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Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu Bowl

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Struggling with Tofu? Want to make it more appetizing or do you think whatever you make with it it is going to be bland? Well, then you must try these Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu Bowl. Mmm, They are so delicious and every bite has that burst of flavours. It has a hint of chilli, some sweetness and a hint of sour taste from the sauces.

Close up look of Pan-fRied Crispy tofu bowl served on plate of rice

These  Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu Bowls were a game-changer. I never thought tofu would be enjoyed by me so much. I relished it to the last bite. Even had some leftovers. As the flavours were infused more, it added to the taste. 

I know you might not believe me. In that case, would say definitely try this recipe. Even I was like that. When I first made Tofu, I felt it more rubbery. I felt that it was not absorbing the flavours. So I did not use much in my kitchen.

Another reason for it not being much used is because I make a lot of dishes with the Indian Paneer. It is similar to tofu, except it is made using cow milk.

Tofu Recipes

That said I am enjoying tofu in a few of my dishes. Like I replace Tofu in this Paneer Tikka and they come out really good. The marination of the tikka masala helps and gives tofu the much-needed flavour. 

Another favourite with tofu is this simple and quick Sana Thongba (Manipuri curry), in which I replace Paneer with Tofu. I even like to make this Vegan Kale, Tofu and Corn Curry which is a delicious curry enjoyed with naan and simple Jeera Rice.

My kids are a bit no-no to tofu, and I would like to try this Tofu Puffs from VEGANiAC. This puffs are simple to make. They can be deep fried or baked in an oven or in an air fryer. This would be a good after-school treat for them.

Another such dish is this Crispy Tofu Chicken. Do not worry, it is vegan and any chicken lover would fall for this crispy and tender tofu nuggets.

Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu served along with rice, green peas, yellow peppers, broccoli and cashew in a grey plate

But many of the dishes need Tofu and I love those dishes. Especially when it is coated with sweet and spicy sauce or when I am enjoying the Thai cuisine. I always wanted to make these Spicy and Crispy Tofu bowls, so thought of making this for our Sunday Funday event.

So What is Tofu?

Everyone knows what Tofu is. But still, if you do not, Tofu is also known as bean curd. It is prepared by coagulating soy milk. The resulting curd is pressed resulting into white blocks. Tofu can be soft, firm, extra firm based on the softness of the white blocks. 

Soya, and sauces

Tofu is low in calories and a rich source of protein. It is used in various sweet and savoury dishes. As it has a subtle flavour it is often marinated or seasoned with spices depending on the dish. It absorbs the flavours well. 

How to take out excess liquid from Soya

One needs to drain off the excess water from the packaging. Tofu block will have a lot of water, it needs to be drained out too.

So for this, I also like to keep some heavy object and drain the excess liquid that oozes out from the block. One can even simply tap it up with a tissue paper, but I find keeping a heavy object for some time on the top drains out more liquid.

Ingredients used in Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu Bowls

I have used Soya Sauce, Sriracha Sauce and Apple Cider Vinegar for the marinade and the sauce. If Sriracha sauce is not available one can replace it with red chilli sauce.

Cornflour is used for coating the tofu pieces so that when they are pan-fried they get a crunch. Paprika, Sugar, Ginger and Garlic are added for flavourings.

I have not added any extra salt in this dish. There is a lot of salt in all those sauces and you will not miss it.

Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu served along with rice, green peas, yellow peppers, broccoli and cashew in a grey plate

Recipe process of Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu Bowls

I kept the dish simple as I wanted to make something with fewer ingredients but more flavours. I simply marinated the tofu with Soya sauce, Sriracha Sauce/Red chilli sauce and Vinegar. Let it marinate for 15 minutes. 

I then coat it well with cornflour so when I pan-fry them they will have some crunch. After that, I prepared the sauce and just cooked the tofu pieces in them until done. One can skip the pan-fry but I would suggest doing so as it makes the tofu crispy as well as the flour gets cooked. Or else you might taste some raw flour if it has not cooked properly while making tofu.

Close up look of Pan-fRied Crispy tofu bowl served on plate of rice

Serving Suggestions

One can enjoy the tofu as is or as a side dish. I made a bowl out of this to make it a complete meal. I simply coated the veggies with the remaining sauce, added some rice to the bowl for the carbs, thus making it a complete meal with carbs and proteins.

