Crispy Fried Tofu

Chef Bill Kim says this is a great recipe to make for people who don’t like tofu. “Tell them it’s cheese!” he says. “Tofu done right is delicious.” Slideshow: Terrific Tofu Recipes 

Crispy Fried Tofu
Photo: © Lucas Allen
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins



  • 1/2 cup mirin

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh clementine or orange juice

  • Two 14-ounce packages extra-firm tofu, drained well and cut into 8 rectangles each

  • 3 cups rice flour, for breading

  • 2 large eggs, for breading

  • 2 cups milk, for breading

  • 2 cups panko, for breading

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

  • Kosher salt

Plum Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar

  • 5 black plums, thinly sliced

  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste

  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha

  • Salt


Make the Tofu

  1. In a baking dish, whisk the mirin, soy, lime juice, clementine juice and 1/4 cup of water. Add the tofu and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, turning once; pat dry.

Meanwhile, Make the Plum Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Cook the onion and garlic over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion starts to brown. Add dark brown sugar, black plums and tamarind paste. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes; let cool. Transfer sauce to a blender and pulse with Sriracha until nearly smooth. Season with salt and set aside.

  2. In a shallow dish, spread 1 cup of the rice flour. In another shallow dish, whisk the eggs with the milk and the remaining 2 cups of rice flour. Spread the panko in a third shallow dish. Dredge the tofu in the flour, the egg mixture and then the panko, lightly patting the coating to help it adhere.

  3. In a large saucepan, heat 1 1/2 inches of oil to 325°. Fry the coated tofu in batches, turning, until deep golden, 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and season with salt. Serve hot, with the Plum Sauce.

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