Bring on the ultimate vegan comfort food: crispy lemon tofu. We LOVE experimenting with classic non-vegan comfort food and giving it our vegan twist, while still keeping all the amazing flavour. This vegan crispy lemon tofu is one of those recipes that even non-tofu lovers will love!
This Asian-style recipe is the ideal dish for warmer months when you’re craving real comfort food: perfectly crispy tofu, a flavoursome base and a tangy, sticky and sweet lemon sauce. The result is a deliciously rich dish, perfect for speedy weekday dinners or big batches.
Tofu’s health benefits:
Tofu is a versatile ingredient with many health benefits. It’s a lovely source of protein and contains several anti-inflammatory, antioxidant phyto-chemicals making it a great addition to an anti-inflammatory diet. Tofu is also a valuable plant source of iron and calcium– in addition to fibre, potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese.
One 100g (3.5-ounce) serving of tofu offers (Source Healthline):
- Protein: 8 grams
- Carbs: 2 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Fat: 4 grams
- Manganese: 31% of the RDI
- Calcium: 20% of the RDI
- Selenium: 14% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 12% of the RDI
- Copper: 11% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 9% of the RDI
- Iron: 9% of the RDI
- Zinc: 6% of the RDI
(RDI = Recommended Daily Intake)
How to prepare tofu:
For this crispy lemon tofu, you’ll want to use firm tofu. As tofu contains a lot of water, you need to press it before cooking, especially if you’re frying, baking or grilling it. Simply wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen or paper towel and put a stack of books or something heavy such as a frying pan on top. Leave for 15-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can use your hands to press it lightly. Just make sure you’re distributing the pressure evenly and don’t push too hard.
Different ways to cook tofu:
There are a few different ways you can cook tofu. One of the most popular ones is to bake it in the oven, which results in flavourful, firm cubes that are perfect for adding to stir fries or salads. However, baking requires a little more time which is why we’re sticking to the simplest and quickest method for this recipe: pan-frying tofu! This will save you time in the kitchen and still result in crispy, delicious peanut tofu with a lot less fuss.
When pan-frying tofu, you’ll want to use a large, cast iron or stainless steel pan. Overcrowding is the devil when trying to make crispy tofu. You’ll avoid this by using a pan with a wider surface.
Tips for cooking tofu:
- With tofu, it’s all about the seasoning! If you don’t season tofu well, your dish might turn out a little bland. So don’t shy away from using up all the sauce in this recipe! It will add all the amazing flavours to the tofu.
- To achieve perfectly crispy tofu, we coat the tofu cubes in cornflour and then pan-fry to give the exterior a crisp texture that really makes this dish. It’s the secret to deliciously crispy tofu.
- You can store leftover tofu (uncooked and unpressed) in a container filled with cool water in the fridge. Change the water daily to keep the tofu moist and fresh and cook and consume the leftover tofu within two or three days.
Total cooking time: 45 minutes | Serves: 2 | Easy
- 1 firm tofu (300g), pressed and cut into 1cm pieces or cubes
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the lemon sauce:
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1cm fresh ginger, finely chopped
- 5 tbsp lemon juice
- 150ml vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp Sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tbsp water
- Spring onion
- Sesame seeds (optional)
- Combine the tofu pieces and cornstarch in a bowl and give everything a good stir until the tofu is evenly covered.
- Heat vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the tofu and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Remove and let them sit on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- To make the sauce, add all sauce ingredients to a saucepan, except for the cornstarch and water. Bring to a boil, and cook for a minute or two.
- Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl to combine, then add to the saucepan and cook for a couple of minutes, until the sauce thickens.
- Add tofu back in, give everything a final stir and serve with rice, spring onion and sesame seeds (optional).
Did you make this crispy lemon tofu?
We absolutely love seeing your takes on our recipes! If you make our crispy lemon tofu, tag us on Instagram as @weareveano. Also let us know how this recipe turns out for you in the comments.
Looking for more easy tofu recipes?
If you’re loving this crispy lemon tofu, check out the recipes below:
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Co-Founder of Veano