu should be, in my opinion. Crispy, flavorful, and slightly chewy!
Now, although this recipe is super easy, there is one step that takes planning ahead that I don’t recommend skipping!
Why You Should Freeze Your Tofu
I don’t fully understand the magic that happens when you freeze and then completely thaw your tofu, but it changes the texture to be a bit more chewy and allows the tofu to absorb whatever marinade or sauce you’re using so much better! It does take a few days for your tofu to fully thaw after it’s frozen so take that into account when meal planning!
For this recipe, I recommend using either extra firm tofu or firm tofu. This brand is my favorite, but any firm/extra firm tofu should do. Anything softer will fall apart and be difficult to cut into uniform rectangles.
Once you have your tofu cut into uniform rectangles, lightly cut them in corn starch. This is going to help them get crispy!
In a large cast iron skillet, pan fry your tofu (as seen above), about 3 minutes on each side. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do this in batches.
While your tofu is pan frying, make the sauce!
The Peanut Tofu Sauce
This peanut sauce comes together very easily with many ingredients you likely already have on hand! Win! Whisk them together until fully combined and set aside until your tofu is ready.
Once ready, pour the sauce over the tofu and thoroughly coat the tofu. Careful your pan is not too hot or the peanut butter will ball up and you won’t get an even coat (It will still be delicious, but it just won’t look as pretty).
Doesn’t this look SO GOOD!?!
Sweet, spicy, tangy deliciousness.
I can’t wait for you guys to try this!
Try These Vegan Takeout Inspired Recipes
- 30 Minute Vegan Peanut Noodles
- Sticky Vegan Orange Chicken
- Kung Pao Cauliflower
- Tangy Vegan Cucumber Salad
Did you try this recipe? Please leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and leave a review in the comment section! I always appreciate your feedback and I know other readers do, too!
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30 Minute Crispy Peanut Tofu
- 1 (16 ounce) block extra firm tofu frozen, then thawed
- 6 tablespoons corn starch for coating
- ⅓ cup avocado oil for pan frying
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 4 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- brown rice
- green onion
- black sesame seeds
- lime wedges
- First, whisk together all of the peanut sauce ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
- Cut your extra firm tofu block into uniform rectangles.
- Lightly coat each side of tofu bites in corn starch
- Heat ⅓ cup avocado oil in large cast iron skillet for frying. You want this extra hot.
- Pan fry each piece of tofu until crispy (about 3 minutes each side) over medium heat. Put fried tofu on paper towels or napkins to absorb excess oil. Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to do this in batches.
- Once your tofu is all pan fried, turn heat down to low and allow the pan to cool slightly (2-3 minutes). If it does not cool down enough your sauce will get too hot and ball up.
- Add all tofu back into your skillet and add the sauce. Completely coat the tofu in the peanut sauce and heat thoroughly.
- Serve immediately over rice with suggested toppings! Enjoy.
- Frozen tofu takes about 2-3 days to thaw in the refrigerator so plan ahead!
- After all of my tofu pan fried, there was not a lot of oil leftover in the pan (maybe a couple teaspoons). If you find you have excess oil remaining, feel free to remove it before adding the tofu back in to coat the tofu in the peanut sauce.
- My favorite tofu brand! I buy it at Whole Foods.