Crispy Baked Tofu Recipe

This Crispy Baked Tofu recipe will rock your world with an oven-baked tofu that is crisp on the outside while maintaining its soft, creamy interior. The tofu soaks up the flavors of your spices or marinade, and baking means skipping the mess of frying.

Read on to learn all about tofu and the tips and tricks for making this recipe. Or just grab your block of extra-firm tofu, hit that Jump to Recipe button, and let’s make this crispy baked tofu!

pan of baked tofu in parchment garnished with green onions.
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Ingredients

package of tofu, sesame oil, soy sauce, corn starch., and Chinese 5 spice powder.

Tofu, or soybean curd, comes in a variety of types and textures categorized based on their moisture content. The extra-firm tofu used here has the least amount of moisture and is best for stir fries, grilling, and baking.

 

In contrast, silken tofu is very soft and is often used for blending into sauces, puddings, and smoothies. Read more about different types of tofu from the folks at Serious Eats.

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Recipe tips and tricks

How to drain tofu

In order to make crispy tofu, the first thing you need to do to is press the tofu to get rid of as much water as possible. It’s the same as when salting eggplant for an oven-baked pasta or frying up sweet potato pancakes or squash patties.

Tip from the wise quacker: there are lots of ways to press and drain tofu, and it doesn’t matter which you choose. I put the whole block in a strainer with a flat bottom, top it with paper towels, and weigh it down with a heavy object for an hour or so. You can also buy a tofu press.

Marinating the tofu

Once you have drained your tofu, cut it up into cubes no larger than a half inch.

cubes of firm tofu on a bright green cutting board.

Gently toss the tofu cubes with your marinade. You shouldn’t have much extra liquid.

metal bowl with tofu cubes tossed with marinade.

Baking crispy tofu

Gently toss the tofu cubes with your spices and cornstarch, and then put them in a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Don’t skip the parchment, or the tofu will stick to the pan.

marinated tofu cubes in a baking pan lined with parchment.

Shake or stir the tofu cubes once or twice during baking. I recommend tasting them as they’re baking until you get them to your desired crispness.

browned tofu cubes in a baking pan lined with parchment.

How to serve crispy baked tofu

This crispy baked tofu recipe is the star in my Swimming Rama tofu bowl. You could also use it in:

parchment-lined pan of baked tofu sprinkled with green onions next to a  noodle bowl, peanut sauce, and chopsticks.

Recipe FAQs

What other spice combinations can I use in this crispy baked tofu?

You can adapt tofu for literally any flavor profile. Skip the soy sauce, use a neutral flavored oil, and pumpkin pie spice. Pumpkin spice tofu? Yes, please.

How can I store leftovers?

The baked tofu will lose its crispness with time. You can keep any leftovers in the refrigerator and then reheat them in the oven or in a dry frying pan to gain back a little crispness. Try to store them separately from sauces or other liquids if you plan to do this.

Looking for more vegetarian dinner recipes? Here are some of my favorite meat-free recipes from the archives:

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Crispy Baked Tofu

5 from 2 votes
Category: Main Course
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Draining time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 100kcal
Baking tofu on parchment paper results in a crispy baked tofu that has an amazing crispness on the outside while maintaining its soft, creamy interior.
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Ingredients

  • 1 block (14 ounces) extra firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce regular or low-sodium
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

Instructions

  • Drain the tofu for about an hour. Use a tofu press if you have one, or put the block of tofu in a strainer, top with paper towels, and a mortar or other weighty object (protect it from getting wet from the paper towels, if necessary)
    1 block (14 ounces) extra firm tofu
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Cut the tofu into ½ inch cubes.
  • In a bowl, mix soy sauce and sesame oil. Gently toss tofu to coat, then add the five spice powder and cornstarch and again gently toss.
    2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoon Chinese five spice powder, 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Lay tofu out on parchment-lined baking sheet so pieces are not touching. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until toasty in color.

Notes

It’s helpful to taste the tofu after it has baked for about 30 minutes to determine when it has achieved your desired level of crispness.
Nearly any other marinade and spice combinations can be substituted in this crispy baked tofu recipe. 

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 565mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 2mg
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Are you an adventurous home cook looking for inspiration in your weeknight meals and weekend baking? Get inspiration here:

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