This crispy salt and pepper tofu will be your new favorite tofu recipe! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, this tofu has yummy salt and pepper flavor, tossed in the most delicious ginger garlic mixture.

Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu (Vegan, Gluten Free) - Daisybeet

As someone who follows a primarily plant-based diet, I rely a lot on tofu for high quality protein. I prepare tofu at least two times a week for dinner, and love to add leftover tofu to salads or bowls for lunch.

Tofu has a pretty bland, neutral flavor on it’s own, so I am always excited to try new tofu recipes and preparation methods. This crispy salt and pepper tofu is certainly a new favorite in our house, and one that I’ll be making again very soon!

What is tofu?

Tofu is a food made by condensing soy milk and pressing it together into solid white blocks. The process of making tofu is similar to cheesemaking. Tofu is thought to have originated in China thousands of years ago. It is a commonly consumed food in Asian diets, including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

There are several types of tofu. You can buy silken or soft tofu, which has a high water content and custardy texture. Softer tofus are best for creamy, blended foods like dips and smoothies. Firm and extra firm tofu have more water pressed out, so they are dense and firm. They are easy to cut into solid cubes or slices. Use firm and extra firm tofu for stir frying, grilling, baking, and pan-searing. You’ll want to use firm or extra firm tofu for this recipe.

When eaten plain, tofu has a neutral flavor. But, tofu easily absorbs the flavors you add to it in the marinating and cooking processes, making it such a versatile ingredient. It’s an excellent vehicle for your favorite sauce, and goes well with just about any flavor.

Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu (Vegan, Gluten Free) - Daisybeet

Ingredients in crispy salt and pepper tofu

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this salt and pepper tofu recipe.

  • Firm or extra firm tofu: These types of tofu are best for this recipe, because you will cut it into cubes and pan fry it.
  • Corn starch: This forms a coating on the tofu cubes, making them extra crispy when pan fried.
  • Black pepper: Freshly cracked pepper is best. You can also sub white pepper if you have it, but I don’t find it necessary to get a delicious salt and pepper flavor.
  • Salt: I used coarse kosher salt, but you can also use sea salt.
  • Canola oil: This neutral flavored oil is good for pan frying tofu.
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Scallions
Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu (Vegan, Gluten Free) - Daisybeet

Tofu nutritional benefits

Tofu is an incredibly healthy food to include in your diet. Whether you follow a plant-based diet or not, there is room on everyone’s plate for more tofu!

Tofu packs a ton of nutrition. A half-cup serving of tofu provides:

  • 10 grams of plant-based protein
  • 43% of your daily calcium needs
  • 36% of your daily iron needs

Tofu is low in saturated fat and provides heart healthy unsaturated fats. It also contains beneficial plant compounds called isoflavones. These compounds have antioxidant properties, and may help reduce menopause symptoms, protect against certain cancers, promote heart health.

Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu (Vegan, Gluten Free) - Daisybeet

How to make crispy salt and pepper tofu

First, press the tofu to remove excess water. You can use a tofu press, or just wrap the tofu in paper towels and press between two plates.

Cut the tofu into large cubes. Pat the cubes dry with a clean towel or paper towels.

Mix together corn starch, salt, and pepper. Coat all the sides of the tofu cubes in the corn starch mixtures.

Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet. Making sure not to crowd the pan, place the tofu cubes in the skillet. Fry on each side for 1-2 minutes, until edges begin to turn golden brown. You may have to do this in batches, depending on pan size.

Remove tofu and place on a paper towel to soak up excess oil. Add chopped garlic, ginger, and scallions to the same pan you cooked the tofu in. Saute for a few minutes until fragrant.

Toss the tofu cubes in the garlic, ginger, and scallions mix with more salt and pepper. Serve right away with your favorite vegetables and brown rice!

More tofu recipes to try

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu (Vegan, Gluten Free) - Daisybeet
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Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu (Vegan, Gluten Free)

This crispy salt and pepper tofu will be your new favorite tofu recipe! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, this tofu has yummy salt and pepper flavor, tossed in the most delicious ginger garlic mixture.

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: serves 23 1x
  • Category: main dish
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm or extra firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 3 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated

Instructions

  1. Press tofu for at least 30 minutes to remove excess water. To press, wrap tofu in a clean tea towel and press between two plates.
  2. Cut the tofu into large cubes. Pat each cube dry.
  3. Mix together the cornstarch and half the salt and pepper in a shallow dish or plate. Coat the tofu cubes in the cornstarch mixture. 
  4. Heat 1 tbsp canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place tofu in the hot skillet, making sure not to crowd the pan. (You may have to cook the tofu in two batches, use 1 tbsp of oil per batch).
  5. Cook tofu for 1-2 minutes until it becomes crispy and lightly golden brown. Flip the cubes, and repeat the process on each side of the cubes.
  6. Place cooked tofu on a paper towel lined baking sheet to soak up any excess oil.
  7. In the same skillet you cooked the tofu, add the remaining canola oil on medium heat. Cook the garlic, ginger, and white part of scallions for 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  8. Add the tofu to a mixing bowl with the garlic/ginger/scallion mixture. Add the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper, and toss to combine everything.
  9. Serve right away, garnished with green part of sliced scallions.

Notes

Best served immediately.

Reheat in the oven on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, 300 degrees for 15 minutes.

Keywords: salt and pepper tofu, vegan, gluten free

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Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu (Vegan, Gluten Free) - Daisybeet