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Crispy Golden Fried Tofu Steaks

by on March 12, 2022
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Meet your new fav tofu recipe! These crispy golden fried tofu steaks are the perfect pairing for salad, rice bowls or even as your main protein in a sandwich. It’s the blend of spices that make this tofu extra crispy and flavourful.

If you’re not typically a tofu fan, I urge you to give these crispy golden fried tofu steaks a shot. I think they’ll change your mind.

Hand holding a piece of crispy tofu with stack of tofu piled beneath

I usually find people who don’t enjoy tofu either aren’t using the right type of tofu or aren’t adding enough flavour to it. Tofu takes on whatever flavour you coat it in, and can be so flavour-packed if properly cooked.

In this recipe I’ll walk you through what type of tofu to use, how to press tofu, how to cook tofu and my best tips for making tofu extra crispy.

So, if you’re a self-proclaimed “tofu hater,” give this recipe a shot and then leave a comment on this post letting me know what you think!

Close up of golden tofu slices stacked on top of one another

What Kind Of Tofu Do You Need

For these crispy golden fried tofu steaks you’ll want to use extra-firm tofu.

Extra-firm tofu keeps its shape and stays firm even when cooked in high temperatures. It’s the best type of tofu to use for recipes that ask you to fry or bake tofu.

The other types of tofu you’ll find available at your local grocery store are silken, soft, medium and firm.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown on the various types of tofu and how to use each type.

What Ingredients Do You Need To Make Crispy Golden Fried Tofu Steaks

Ingredients for crispy tofu - two bricks of firm tofu, plate of 6 spices and olive oil
Here’s everything you need to make crispy golden fried tofu steaks:
  • Extra-Firm Tofu — my preferred brand that is found at most Canadian grocery stores is Sunrise.
  • High Quality Oil — I suggest using olive oil, but avocado oil also works well.
  • Ground Turmeric — this is what gives the tofu it’s golden colour.
  • Onion Powder — adds a savoury flavour to the tofu.
  • Garlic Powder — adds more depth and flavour.
  • Ground Cumin — adds a slightly nutty element to the dish.
  • Salt — not much is needed, but a good quality salt goes a long way.
  • Pepper —adds a little heat and bite.

How Do You Press Tofu To Get The Liquid Out

To get the liquid out of tofu, you’ll need to press it. You can go about pressing tofu in one of two ways.

Option 1: Use a tofu press

Brick of tofu in a bamboo tofu press

A tofu press is a kitchen tool that helps you evenly squeeze out moisture from your tofu. For years I never used a tofu press, but recently invested in one and have been loving it.

Here’s the tofu press I use, it’s compact in size and made from bamboo. I’m really enjoying it and would definitely recommend it if you cook with tofu regularly.

Option 2: Wrap tofu in a towel and place weight on top

This is the DIY solution to pressing tofu and honestly what I did for years. And it worked totally fine!

If you don’t have a tofu press, simply wrap your block of tofu in a tea towel and place a few pounds of weight on top. I typically use 3-4 hardcover books.

The biggest challenge with this is keeping your weight balanced. But if you press two bricks of tofu at once it makes it a bit easier for your weight on top to stay level.

What Kind Of Spices Do You Need

Close up of six spices, including turmeric, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper

For this tofu recipe you need a blend of six spices:
  • Ground Turmeric
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • Ground Cumin
  • Salt
  • Pepper

The turmeric is really the star of the show and the spice you’ll need the most of. It gives the tofu its golden colour.

Turmeric has a slightly bitter flavour, but when combined with other savoury spices it balances out nicely.

How Do You Get The Tofu So Crispy

The secret to getting tofu crispy is by evenly layering it with oil and spice. This helps create a nice crust on the outside of the tofu.

Step 1: Coat pressed tofu completely with oil
Side by side shot of tofu sliced and then covered in oil
Step 2: Place oiled tofu in spice blend and firmly press both sides down until completely covered

Side by side steps of coating tofu in spices

5 Tips For Getting Extra Crispy Tofu

To get your golden fried tofu steaks extra crispy, follow these 5 tips:

1. Ensure all water is removed from tofu during pressing.

5 minutes is long enough to press your tofu, but the longer you keep it pressed the more crispy it will become. I’d suggest pressing your tofu for up to 15 minutes for extra crispy tofu.

2. Coat your tofu completely in oil.

You can definitely just fry your tofu in oil, but I find also coating it in oil first before adding any spice or seasoning makes it even crispier. A high quality vegetable oil helps with getting tofu extra crispy too!

3. Get oil in pan hot before putting tofu in.

Wait until the oil is bubbling before placing tofu in. Your tofu should sizzle as soon as it hits the oil. If you put your tofu in too early, it will absorb the oil and get soggy.

4. Use a spatula to place some weight on your tofu while cooking.

Putting a bit of weight on your tofu while it’s frying will help a crust develop on the outside. Press down on your tofu with a spatula for 15-30 seconds on each side.

5. After cooking, press with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Gently pat off any extra oil on your tofu. This will keep it extra crispy until ready to serve.

Plate of sliced golden crispy tofu

I hope this easy tofu recipe makes its way into your weekly meal rotation! If you make it, be sure to leave a comment below, letting me know what you thought.

You can find more plant-based recipes on the blog. Or, come connect over on Instagram where I share more gardening and cooking inspo.

Happy eating!
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8 slices of golden tofu on a piece of parchment paper

Crispy Golden Fried Tofu Steaks

  • Author: Maggie
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6-10 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minute
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


A delicious and simple fried tofu recipe that makes for a perfect plant-based protein for lunch & dinner.



2 bricks of extra firm tofu (350grams each)

4 tbsp of olive oil or other light vegetable oil

1 heaping tbsp of turmeric

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of onion powder

1/2 tsp of salt

1/2 tsp of pepper


1. Remove tofu from packaging, drain and rinse with a little bit of water. Pat dry. Then press out remaining moisture from tofu using either a tofu press  or by wrapping in a tea towel and placing a few light pounds of weight on top.

2. Let tofu sit for 5-15 minutes, then unwrap and use a sharp knife to cut lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices.

3. Place sliced tofu on a baking sheet and drizzle pieces with 1 tbsp of oil. Use your hands to coat both sides of tofu with oil.

4. Next in a medium size bowl, mix together all spices — turmeric, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, salt and pepper.

5. Now take a piece of sliced tofu and place in spices. Flip so each side is completely coated. The spices should make a crust, covering both sides. Repeat until all tofu is coated in spices.

6.  In a medium-sized pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and turn element to medium-high heat.

7. Once oil is hot, add in 3-4 pieces of tofu at a time. Fry tofu for 2-4 minutes or until golden and crispy before flipping. Then fry for another 2-4 minutes on the other side.

8. If needed, you can gently wipe the excess spice from the pan and add fresh oil. You will need to do this if you notice spices getting blackened on the bottom of the pan.

9. Once all tofu slices are fried and golden, they’re ready to serve.

Serve as your main plant-based protein with lunch or dinner.


  • Books make great weights for pressing tofu if you don’t have a tofu press.
  • Golden fried tofu goes great with quinoa and steamed vegetables. Alternatively, you can use it in a sandwich with veggies and sauce. It also makes for a great side protein with a salad.

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