Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu

Let’s dive into a vegetarian favourite – salt and pepper tofu. It’s crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, spicy, salty, savoury and a perfect addition to your dinner spread.

Salt and pepper tofu is a popular dish in Asian cuisine, particularly in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. It consists of bite-sized pieces of tofu, fried until crispy and golden brown, seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes other spices, like Chinese five spice.

If you’re new to tofu, I would highly recommend making this dish as it’s a versatile, delicious, great way to enjoy tofu in a new and exciting way! It’s simple, quick and easy. It only requires a few ingredients so keep on reading to find out how to achieve crispy salt and pepper tofu!

Toss until all sides are golden brown
Saute onion and chilli on low-medium heat


Serves 4

  • 600g of firm tofu, cut into bite-sized and pat dry. (I’ve tried it with semi-firm and it did not work well)
  • 2-3 teaspoons of salt/pepper/sichuan mix (you can buy it separately and make the spice mix but I’m here for shortcuts so I used a premixed spice jar and it worked just as well)
  • 100g of mixed mild chillis, finely diced (you can bird eye chillis if you want to blow your head off 🤯 )
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2-3 cups of cornstarch (starting guide, add more as you need to coat the tofu)
  • 1 cup of neutral oil (I used sunflower oil)
  • 1 stem of spring onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of neutral oil


1. Pat the tofu with paper towels and let it absorb as much water as possible.

2. Add oil to the pan (shallow frying) and test for temperature by sprinkling cornstarch into the oil and seeing if it sizzles.

3. Toss and coat the tofu with cornstarch – do this in batches otherwise they won’t be coated evenly, also tofu will absorb cornstarch very quickly so do it as you go!

4. Add batches of tofu to the pan and do not disturb for about 2-3 minutes, turn them over once they’re light golden brown. Remove all from the pan onto a cooling rack.

5. Add the chillies, spring onion, and white onion to the pan.

6. Sauté on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes until soft and fragrant, add the spice mixture, and then add the tofu back into the pan.

7. Adjust seasoning to your liking and garnish with spring onion.

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