Crispy Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu

Last updated: May 21, 2022
How to make the best crispy baked salt and pepper tofu. Crunchy and peppery on the outside, and tender inside! This healthy recipe is easy to make and gluten-free. Serve it with sautéed vegetables and rice noodles for a complete meal. Or just snack on it!
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Crispy, Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu

Tofu is one of those ingre­di­ents that I find people to be skeptical of if you didn’t grow up eat­ing it. But it’s absolutely delicious when made well. With a few sim­ple prepa­ra­tion steps, you can cre­ate savory tofu recipes that even a non-vegetarian will enjoy.

Tofu is a won­der­ful source of pro­tein and soaks up the fla­vor of what­ever mari­nade or coat­ing you use.

The tex­ture is deter­mined by the type of tofu you buy, as well as how it’s pre­pared (baked, fried, scram­bled, grilled, etc).

For this recipe I used extra firm tofu dusted with a gluten free crust of cornmeal, cornstarch, and spices. I also love to grill tofu!

Up until my mid 20’s, I had never had tofu. That was until a friend took me to a fan­tas­tic veg­e­tar­ian Chi­nese restau­rant and said, “I know I’m going to change your mind about tofu once you try this salt and pep­per ver­sion”.

I took one bite of the hot, crispy, per­fectly sea­soned tofu and I was sold. Who would have ever thought that lit­tle nuggets of soy could be as addict­ing as salt and vine­gar fries? From that point on I became a tofu lover.

How to Make Crispy Baked Tofu

This recipe for Salt & Pep­per Tofu is healthy and very ver­sa­tile. 

Instead of frying the salt and pepper tofu, you’re going to bake it. The secret to getting it just as crispy as if it were fried is a cornstarch + cornmeal coating!

You can make this tofu for rice bowls, salads, an appetizer, or even just a snack. I like adding it to rice noodles and sautéed red pep­pers, and mush­rooms like I’ve done here. Dressed with a light, lime vinai­grette, it’s a refresh­ing sum­mer meal.

Fol­low these easy steps for pressing tofu:

1.     Drain tofu from the pack­age and pat com­pletely dry. Wrap in two lay­ers of paper towels.

2.     In a bak­ing pan with rimmed sides, put wrapped tofu inside of it with a cut­ting board on top of the tofu. Set some­thing very heavy like a cast iron skil­let on top of the cut­ting board. This will squeeze out all the excess water.

3.     Let sit 15 min­utes, empty dish if water has drained into it and flip tofu. Replace cut­ting board and skil­let, let drain another 10 minutes.

4.     Remove tow­els, and cut into 1 in square cubes. Now you’re ready to go!

More Tofu Recipes:

Crispy Baked Salt & Pepper Tofu

This salt and pepper tofu is extra crispy and crunchy thanks to a bit of cornmeal and cornstarch for a coating, then baked until golden brown! You can serve it with sautéed vegetables and rice noodles for a complete meal.
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Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
Author: Amanda Paa

SCALE:

Ingredients

  • 1 14 ounce block extra firm tofu, pressed according to notes above in post
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal medium grind
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 red bell pep­per, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounce pack­age of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ pack­age of flat rice noodles cooked per package directions

Lime Vinai­grette

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 clove gar­lic minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon fine salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sriracha

Instructions

  • While tofu is being pressed, pre­heat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray cookie sheet with non­stick spray. In a Ziploc bag, com­bine corn­meal, corn­starch, salt & pep­per.
  • Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and put in bowl. Pour olive oil over tofu and toss to coat. Add tofu to Ziploc bag in 2 separate batches, and lightly shake to coat evenly. Place tofu on cookie sheet, (not touch­ing each other) and bake for 15 min­utes, then flip and bake for another 10 min­utes (or until crispy). Remove from oven.
  • While tofu is bak­ing, heat olive oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté for 2 min­utes, then add in pep­pers and mush­rooms with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté for 8–10 min­utes, until veg­eta­bles are soft­ened, set aside
  • Whisk all dress­ing ingre­di­ents together and toss with noodles.
  • Serve noodles with vegetables and crispy tofu.

 

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August 13, 2013

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