The Best Crispy Tofu

The key to getting tofu nice and crispy is to first remove excess moisture. We wrap the block of tofu in a clean kitchen towel and place a heavy pan on top of it to press out as much water as possible. When searing the tofu, resist the urge to move it around. Instead, allow it to form a crust before flipping, and then again let it cook undisturbed on the other side until browned.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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One 14-ounce block firm tofu, drained

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce 

Juice of 1 lime 

2 teaspoons agave syrup 

2 scallions, white parts minced, green parts sliced thin 

1/2 teaspoon sriracha 

1/2 cup panko  

2 tablespoons white sesame seeds 

1 tablespoon cornstarch 

1 teaspoon garlic salt 

1 teaspoon onion powder 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

3 tablespoons olive oil 


  1. Wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel and place on top of a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place a heavy pan on top of the tofu and let it sit for 5 minutes to release as much moisture as possible. Unwrap the tofu and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick by 1 1/2-inch-wide planks.
  2. Whisk the soy sauce, lime juice, agave syrup, scallion whites and sriracha together in a small bowl and set aside. Mix the panko, sesame seeds, cornstarch, garlic salt, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper in a pie dish or shallow bowl. Press the tofu planks into the panko mixture to coat on all sides.  
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, undisturbed, until deep golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the tofu with a metal spatula and continue cooking undisturbed until a deep golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a platter.  
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add the soy-sauce mixture to the pan. Cook until bubbling and slightly thicker, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the tofu planks and sprinkle with the scallion greens.