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How To Make Puffed Tofu (Tofu Puffs)

Puffed Tofu (Tofu Puffs) is airy, golden crispy with a spongy texture, making it ideal for a last minute stir fry. And on top of all, it’s surprisingly easy to make your own at home!

puffed tofu (tofu puffs)

You probably have eaten tofu puffs in Chinese restaurants before, but do you know how to make these tasty golden puffs? Today, you will find out how to make these deep fried tofu at home. And I highly recommend you give them a try sometime!

Do you know tofu is an amazing ingredient for all uses? Check out other tofu recipes like : Tofu Chocolate Mousse, Panko Crumbed Tofu, Seaweed Tofu Soup, Tomato Tofu Soup, and Vegan Tofu Sour Cream.

What’s Puffed Tofu (Tofu Puffs)?

Puffed Tofu (Tofu Puffs) is deep-fried tofu cubes that are puffy, chewy, with a spongy texture. Fried tofu (or fried bean curd) is often used as a meat substitute in vegan or vegetarian dishes in Asia, due to its high protein profile and meaty texture. It originated in China before spreading to other Asian countries. 

It can be served with dipping sauce as a dish, or added to soups, stews, or stir-fries as it soaks up tons of flavours from sauces or broths it’s cooked in because its sponge-like nature. 

puffed tofu (tofu puffs)

What Type Tofu Do You Need?

For this easy tofu recipe, you will need unflavored tofu (not marinated or smoked). The firmness of the tofu also needs to be considered. You can choose from lite-firm, medium-firm, or firm tofu

Theoretically, all types of tofu will work. However, silken or soft tofu will break apart when deep frying, whereas extra-firm tofu will more likely taste stone hard after deep frying.

Do you need tofu presser? The answer is no. All you need to do is drain off any excess liquid from the packaging and use kitchen paper towels to wipe off the moisture on the surface of tofu. The surface of tofu has to be completely dry before being placed in hot oil, otherwise water will turn to steam and it can explode. 

2 block of tofu
puffed tofu (tofu puffs)

How to Make

In order to deep fry safely, you need a deep heavy-bottomed pot or pan (2-3 inches from the oil level to the top). If you have a deep fryer, it’s even better. You will also need a metal slotted spoon for dropping and scooping tofu cubes in the hot oil. To dry tofu cubes and absorb excess oil after cooking, use kitchen paper towel or clean kitchen towels.

What oil should I use for Deep frying

Choose an oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, or grape seed oil…etc. (I always use grape seed oil)

how to make puffed tofu (tofu puffs)

1. Cut open the packaging of a block of tofu, drain off the excessive liquid. Place it on a cutting board and cut it into 1 inch/ 2 cm cubes.

2. Use kitchen paper towels to remove the moisture. (The surface of tofu has to be completely dry before being placed in hot oil).

3. If you have a deep fryer, it’s even better for this recipe. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Heat up cooking oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. (The amount of oil needs to be enough to fully cover the tofu cubes, but still 2-3 inches from the oil level to the top). Heat up the temperature of oil to 180°C/356°F. The way to test if the oil is hot enough- when you stick the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil. If you see many bubbles form around the wood and they start to float up, your oil is ready for frying. If it is bubbling hard, that means the oil is way too hot; turn the heat down and let the temperature drop a bit. Or alternatively, you can use a temperature probe.😛

4. Place tofu cubes on a slotted spoon then carefully drop tofu cubes in hot cooking oil. Fry in batches and do not overcrowd the pot. Place the amount of tofu cubes in a pot that can float easily. The temperature of the oil will drop significantly and the amount of bubbles could cause the oil to overflow if you add too many at once.

5. In order to get every sides of tofu golden crispy. Once tofu cubes start floating to the surface. Use the slotted spoon to move the tofu cubes around. The cooking time is about 12-15 minutes. (Once all sides are golden yellow and puffy, they’re ready!).

