I don’t know how it’s possible to not like tofu. Especially if you’re plant-based/vegan. It’s SO extremely versatile! What’s not to love? If it’s the texture, that can easily be fixed– there are 3-4 different consistencies you can purchase it at (super firm, extra firm, silken, and soft).
If it’s the taste, you can dip it, fry it, or marinate it in whatever you choose to get the flavor you desire. Again… what’s NOT to love?! Speaking of frying… I’m back at it again with the chicken fried tofu, only this time it’s SPICY.
My original chicken fried tofu is the second most viewed recipe on my blog (right behind my chicken fried jackfruit). I’ve been thinking about a follow up post for a while and a spicy version seemed like the perfect idea. Not only is this version spicy, it’s easier to put together too!
For this recipe I used an extra firm tofu that was frozen, then thawed. This method changes the texture. Extra firm tofu is pretty standard and can be found in most grocery stores. For a “meatier” texture, you might consider using a super firm tofu as an alternative. I’ve personally only seen this in Trader Joe’s.
Cooking the Spicy Chicken Fried Tofu:
What I love about this recipe is that it’s just spicy enough. Spicy enough that you can taste the heat, but not to the point where you’re racing to the fridge for something to drink. The ingredients are simple and easy to quickly round up. You might even have everything you need waiting for you in the pantry!
For the best frying experience, it’s important that you make sure your oil is hot before you put in your first piece. Most people might recommend a certain temperature, but I prefer the old fashioned way. Heat your oil for a few minutes over medium heat. When you think it’s ready, take a tiny dab of water from the faucet and flick it in the oil. If the water starts to sizzle and pop, you’re ready to start frying. If not, wait a bit longer and try it again in a few minutes.
As always with frying, it’s important to keep an eye on the stove! As you cook, the oil temperature will continue to rise. If you notice this, try turning the temperature on the stove down a bit. If the oil gets too hot, the tofu will cook too quickly. This isn’t what you want. We want a nice and steady even cook all the way around. 🙂 Are you hungry yet? Get in the kitchen and start whipping these up! Let me know what you think of them in the comments below!
Pair this Spicy Chicken Fried Tofu with:
- Easy Vegan Collard Greens
- Easy Baked Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Easy Whipped Sweet Potatoes
- Easy Vegan Cornbread
Tools You Might Need:
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Spicy Chicken Fried Tofu
- 1 lb. extra firm tofu (optional: use tofu that has been frozen, then thawed)
- enough oil for frying (I used vegetable oil) about 1 inch high in pan
- crushed red pepper for garnish
- 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup cayenne pepper sauce
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 3 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- Begin by draining the tofu, removing as much moisture from the block as possible. Place the block between two thick layers of paper towels and place a heavy object on top to promote drainage. Swap out the paper towels if completely saturated. Let drain for about 15 minutes.
- While the tofu is draining, begin preparing the buttermilk mixture and breading mixture in two separate large bowls.
- Once the tofu is finished draining, shred it into med/large chunks by hand. Place the chunks in the buttermilk mixture and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Once the tofu is done marinating, remove all of the tofu from the buttermilk mixture and place in separate small bowl.
- Begin heating the frying oil on the stove over medium heat. To test if it's hot, sprinkle a tiny bit of water in the pan. If it sizzles/cracks it's hot enough. If not, wait and test again a few minutes later.
- Once the oil is hot, dip each piece of tofu in the buttermilk, then into the breading mixture, then into the buttermilk again, and into the breading mixture for a second time. Next, transfer to the hot oil. Repeat this process for each piece of tofu, or as many as you can fit in the pan at once. Rotate the pieces as necessary, browning on each side.
- Transfer the fried tofu from the grease to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Once all pieces have finished cooking, garnish with red pepper flakes and pair with your favorite sides. Enjoy!