It's A Bad Idea To Bread Tofu, But You Can Still Get A Crispy Finish

Often used in place of meat in dishes, tofu can be treated in such a way that you forget the stir-fry is sans meat. Better yet, fry that tofu so it's got a crispy exterior and you'll think you're eating chicken nuggets. However, getting that golden crunchy shell on a piece of tofu is not as easy as rolling it in breadcrumbs, as you would do to a piece of chicken. By using a product made of flour, the tofu will likely become gummy and unappetizing.

That doesn't mean it's impossible to get perfectly crunchy tofu. Instead, it all comes down to coating the tofu in starch that will absorb the moisture. The reason is that tofu releases water, preventing a flour-based coating from achieving crispiness. By absorbing more of the tofu's moisture, a piece of tofu coated with starch will fry up better to create a crave-able, crunchy coating.

Several starch coating options

There are several types of starches that can be used on tofu to create a crispy exterior, including corn starch, tapioca starch, potato starch, and arrowroot. The starch should be dusted onto the surface of the tofu that has been patted dry using a kitchen towel or paper towel and then seasoned with salt. After applying the starch, use your hands to softly rub it into the tofu pieces. A firmer tofu can also be tossed in a bowl with the starch to get them to adhere to each other. Once coated, the tofu should be lightly shaken to rid it of the extra starch.

Then, just like fish, chicken, or a vegetable, the coated tofu can be fried in oil. Note, if you're using cornstarch, which is pretty flavorless, spices should be added to the mix for more flavor. The choice of oil, such as sesame oil, can also increase the fried tofu's flavor to please the tastebuds. But it will be the starch that will create the best mouthfeel when you bite into the crispy morsels.