whole food ~ well made

Bowl of crispy tofu with steamed vegetables and rice

Extra-Crispy Fried Tofu Rice Bowls

Tofu makes a regular rotation on our dinner menus. And for several months now I’ve been perfecting the crispy tofu cutlet.

I’ve used tapioca starch and rice flour, potato starch and regular flour. They all came out good. So much that I had to make double batches of tofu for my family.

Soy-marinated and fried crispy tofu–what is not to love?

Crispy tofu with steamed vegetables and brown rice

But I knew it could be better.

After testing for the best dry coating, I found a recipe in Washoku, a wonderful Japanese cookbook by Elizabeth Andoh that called for a whipped egg white and sesame seeds.

Ultimate Crispy Tofu

I was skeptical at first about adding more steps to a weeknight frying project. But once I tried the egg white over the cornstarch, it elevated the whole crispy factor into extra-crispy status.

Fried crispy tofu cutlets

This is the crispiest tofu I’ve ever made! And my family nearly fought over every piece.

The great news is that the coating even holds up in the refrigerator and reheated in the microwave. So, I recommend making a double batch even for yourself.

Tofu Grain Bowls

Just add steamed vegetables and a grain–we love short grain brown rice–and it’s dinner. The dipping sauce is optional.

Or you can go one step further with a peanut sauce, teriyaki sauce or one of your own favorites.

Crispy tofu with steamed vegetables and brown rice

Or, like my kids, you may love it just as it is. Extra-crispy and delicious!


and become a forager

What is your grain bowl? Let me know in the comments below or tag a photo #lynnesforage on Instagram or Facebook.

Extra-Crispy Tofu Grain Bowls

This recipe converts a block of tofu into an exciting weeknight dinner. Firm tofu is pressed, marinated, coated and fried to serve with steamed vegetables and short-grain brown rice (or any grain you like). I recommend making a double batch of the tofu because it's that good and makes great leftovers, too.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword crispy tofu, grain bowl
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Drain and marinate tofu 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Lynne Curry


For the tofu:

  • 1 pound firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch thick tiles
  • 1/4 cup Bragg liquid aminos, tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 large egg white pastured
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds optional
  • 1 cup avocado oil or vegetable oil

For serving:

  • 3 cups steamed vegetables, such as broccoli, snap peas, green beans, zucchini, edamame or a combination
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked short-grain brown rice or any grain you like
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallions


  • To press the tofu, arrange it in a single layer in a baking dish. Place small baking sheet on top of the tofu and weight it with two cans for about 20 minutes.
  • Drain the water thoroughly and add the Bragg's liquid aminos or soy sauce. Marinate for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 hour. Drain and reserve the liquid for the sauce, if desired.
  • Sift the cornstarch onto a shallow plate. Beat the egg white with 1 tablespoon water until frothy. Place the sesame seeds, if using in a small dish and line a plate with paper towels to have on hand.
  • Heat the oil in a shallow pan over medium-high heat until a sprinkle of cornstarch sizzles.
  • Working in batches with 3 or 4 pieces of tofu at a time, dredge the tofu tiles through the cornstarch, coating all sides, then dip in the egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds on both sides, if using.
  • Space them in the oil so that the pan is not overcrowded. Fry the tofu until golden brown and turn to fry the other side, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to the towel-lined plate, pat dry to remove excess oil and repeat with the remaining tofu.
  • To make the dipping sauce, combine 1/4 cup of the reserved marinade with the sesame oil and scallions.
  • To prepare each grain bowl, mound serving bowls with the brown rice, top with your selection of steamed vegetables and arrange tofu slices on top. Serve with the dipping sauce on the side.

This post contains affiliate links for products that I wholeheartedly endorse from my personal use in my home kitchen–for which I may receive a small commission to support this blog.


  1. Heather Jones

    This looks divine, Lynne! Can’t wait to make it. Miss your face.

    1. Thank you, Heather!

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