NO FRY Crispy Chili Tofu

Chili tofu, inspired by everyone’s favorite Chili Chicken, is packed with flavor and heat. The Tofu is perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside and 100% oil free and Vegan. This dish will make the perfect little appetizer that everyone will enjoy, not to mention it’s super easy to make!

The best part about this recipe is that you can easily use any meat substitute you like, you’re not restricted to JUST tofu. You can use cauliflower, zucchini, or even soya chunks – all would go great with this recipe.

As usual this recipe is completely oil free, so I decided to bake my tofu at a high temperature to get that nice crispy texture, you can also air fry it.

– I prefer using extra firm tofu, it’s much easier to cut and it gives me the crispy coating I like.
– You will need to press the tofu straight from the package prior to use to get rid of excess moisture:

After removing the tofu from the package wrap it in a thin towel or cheese cloth and put a heavy weight (I used my heavy lid from my dutch oven- I swear it weighs like 5 lbs on it’s own!). Leave the weight on top of the covered tofu for at least 30-45 minutes.

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  • 1 block of extra firm tofu (see notes on how to press tofu)
  • 2 tbsp gram flour (you can use corn starch or corn flour as well)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper - finely chopped
  • 2 tsp red chili powder (or paprika)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 5-6 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp water
  • red food coloring (optional) I used organic beet root powder
  • green onions - roughly chopped (for garnish)



Off On

  1. After pressing the tofu (see notes above), cut the tofu into your desired shape and size. I chose to cut them up into bite sized cubes. Transfer to a bowl
  2. Cover with a damp towel and let the dough rest for 15-20 minutes
  3. In the tofu, add the chopped jalapeno pepper, chili powder, cumin, salt, vinegar, and lemon juice - mix well to make sure all the tofu is evenly covered in the mixture. Be careful not to mix too harsh, you don't want to break the tofu - so be gentle.
  4. Add the gram flour and 2 tbsp water (a little at a time) to make a thin paste - this will help the tofu come out crispy
  5. If you're using food coloring, add it in last and give it a good mix. Remember to only add a small pinch, a little bit goes a long way.
  6. Transfer to a baking sheet and sprinkle on the curry leaves - bake in a preheated oven at 475º for 15 minutes
  7. Garnish with green onions and enjoy :)

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