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Bowl of crispy tofu with steamed vegetables and rice

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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Heat the oil in a shallow pan over medium-high heat until a sprinkle of cornstarch sizzles.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. To make the dipping sauce, combine 1/4 cup of the reserved marinade with the sesame oil and scallions.

  8. 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.