How to Tofu! Beginner Level- Basic Crispy Tofu

Tofu. I love it. It’s a bit of a food chameleon. You can make tofu ‘facon’ with it, or blend it into a creamy sauce. You can mix it into a savoury stir fry, or make a delicious dessert. It’s a wonder ingredient really. 

Unfortunately, it’s suffered from sad bad cooking which has a bit of a bad rap, mostly because if you don’t know how to treat it right, it won’t taste delicious, just blegh. Enough to put anyone off.  But once you do know what to do with it… well, there’s a whole world of delicious, high protein  options out there for  you.

This series will look at what you can do with tofu, what tofu to use when, and where to start with it. I promise you, by the end of this series, you’ll love tofu as much as I do. 

To kick the series off, at the easiest, tastiest beginner level,  we’ll start with how to make crispy, delicious tofu, that you can flavour up with a smokey bacon flavour, a spicy Thai kick or any number of other combos.

I’ll also round up recipes from some of my favourite bloggers in the next post after the basic how-to, so you can go and check out what they do with the ‘fu. (Don’t miss out! Sign up to the newsletter to make sure you There are some seriously creative people out there with amazing tofu recipes, so be sure to go check them out & say hi whilst you’re there. 

How to make Crispy Delicious Tofu…

  1. First of all, get the right kind of tofu. You want to get ‘firm’ tofu. I buy lovely fresh tofu from a Chinese supermarket, I also love Taifun tofu which can be found at organic stores, and Cauldron & Tofoo which you can get in major supermarkets. 
  2.  Slice the Tofu into 5- 8mm slices. 
  3. Grab some clean tea towels or paper towels and sandwich the slices between them in a single layer.
  4. Then, press the tofu. This takes most of the moisture out of it, which then allows it to absorb lots of yummy flavour. I like to use a heavy chopping board with a few cans on top, but use whatever. 
  5. Press the tofu for at least half an hour, but up to 3 hours. 
  6. Add the flavour marinade. There are SO many different flavours you can make; from Smoky Maple ‘Facon, to spicy Indian-ish and Gingery Chinese. 
  7. Pop in the fridge with the marinade to marinate over night.
  8. Now- Choose your cooking process. Pan fry for crispy edges with a little oil, or oven bake for a chewier texture. 


Basic Crispy Tofu and essential Marinades

Print Recipe


  • 1 pack firm tofu.
  • Marinade. (choose the flavour you want.. or make your own!)
  • 1. Marinade #1 - Smoky Maple 'Facon
  • 1 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 3 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp hot sauce - like cholula (optional)
  • 2. Marinade #2 - Gingery 'Chinese' Style
  • 1 Tbs fresh grated ginger
  • 3 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tbs Mirin or White Wine
  • 3. Marinade #3 Smokey Chipotle
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tbs Mirin or White Wine
  • 4. Marinade #4
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 3 Tbs Soy Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 Tbs Mirin or White Wine



Slice the tofu into 5-8 mm slices


Put the slices between tea towels or paper towels and put something heavy on top.


Leave for at least 1 hr - or up to 3hrs, to take the moisture out.


Put all the ingredients for the marinade in a plastic container that you can fit all the slices of tofu in a single layer.


Mix the marinade around until it is combined, then add the tofu. Turn the tofu pieces in the marinade so they are covered in it!


Pop the container in the fridge and leave for a few hours, or better, overnight, so the tofu soaks up loads of flavour!


Pan fry the tofu so it's crispy on each side (around 10 mins) or bake in a moderate oven (200C / Gas mark 6) for 45 mins.


Serve on a sandwich, in a salad, a stir fry or just eat as a snack!


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