To make crispy tofu, the first and most important step is to remove as much moisture from the tofu as possible The key to the crispiest tofu? Tearing the tofu into chunks (to make lots of nooks and crannies!) and tossing in cornstarch. Don’t skip either! While pan-frying does yield the crispiest texture, it requires a more attention, time, and oil.

Crispy tofu note


Preheat an oven to 400°F (204℃) with the convection setting (if you do not have a convection setting, increase the temperature to 425°F/220℃ but watch carefully during roasting). Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.


Using your hands, gently tear the pressed tofu block into ¾-inch (large bite size) chunks. Set in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with the avocado (or vegetable) oil. Using your hands, gently toss the pieces until they're evenly coated.


Add the cornstarch to the bowl and gently toss until the tofu pieces are well coated on all sides – adding more cornstarch if needed. Transfer the tofu to the parchment-lined sheet pan, setting the pieces apart so they are not touching one another.


Lightly drizzle the tofu pieces once again with avocado (or vegetable) oil. Seasoning Note: The sauce is heavily seasoned, you do not need to salt the tofu or season it with soy sauce, as some recipes call for, which in my experience prevents it from crisping quite as well.


Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the tofu is crispy and lightly golden brown, flipping the pieces halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack for cool for 1 to 2 minutes before tossing with the sauce


Prepare Spicy Chili Crisp Sauce: Whisk the peanut butter, spicy chili crisp, and soy sauce together in a large serving bowl. Add 1 tablespoon water and whisk to combine.


Add Mix In's and Toppings: Add the hot crispy baked tofu to the bowl with the sauce and using a large spoon, toss everything together until all of the tofu pieces are evenly coated. Add the juice of ½ lime along with the sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and sesame seeds. Toss once again and season to taste, adding another splash of soy sauce if needed. Serve immediately.

Storage Notes This tofu dish is best served warm right after you've made it, but tastes surprisingly good as leftovers cold from the fridge ((*it will have an intriguingly chewy, not crispy texture!).