This fried silken tofu / soft tofu is easy to prepare in just 15 minutes. It boasts a golden, crispy panko exterior and a velvety, melt-in-your-mouth tofu interior. A perfect choice as an appetizer or a side dish to serve with rice.
🙋♀️ What is Silken Tofu / Soft Tofu
Silken tofu (or Soft tofu) is a smooth and creamy type of tofu made from soybeans. It’s known for its custard-like texture and is used in various Asian dishes, from desserts to savory recipes. It’s also great as a vegan or vegetarian substitute.
These tofu varieties have lots of moisture, making them prone to breaking apart, which isn’t great for frying. But, using a method I learned from Vietnamese home cooks, you can turn this watery tofu into crispy fried silken tofu with a super crunchy crust. It’s much easier than you might expect.
❤️ Why you will love this recipe?
- Simple and easy-to-make: you don’t need any advanced culinary skills to create this satisfying dish.
- Ready in just 15 minutes: This recipe is a time-saver, perfect for busy days or when you’re craving a speedy meal.
- Vegan-Friendly: Whether you’re following a vegan lifestyle or simply looking to incorporate more plant-based options into your diet, this recipe is entirely vegan.
🥢 Ingredients for Fried Soft Tofu
- Soft / Silken Tofu: The star ingredient, offering a creamy interior against a crispy exterior.
- Flour and Water: Combine to create the adhesive wet batter for tofu and panko.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Known for their light, airy texture, they yield an irresistibly crispy crust.
- Seasonings: Elevate the flavor with mushroom powder and black pepper powder.
- Cooking Oil: Choose neutral options like vegetable or canola to allow flavors to shine.
🥢 Dips for Fried Silken Tofu
Fried Silken Tofu makes a delightful appetizer or side dish. Enhance its flavor with mayo-based sauces like Japanese Kewpie Mayo, Japanese Aurora Sauce (a blend of Ketchup and Mayo), or Vegan Mayo for those with a vegan diet.
Prepare Tofu: Carefully cut the soft tofu into 0.8-inch or 2cm cubes or slices
Create Wet Batter: In a bowl, combine flour, water, and seasonings to make a wet batter.
Coat Tofu: Dip the silken tofu pieces into the wet batter, ensuring they’re well coated, and then transfer them to the bowl of panko breadcrumbs. Make sure all sides of the tofu are covered with breadcrumbs. Repeat for all the tofu pieces.
Heat Oil: In a pan, heat a generous amount of oil. The quantity of oil depends on whether you want to pan-fry or deep-fry the tofu.
Fry Tofu: Fry the silken tofu until it turns golden and crispy. Flip the tofu pieces to ensure all sides become crispy.
Serve: Serve the fried silken tofu with mayo-based dips like Japanese Aurora Sauce (Mayo-Ketchup Sauce).
🌟 Helpful Tips
Cutting Tubed Soft Tofu: When working with tubed soft tofu, which can be more delicate, use a sharp knife to make a gentle crosswise cut in the middle of the tube. Then, carefully remove the tofu out of the tube.
Prevent Oil Splashing: To prevent oil splatter while frying the tofu, pat dry the tofu pieces with kitchen paper before dipping them into the wet batter. This helps maintain a safer and cleaner frying process.
Substitution: Silken tofu can be replaced with egg tofu as well.
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Easy Crispy Fried Silken Tofu / Soft Tofu (with Panko)
- 2 bowls
- 1 non-stick pan
- 1 tube silken tofu
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 4 tbsp water
- ½ tsp mushroom powder
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- Panko breadcrumbs
- Cooking oil
- Gently cut the soft tofu into 0.8-inch or 2cm cubes or slices.
- Create a wet batter by combining flour, water, and seasonings in a bowl.
- Coat the silken tofu pieces thoroughly in the wet batter, then transfer them to the bowl of panko breadcrumbs, ensuring full coverage. Repeat for all tofu pieces.
- Heat a generous amount of oil in a pan, adjusting the quantity for your preference of pan-frying or deep-frying.
- Fry the silken tofu until it achieves a golden, crispy exterior, flipping the pieces to ensure even crispiness.
- Serve the fried silken tofu with a mayo-based dip such as Japanese Aurora Sauce (Mayo-Ketchup Sauce).