6. Scoop out the puffed tofu cubes and place them an a plate with kitchen paper towels to absorb the excess of oil. Serve immediately with dipping sauce or use for other dishes.

Serve with garlic soy dipping sauce, it tastes amazing already!🤩

Make Puffed Tofu (Tofu Puffs) with air fryer or Oven?

They can be made in an air fryer or oven for a healthier option and you will still get the golden crispy exterior of tofu. However, you won’t be able to replicate the puffy texture as the tofu cubes will not puff up as much as the deep-fried tofu puffs.

How to store ? 

Homemade Tofu Puffs are freezer friendly, and can be frozen up to 3 months. However, they will tend to become chewier and drier the longer they are kept in the freezer.

Hope you enjoy this puffed tofu (Tofu Puffs) Recipe! 😘

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puffed tofu (tofu puffs)

Puffed Tofu (Tofu Puffs)

Puffed Tofu (Tofu Puffs) is airy, golden crispy with a spongy texture, making it ideal for a last minute stir fry. They taste so amazing!
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 119kcal

Ingredients

  • 10 oz Fresh Tofu *Note1 approx. 300g
  • Oil *Note 2 enough to fry

Garlic Soy Dipping Sauce

Instructions

  • Cut open the packaging of a block of tofu, drain off the excessive liquid. Place it on a cutting board and cut it into 1 inch/ 2 cm cubes.
  • Use kitchen paper towels to remove the moisture. (The surface of tofu has to be completely dry before being placed in hot oil).
  • If you have a deep fryer, it’s even better for this recipe. But if you don’t have one, don’t worry. Heat up cooking oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. (The amount of oil needs to be enough to fully cover the tofu cubes, but still 2-3 inches from the oil level to the top). Heat up the temperature of oil to 180°C/356°F. The way to test if the oil is hot enough- when you stick the end of a wooden spoon or chopstick into the oil. If you see many bubbles form around the wood and they start to float up, your oil is ready for frying. If it is bubbling hard, that means the oil is way too hot; turn the heat down and let the temperature drop a bit. Or alternatively, you can use a temperature probe.😛
  • Place tofu cubes on a slotted spoon then carefully drop tofu cubes in hot cooking oil. Fry in batches and do not overcrowd the pot. Place the amount of tofu cubes in a pot that can float easily. The temperature of the oil will drop significantly and the amount of bubbles could cause the oil to overflow if you add too many at once.
  • In order to get every sides of tofu golden crispy. Once tofu cubes start floating to the surface. Use the slotted spoon to move the tofu cubes around. The cooking time is about 12-15 minutes. (Once all sides are golden yellow and puffy, they’re ready!).
  • Scoop out the puffed tofu cubes and place them an a plate with kitchen paper towels to absorb the excess of oil. Serve immediately with dipping sauce or use for other dishes.

Notes

*Note1– For this recipe, you will need unflavored tofu (not marinated or smoked). The firmness of the tofu also needs to be considered. You can choose from lite-firm, medium-firm, or firm tofu
Theoretically, all types of tofu will work. However, silken or soft tofu will break apart when deep frying, whereas extra-firm tofu will more likely taste stone hard after deep frying.
Do you need tofu presser? The answer is no. All you need to do is drain off any excess liquid from the packaging and use kitchen paper towels to wipe off the moisture on the surface of tofu. The surface of tofu has to be completely dry before being placed in hot oil, otherwise water will turn to steam and it can explode. 
*Note2– Choose an oil with a high smoke point such as vegetable oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, or grape seed oil…etc. (I always use grape seed oil)
Heat up cooking oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or pan. (The amount of oil needs to be enough to fully cover the tofu cubes, but still 2-3 inches from the oil level to the top).
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serve | Calories: 119kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 6mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.4g | Calcium: 177mg | Iron: 2mg

Fur Day Dreaming

It always makes me wonder what their daydreams are like?😅

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