Try out these amazing crispy fried tofu puffs that are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Throw them into your favorite dishes like stews, stir-fries, soups, or curries, or simply enjoy them as a tasty snack. You only need 2 Ingredients: tofu and oil. That's it!
This fried tofu puff is used in my Thai Moo Palo Recipe, a Thai pork belly stew with Chinese five spice powder.
- Why you'll love this recipe
- What are Fried Tofu Puffs?
- Where to Buy Fried Tofu Puffs
- Ingredients Needed for Puffed Tofu
- How to Make Fried Tofu Puffs
- Puffed Tofu Dipping Sauce
- How to make dipping sauce for puffed tofu
- What to Do with Fried Tofu Puffs
- How to Use Fried Tofu Puffs
- Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- Helpful Kitchen Tools for this Recipe
- What to Serve with Fried Tofu Puffs
- Storing Leftovers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thai Dishes You'll Love
- How to Make Fried Tofu Puffs (w/ Peanut Dipping Sauce)
- Related Recipes
Making your fried tofu puffs is a breeze and will take your regular tofu to a new level of deliciousness.
These fried triangle-cut pieces of bean curd absorb the flavor of the sweet, dark soy sauce, turning it into a savory spongy delight!
Give it a try. It's a crowd favorite.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Puffed tofu is super easy to make! You only need tofu and oil to make fried puffed tofu, firm tofu, and oil, that's it!
- They are perfect as an appetizer with a tasty dipping sauce. Use any of your favorite dipping sauces to serve alongside it.
- It's a fun snack for kids! With its spongy texture after deep frying, they are fun to eat. It's the easiest way for me to get my kids to try tofu!
- It's the perfect dish to serve your vegetarian friends or those with vegan diets.
What are Fried Tofu Puffs?
Fried tofu puffs (เต้าหู้ทอด), also known as Tow-hu Tawt, Tao Hoo Tod, tofu puffs, fried puffed tofu, soy puffs or tofu triangles, are bite-sized cubes of tofu that is deep frying.
The results are puffy, spongy and meaty tofu texture with a delightful crunch on the outside.
These little flavor carriers are a staple in various Asian cuisines, absorbing the tastes of the dishes they're cooked in.
Where to Buy Fried Tofu Puffs
Fried tofu puffs can be bought at most Asian markets in the refrigerated section. These will work in a pinch when you need premade tofu for a recipe.
Making your tofu puffs is much easier than you think, and these can be used in several ways. They are excellent for use in soups, curries, and stir-fries. They are also great as a simple appetizer.
These deep-fried tofu puffs are often served in Thai and Chinese restaurants as an entree with a savory sauce.
Ingredients Needed for Puffed Tofu
You only need 2 ingredients! Seriously easy! (:
Tofu. The type of tofu used is important. You can use almost all types of tofu, from medium to extra firm.
The silken tofu like that in this Gaeng Jeud Soup is not recommended. Soft tofu is also not ideal as it cannot hold its texture in the hot oil.
Oil. Use high smoke point oil for deep fry. Avocado, grapeseed, vegetable or canola, or peanut oil are fine. You'll need to have enough oil for deep frying.
Salt. (Optional) Use salt to season the tofu before deep frying them. Skip the salt if you use fried tofu in recipes like curries, stews, or stir-fries.
How to Make Fried Tofu Puffs
Step 1: Choose the Right Tofu. Opt for at least a medium-fir tofu to use for the best results. I test my recipes on medium and extra-firm tofu. Both are great, so your fried tofu option is up to your preference.
Step 2: Cut into your preferred shape. Slice the tofu into cubes, rectangles, or triangular shapes! I sliced mine into triangle shapes to use with my Moo Palo recipe. (The classic look for this Thai stew pork belly recipe.)
Once done with cutting tofu, pat the pieces dry with paper towels. )
For an extra step, press the fresh tofu gently but firmly with the paper towel wrapped around it to squeeze out as much liquid as possible without breaking it.
Step 3: Heat the Oil. In a large pot or deep fryer, heat oil to medium-high heat. If you have a temperature probe, make sure it's heated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius).
Or use a chopstick to test the oil's temperature by dropping one of the chopsticks into the hot oil. If small bubbles form, the oil is hot and ready for deep frying.