Close up look of Pan-fRied Crispy tofu bowl served on plate of rice

Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu Bowl

Pan-Fried Crispy Tofu bowl is a simple and a lip-smacking meal made using tofu and bursting with flavours from the different sauce.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Protein Rich Recipes, Vegan
Servings: 4
Author: Renu Agrawal-Dongre



  • 500 gram Tofu
  • 3 tbsp Soya Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Vinegar – I used Apple Cider, one can use any
  • 4 tbsp Cornflour

For the Sauce

  • 3 tbsp Soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cornflour/Corn Starch – (Not Maize Flour)
  • ¼ cup Water

Remaining Ingredients

  • 2 small (1 tbsp) garlic cloves crushed/grated
  • 1 half inch (1/2 tbsp) ginger crushed/grated
  • 1 tbsp oil

For Serving

  • Vegetables of your choice for Serving -I have used green peas, Broccoli and Yellow Pepper
  • Cooked Steam Rice for serving
  • 1 tbsp Cashews (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish
  • Green onions for garnish


Marinating Tofu

  • Remove the excess water from Tofu, by keeping a heavy object above it and placing the tofu block in a colander. The excess liquid will drain out.
    500 gram Tofu
  • Cut the tofu pieces into small cubes.
  • In a large bowl add in 3 tbsp Soya sauce, and 3 tbsp Vinegar.
    3 tbsp Vinegar, 3 tbsp Soya Sauce
  • Add in the tofu pieces and coat it well with the sauce. Be gentle or else the tofu pieces will break.
  • Let it marinate in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. The longer the better, in that case, tofu will absorb more liquid.
  • After 15-20 minutes remove the tofu from the fridge.
    Marianted tofu

Coating with Corn flour

  • Sprinkle 4 tbsp cornflour on it and coat it well. I do this step in a ziplock. I add the cornflour and tofu and mix it well.
    4 tbsp Cornflour
    Tofu coated with cornflour
  • Then keep this zip lock bag in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes, in a heavy bottom pan add in the oil.
    1 tbsp oil

Pan-Frying Tofu

  • Once hot, add in crushed garlic and ginger and saute for a few seconds.
    2 small (1 tbsp) garlic cloves crushed/grated, 1 half inch (1/2 tbsp) ginger crushed/grated
  • Now add in the cornflour coated tofu and let it pan-fry for 10-15 minutes turning in between.
  • This helps the tofu get crunchier and the flour gets cooked. One can skip this step if you are not looking for a crunchier texture, but be sure to cook the tofu later along with the sauce or else you will have raw flour taste.
  • After 15-20 minutes switch off.

Making the Sauce and coating Tofu with sauce

  • In a small bowl, add in the sauce ingredients i.e. 3tbsp soya sauce, 1 tbsp vinegar, 3 tbsp sriracha, 1 tsp paprika, 3 tbsp sugar, ¼ cup water and 1 tbsp cornflour.
    3 tbsp Vinegar, 1 tbsp Vinegar, 3 tbsp Sriracha, 1 tsp Paprika, 3 tbsp Sugar, 1 tbsp Cornflour/Corn Starch, ¼ cup Water, 3 tbsp Soya sauce
    Sauce for coating the Tofu
  • Mix everything and keep it ready.
  • Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium heat.
  • Once hot add the prepared sauce mixture and let it cook stirring continuously.
    Cooking the sauce
  • Once the sauce starts thickening, add in the tofu pieces and coat evenly.
  • Let it cook for 4-5 minutes until evenly coated.
  • One can adjust the consistency of the sauce by adding more water if required.
  • Switch off and serve.


  • I added some steamed rice and topped it up with the pan-fried tofu.
    Cooked Steam Rice for serving
  • In the remaining sauce, I simply sauteed the vegetables one by one and added to the bowl.
    Vegetables of your choice for Serving
  • One can serve it as is, but coating the veggies with the sauces adds a nice flavour.
  • Garnish with green onions, cashews and sesame seeds.
    1 tbsp Cashews, 1 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish, Green onions for garnish
  • Serve it warm.


  • Standard US Size cups are used
  • Sriracha sauce can be replaced with Red chilli sauce Soya sauce can be replaced with Tamari sauce
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Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist. The nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate only. It varies depending upon the product types or brands.

Sunday Funday



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Recipe Rating

Azlin Bloor

Thursday 25th of February 2021

This is just the sort of dish that I totally enjoy, I just love tofu, no matter how it's cooked. And this dish with its sweet, sour and a little spicy flavours is definitely a winner - something to make soon!


Wednesday 17th of February 2021

Looks yummy !! Did you use corn flour or corn starch?

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Wednesday 17th of February 2021

Corn starch here is called as corn flour, so one and the same. Yes if you are referring to corn flour as maize flour that is completely different.


Friday 12th of February 2021

I have tofu and was constantly pushing it to the back of the fridge drawer. Looks like u am definitely going to make pan fried crispy tofu bowl. Just has the right flavor and crispyness for me.

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Friday 12th of February 2021

Thank You

Karen Booth

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

How delicious does this look! Packed with tasty flavours, Thanks so much for linking up to #CookBlogShare week 6, Karen


Tuesday 9th of February 2021

I was never a fan of tofu until I pan-fried it! Such a huge difference in taste and texture. I know I would love your recipe and that flavorful sauce, Renu.

Renu Agrawal Dongre

Wednesday 10th of February 2021

Same here Stacy. Thank You