This Crispy Peanut Tofu Bowl has been my favorite easy weeknight dinner to make. Extra crispy tofu, flavorful Thai peanut sauce, and fresh vegetable toppings. You're going to want to put this one in your dinner rotation.
Simply press the tofu ahead of time and dinner will be ready in no time. See below for my top tips for making the crispest and most delicious tofu.
The crispy peanut tofu is incredibly customizable. I served mine with rice but you could opt for noodles instead as well as maybe some broccoli in replace of the red bell pepper. It's all up to you! The only essentials here are the crispy tofu and the most flavorful Easy 5 Minute Thai Peanut Sauce.
This peanut tofu recipe is incredibly simple and doesn't require any special equipment. I do recommend pressing the water out of the tofu and a tofu press is helpful but not required.
Making this tofu with a spicy peanut sauce dish couldn't be easier! Crisp up the tofu, make the rice, and whip up the very simple peanut sauce. That's it!
- Extra Firm Tofu
- Thai Peanut Sauce
- Jasmine Rice
- Red Onion, Cilantro, & Green Onion
- Fresh Lime
Switch out the toppings as desired. Leave out what you don't like and put in what you do! I sometimes make this with sautéed broccoli, more peppers, and onion instead of just peppers. Super delicious! The only essential here is the crispy tofu and the peanut sauce.
What is Peanut Sauce?
Thai Peanut Sauce is sometimes known as satay sauce is a peanut butter-based dipping sauce that includes ingredients such as soy sauce, lime juice, chili flakes or sauce, and a sweetener like agave or maple syrup.
Thai peanut sauce is associated with Thai cooking but is popular all throughout Southeast Asia and originates in Indonesia.
How to Make Thai Peanut Sauce
The recipe for my Easy 5 Minute Thai Peanut Sauce takes 5 minutes to prepare and only requires one small bowl and a whisk to prepare. It makes about 1 cup.
I recommend bouncing over to that blog post and prepping the sauce ahead of time and sticking it in the fridge while you prep the rest of the crispy tofu rice bowl.
How to Make Crispy Tofu
Cornstarch is key to creating the most delicious crispy tofu but there is a bit more to the story than just that. I'm going to share with you my top tips on how to make the crispest most delicious tofu. It takes a bit of patience but it's so worth it.
- Press your tofu. Removing extra water will help the tofu get crisper and have an overall better texture.
- Don't overcrowd the pan. Add a few pieces of tofu at a time making sure to give each piece its own personal space. Crowding tofu will cause it to steam and you'll never get the crispy golden sides.
- Let the tofu crisp up by not flipping it prematurely. I find that tofu gets stuck to the pan and then once it's crisp enough it will be easy to flip. So, give the tofu piece a little tug and flip if it's ready and leave it alone for a few more minutes if it's not.
- Have a wire rack off to the side. I prefer this method to a plate or a paper towel because those things will make the tofu soggy whereas the wire rack will keep it crisp.
- Learn more about making the best tofu ever in the Ultimate Guide to Cooking Tofu.
Tips & Tricks
Press your tofu ahead of time. Removing the extra water improves the texture of the tofu and will also help the tofu crisp up in the pan.
I have a tofu press from Tofuture and I highly recommend it but you can make a diy tofu press easily by putting the tofu in between two plates and stacking heavy items on top.
I almost always have pre- pressed tofu in my fridge so it’s ready to use any time! Simply press tofu and then store in an airtight container and use within 2-3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Press the tofu, toss in cornstarch, spread out in a pan with oil, pan fry until the tofu unsticks from the pan and then flip and continue to cook, drain excess oil off on a wire rack and not a paper towel. I explain each step in more detail above.
Make sure you're reading through my tips above and following all of them not just one or two. Removing the excess water is very crucial to get crispy tofu as well as being sure not to overcrowd the frying pan. This will cause the tofu to steam and you'll never get that crispy edge.
It doesn't require much oil. Just lightly coat the base of the pan. You're better off baking the tofu instead. I personally find oil crucial in getting the best crispy tofu.
Nope, it's easier for sure but you don't have to have one. Simply wrap the tofu block in paper towels or clean dish towels and stack a cutting board on top along with something heavy. Ex: A skillet, a stack of books, etc. Press for 30 minutes.
More Tofu Recipes
Crispy Peanut Tofu Bowl
- 1 Block of Extra Firm Tofu drained and pressed
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon Dried Ginger
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Onion Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Vegetable Oil for pan-frying
- ½ Large Red Bell Pepper diced
- Jasmine Rice for serving
- Diced Red Onion
- Thinly Sliced Green Onion
- Chopped Cilantro
- Lime Wedges
- Crushed Peanuts or Cashews
- 1 Batch Easy 5 Minute Thai Peanut Sauce
- Drain and press the tofu for at least 15 minutes. If you're short on time, wrap tofu in paper towels or clean dish towels and remove as much excess water as you can. Read above about pressing tofu.
- Prep the Thai Peanut Sauce and start cooking the jasmine rice according to the package.
- Cube the pressed tofu and toss in a large bowl along with the cornstarch, dried ginger, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat.
- Add enough oil to coat the base of a medium sized pan and fry the tofu until crispy and golden brown on each side. When the tofu is almost done, add in the diced red bell pepper and cook for a few minutes to soften. Read above about my tips on how to get the crispiest tofu.
- Mince some red onion, cilantro and green onions for the topping.
- Add the jasmine rice to a bowl and top with crispy tofu, a large drizzle of the peanut sauce and all the toppings. I choose cilantro, green onions, red onion, lime wedges and crushed cashews. Serve with more peanut sauce and lime wedges. Enjoy!