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Crispy Tofu with Spicy Cilantro Oil

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Crispy Tofu with Spicy Cilantro Oil is my new go-to lunch.

Have you ever tried tofu?

I’ll be honest with you – I used to hate the stuff.

I thought the texture was bland, thought it was flavorless, and overall just gross.

But that’s because I had never prepared it the right way. The secret to good tofu is actually crispy tofu.

When you get your tofu crispy, this totally changes the experience. The edges are crispy and crunchy, and when you flavor the tofu correctly, it is delish!

All About Tofu

There are many schools of thought on how to get the perfect crispy tofu. Some people think pan frying is the best way to go, but I’ve found that baking the tofu gets it the perfect amount of crispy.

I also found another great tip from Cookie + Kate’s blog post here. Use cornstarch or arrowroot powder to get your tofu super crispy. It’s a genius tip, and ever since I read her article, I haven’t looked back.

In addition to the texture, tofu is all about seasoning. I used to think that flavorless tofu was a bad thing, but now I think of it like a bank slate! It’s ready for whatever flavor you want.

You could make a variety of flavors, like:

  • Buffalo Tofu
  • Chili Oil Tofu
  • Sesame Tofu
  • Garlic Tofu
  • Teriyaki Tofu

There are so many different ways to spice this up, and I love the blank slate that you can create so many different tastes with.

I like this recipe with olive oil and soy sauce, and the spicy cilantro oil is my secret to jam-packing this dish with character.

I serve this over brown rice, mixed greens, or both!

This one is definitely a winner for a weeknight dinner or for meal prepping. Try it out and let me know how you like it in the comments!

Crispy Tofu with Spicy Cilantro Oil

Crispy Tofu with Spicy Cilantro Oil Ingredients

For the Tofu:

  • 1 block extra firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 tbsp olive, canola, or sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch

For the Spicy Cilantro Oil:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

For Topping:

  • chopped cilantro
  • chili oil
  • green onion


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove tofu from packaging and drain excess water. Cut tofu in small, about 1 inch pieces.

Line a baking tray with a kitchen towel. Add tofu pieces onto the towel. Next, cover tofu with another towel and top with a cast iron, heavy books, or anything else that can press the water out of your tofu. (This will help get your tofu super crispy!) Let tofu press for at least 20 minutes.

After you’ve pressed extra water out of your tofu, move it to a large bowl. Carefully mix tofu, oil, soy sauce, and corn starch together so the tofu is coated evenly.

Line tofu on a lined baking sheet, spacing apart evenly so they don’t get crowded. Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy.

While tofu is baking, make the spicy cilantro oil. Mix extra virgin olive oil, cilantro, salt & pepper, and red pepper flakes together in a small bowl.

Serve tofu on white or brown rice, quinoa, or over mixed greens. Top with spicy cilantro oil, more cilantro, chili oil, or green onions. Enjoy!

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