Crispy Ginger-Glazed Tofu Bowl Recipe

There are a lot of folks out there who think that they simply don't like tofu. You probably know one or two of them, or you may even be one yourself. They generally think of tofu as being bland, soggy, and dull. This recipe is the answer to that misguided belief — one perfect bite of this crispy ginger-glazed tofu and they'll be eating their words (and cleaning their plates).

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When handled properly, tofu can be incredible. Pressing tofu can help to remove some of its watery texture, but you don't even need to take that step in this recipe. Here, we use a simple corn starch dredge and a shallow fry to turn tofu from those much-maligned, soft, white cubes into delightful, golden-brown bites with unbelievable crunch. While tofu itself doesn't have a lot of flavor, that makes it a perfect vessel for a glaze rich with salty, umami soy sauce, herbal ginger, and just enough brown sugar to make it irresistible. Whether you're already a tofu lover or you're still on the skeptical side, this recipe is for you.

Gather the crispy glazed tofu ingredients

For this recipe, you will need extra firm tofu, corn starch, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ground ginger, and a bit of vegetable oil (or other high-heat oil) for frying. Once you have these ingredients together, all you have to do is cube up the tofu and you are ready to begin. 

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Step 1: Heat the oil

Add the vegetable oil to a skillet and heat to 370 F.

Step 2: Dredge the tofu

While the oil is heating, pour the corn starch onto a plate and coat the tofu cubes.

Step 3: Fry the tofu

Fry the tofu in batches for around 6 minutes, until crisp and golden.

Step 4: Drain excess oil

When the tofu is done, remove it to a plate covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Step 5: Start the glaze

To make the glaze, combine all of the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

Step 6: Thicken the glaze

Cook the glaze, stirring often, for around 6 minutes, or until it just coats the back of a spoon.

Step 7: Pour over the glaze

Add the fried tofu to a large bowl and pour over the glaze.

Step 8: Toss the tofu

Toss the tofu in the glaze until evenly coated.

Step 9: Garnish and serve

Serve over rice and garnish with sliced vegetables and sesame seeds, if desired.

How should I serve this crispy ginger-glazed tofu?

While the crispy ginger-glazed tofu in this recipe is absolutely delicious on its own, it is best served with a few choice accouterments. To start, you will probably want some cooked rice at the bottom of the bowl. Around 3 cups of cooked rice should be enough for the 4 servings of tofu in the recipe. The base of rice will both help to stretch the delicious tofu into four full meals and provide a neutral starch to balance the richness of the glaze.

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Beyond a base of rice, this tofu bowl is begging for some nice, crunchy vegetables, which add freshness and color to the dish. As you can see in the photos, we chose thinly sliced scallions, radishes, carrots, and cucumbers. Each of these vegetables adds its own color, flavor, and texture to the dish, allowing you to make each bite different and amazing. But, you don't have to stick to our example. This crispy ginger-glazed tofu goes with just about anything. Crunchy green beans or snap peas would be excellent, edamame would fit in perfectly, and you could even add some pickled or fermented vegetables for a hit of salt and acidity. When the tofu is this good, it's hard to go wrong.

What is the best temperature for frying tofu?

When it comes to frying food, the temperature of the oil is vitally important. If your oil is too cold, you can end up with a soggy, greasy finished product. Too hot and you will burn the outside while leaving the middle ice cold. For this reason, it is important to always check the oil temperature before you add anything and to recheck between each batch. When you add the tofu to the oil, the temperature will drop, so after each batch comes out, be sure you let it get back up to temperature before adding the next round.

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In general, the ideal frying temperature ranges from 325 F to 375 F, with various foods being ideally cooked at different temperatures within that range. For something like fried chicken, which takes a while to cook through, you will likely want to fry at around 350 F. Tofu, however, does not need to be cooked to a high internal temperature before serving to be safe to consume. For this reason, we suggest frying at 370 F, close to the high end of the range. At 370 F, the cornstarch coating will cook quickly, turning crisp and golden brown without taking on too much oil. Cooking at the high end will save you time at the stove and still produce a beautiful, crunchy, golden-brown result.

Crispy Ginger-Glazed Tofu Bowl Recipe

4.9 (8 ratings)

The crispy ginger-glazed tofu in this recipe is a perfect presentation for the vegan protein, and you can customize your bowl with a variety of vegetables.

Prep Time
5
minutes
Cook Time
18
minutes
servings
4
Servings
Crispy tofu bowl
Total time: 23 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the crispy tofu
  • 1 cup vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • For the glaze
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder

Optional Ingredients

  • Cooked rice, for serving
  • Sliced vegetables, for garnish
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1. Add the vegetable oil to a skillet and heat to 370 F.
  2. While the oil is heating, pour the corn starch onto a plate and coat the tofu cubes.
  3. Fry the tofu in batches for around 6 minutes, until crisp and golden.
  4. When the tofu is done, remove it to a plate covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
  5. To make the glaze, combine all of the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
  6. Cook the glaze, stirring often, for around 6 minutes, or until it just coats the back of a spoon.
  7. Add the fried tofu to a large bowl and pour over the glaze.
  8. Toss the tofu in the glaze until evenly coated.
  9. Serve over rice and garnish with sliced vegetables and sesame seeds, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories per Serving 563
Total Fat 36.4 g
Saturated Fat 3.2 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 42.4 g
Dietary Fiber 3.1 g
Total Sugars 8.9 g
Sodium 896.5 mg
Protein 21.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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