Close up of golden brown fried tofu on an bright octopus plate

Pan Seared Tofu

This pan seared tofu recipe will elevate your appreciation for tofu to a completely new level. It has a perfect hard sear and is seasoned with bold flavors.

Spices like garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, smoked paprika, sea salt, and pepper lend their flavors, while lemon juice adds a refreshing note. The exterior is crispy and brown, the inside is soft and moist, and smokiness permeates every bite.

The Crispiest Way To Cook Pan Seared Tofu

To get the tofu ready you’ll have to drain it and wrap with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. I place a can of coconut milk on top of the wrapped tofu for around 30 minutes. Next, slice into thin fillets, around 1/4″. A block of tofu can yield around 12 of these slices.

Using any type of tofu except silkened will give you the hard sear you want to get.

Next, lay out the tofu fillets on a chopping board and sprinkle with the “Tofu Spice Blend” in the exact order listed – starting with garlic powder and ending with smoked paprika. Gently flip the fillets over and repeat the seasoning process.

Once the tofu is seasoned, set a pan on medium-high heat and pour enough oil to cover the bottom. Once the pan is hot, place the tofu in the heated pan – making sure none of the fillets overlap. Cook until the tofu becomes golden brown, which is around 3 minutes on each side. Just before the tofu is ready to take off heat, evenly squeeze the juice of one lemon over the browned fillets. Cook for a minute or two longer so that the lemon juice cooks off and the tofu looks crispy

This preparation takes the notion of bland tofu and throws it out the window. It’s juicy, had complex flavors and has a nice bite. Try serving them in tacos, on salads, in Tofu Summer Rolls or Fluffy Toasted Coconut Rice.

For more easy sides for a weeknight feast, try these recipes:

Close up of golden brown fried tofu on an bright octopus plate
Yield: 4 Servings

Pan Seared Tofu

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

This pan seared tofu has a perfectly crisp exterior and a soft texture inside - making it the most delicious preparation of tofu ever.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tofu Brick (any type except silkened)
  • 1 Lemon
  • Oil for Frying (Grapeseed Oil or Another Oil With A High Smoke Point)

Tofu Spice Blend

  • Garlic Powder
  • Celery Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika

Instructions

PREPARE

  1. Drain and wrap the tofu block in paper towels. Squeeze extra moisture out by placing something heavy on top. Let the tofu sit for at least half an hour.
  2. Once the tofu has been pressed, slice into thin "fillets" around 1/4" thick. A block will usually yield around 12 slices.
  3. Place a large frying pan on the stove. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

COOK

  1. Lay out the tofu fillets on a chopping board and sprinkle with the "Tofu Spice Blend" in the exact order listed above - starting with garlic powder and ending with smoked paprika.
  2. Gently flip the fillets over and repeat the seasoning process.
  3. Once the tofu is seasoned, turn the stove on and allow the oil to get hot. Once heated, place the tofu in a single layer into the pan. Cook on medium-high, for a few minutes on each side - around 3 minutes, before flipping over. The tofu will become golden brown.
  4. Just before the tofu is ready to take off heat, evenly squeeze the juice of one lemon over the browned fillets.
  5. Cook for a minute or two longer so that the lemon juice cooks off and the tofu looks crispy.

Notes

Using any type of tofu except silkened will give you the hard sear you want to get.

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Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

3 Slices

Amount Per Serving Calories 90Total Fat 3gSodium 30mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 1.5gSugar 0gProtein 9g

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