• Deep fried tofu (Sharyn Cairns)Source: Sharyn Cairns

I love that contrast you get when tofu is deep-fried - the crispy exterior and soft centre.






Skill level

Average: 3.9 (26 votes)

I admit it, I was never a huge fan of tofu, but since trying my hand at making my own on the farm where the soybeans were grown, I’m a convert. When coupled with an intensely flavoured dipping sauce, I’m always going back for seconds.


  • 500 g firm tofu
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 100 g cornflour

Dipping sauce

  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) soy sauce
  • 50 ml rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Use a sharp knife to cut the tofu into pieces that are slightly bigger than bite-sized. Lay some paper towel down on a tray and arrange the tofu on top. Place another layer of paper towel on top and gently press down onto the tofu to remove any excess moisture.

Heat enough vegetable oil for deep-frying in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

Right before frying, coat the tofu in the cornflour seasoned with salt and pepper, then shake of any excess. Fry the tofu, in batches, until golden brown, being sure to drain off any excess oil as they come out of the fryer.

For the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients.

Enjoy the tofu as soon as it is cool enough to eat.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Louise Page. Creative concept by Belinda So.


Paul West is the host of River Cottage Australia, 6pm weeknights on SBS and on SBS On Demand. For more recipes from Paul, click here.