Step 4: Deep Fry to Perfection. Carefully place the tofu cubes into the hot oil using a slotted spoon or long-handled wire mesh skimmer. Fry until they turn golden brown, making sure all the sides are cooked evenly.
Fry anywhere from 4-7 minutes.
Cooking time depends on the size of your tofu and the pan used. The larger the pieces, the longer they will take. Watch for the golden, crispy edges.
Step 5: Remove and Drain. Transfer the fried tofu puffs to a plate lined with kitchen paper towels using the slotted spoon. Allow them to drain, and let the paper absorb excess oil.
Step 6: Enjoy in Various Dishes. Use your crispy tofu puffs in stews, stir-fries, soups, curries, or as an appetizer. Their airy texture makes them perfect for soaking up the flavors of your favorite dishes.
Garnish. If serving tofu puffs as an appetizer, sprinkle some sesame seeds, thinly sliced green onion, or cilantro leaves.
Puffed Tofu Dipping Sauce
This dipping sauce is optional for your fried tofu. The sauce is created if you serve the fried tofu as an appetizer.
- Crushed peanuts. Use roasted salted peanuts for added flavor.
- Hoisin sauce. Adds sweet and salty notes to the sauce.
- Rice vinegar. The zing in the vinegar adds a great balance to the sweetness.
- Chili flakes. This is optional, but the heat adds a nice kick to the sauce.
- Water. Water helps di
- Sesame seeds. Sprinkle a good amount of sesame seeds to top off the sauce.
How to make dipping sauce for puffed tofu
Step 1. To make the dipping sauce, add all the sauce ingredients in a bowl, whisk well, and adjust as needed for your perfect flavors.
Step 2. Serve with your puffed tofu and enjoy!
Check the recipe card below for a full recipe.
What to Do with Fried Tofu Puffs
Embrace the versatility of fried tofu puffs by incorporating them into various dishes, such as stews, stir-fries, soups, and curries, or serving them as a delightful appetizer.
How to Use Fried Tofu Puffs
- Use them like croutons and add them to your salads. The extra protein is excellent!
- Toss them into a bowl of soups, curries, or stews for an extra layer of texture.
- Enjoy them as a side dish with your favorite dipping sauce.
Helpful kitchen notes and tips
- Use a pot high enough to hold oil for deep frying and have at least 2-3 inches to cover the tofu pieces.
- Use a splatter screen to minimize mess and ensure safety while frying.
- This step is optional, but experiment with different flavors before frying by adding spices or seasonings to the tofu cubes.
- Allow the oil to get to a very hot temperature before adding the tofu to achieve the perfect crispiness.
- If used as a stand-alone appetizer, add a hint of sweetness and a pinch of sugar to the tofu cubes after frying to elevate the flavor profile.
Helpful Kitchen Tools for this Recipe
What to Serve with Fried Tofu Puffs
For a little kick of heat, combine some hot and Hoison sauce as a dipping sauce.
Try different flavors by experimenting with various seasonings or spices before frying. Add a hint of heat with chili powder or a touch of sweetness with a sprinkle of brown sugar.
If you love spices, add a small amount of Chinese five-spice powder for extra flavor.
Store any leftover fried tofu puffs in an airtight container. While best enjoyed fresh, reheating them in an air fryer or oven can help revive their crispiness.
Frequently Asked Questions
If your tofu is not puffing, it could be due to the soft tofu used, too much liquid in the tofu, or the oil not being hot enough. Make sure you use medium to medium-firm tofu, pat dry the water, and make sure the oil temperature is hot before frying.
Tofu puffs can be a healthy option when consumed in moderation. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Tofu puffs are made from soybeans and water, creating a protein-rich and versatile ingredient.
Store-bought tofu puffs can be cooked by reheating them in an air fryer or oven to restore their crispiness.
More Thai Dishes You'll Love
Indulge in the richness of Thai Green Curry with coconut milk and aromatic herbs.
- Tofu with garlic pepper stir fry
- Vegetarian yellow curry with tofu
- Sweet and spicy sauce with Thai chilis
- Prik Nam Pla, a basic Thai recipe of spicy garlic sauce
- Shrimp Pad Thai
- Thai red curry with vermicelli noodles
- Thai red curry with cod
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