Tofu Puffs

Tofu Puffs

A tofu puff is a deep-fried cube of tofu that is puffy, absorbent, chewy, and perfect for saucy dishes. Airy and spongy, with a crispy outside, they are great for stuffing, but they also work great for stir-frying. You can find the recipe for the perfect tofu puffs below, along with some tips!

What Is Fresh Tofu?

The only type of tofu that works in this dish is fresh tofu. Forget about firm, soft, or any other type of tofu, as fresh tofu is the way to go.

Fresh tofu is largely found in Asian stores and supermarkets. If you cannot find it locally, check online stores and Asian shops that deliver, or follow our recipe below.

Tofu is fresh in every form, but the most important thing is to choose tofu that is not smoked and that is firm. Look for tofu that is labeled “fresh” on the package.

Extra-firm tofu may still work, but it is not ideal, and you shouldn’t use soft or silken tofu because it may crumble when it comes into contact with the hot oil.

Tofu puffs cannot be made with pressed tofu, vacuum sealed tofu, or regular tofu.

What If I Don’t Have Fresh Tofu?

Making your own tofu is the easiest solution.

You will need:

  • To be precise, 300 grams of soybeans (yes, grams here)

  • I have 8 grams of nigari

  • Water in 6 cups

Soak the soybeans overnight in water.

Place one-third of the soybeans and two cups of water in a blender.

3. Blend for 3 minutes and transfer to a large sauce pot. Repeat with the remaining soybeans.

Place the mixture over a stove and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the mixture from the stove if it overspills.

The mixture should still be warm, but not hot. Strain through cheesecloth, pressing and squeezing as much liquid as possible. Set it aside to cool, and then dissolve the nigari in 14 cups of water.

Once the soy mixture has reached 167°F, stir in the nigari mixture and let it sit for 5-6 minutes. Once the tofu has curdled, transfer it into a cheesecloth-lined tofu press.

Tofu should be pressed for 5 minutes with 2 pounds of pressure on a wire rack positioned over a baking sheet to collect any liquid.

Remove the tofu from the tofu press and submerge it in cold water for 5 minutes. Remove it from the water and gently press it with paper towels.

How To Make Tofu Puffs (Overview)

The full list of ingredients and instructions will be available at the end of this article, but here’s an overview.

When it comes to tofu puffs, the more authentic way is to fry them in oil, but the oven baking method will also work.

Using the frying method will give you puffy tofu, whereas baking it in the oven will give you chewier puffs, but they will still be tasty.

Tofu should be pat-dried a bit. Do not press it, just absorb the excess water. Cut it into cubes or triangles, and coat with arrowroot starch.

Adding starch will also give the tofu some extra crispiness and color, as well as preventing too many splashes in the oil.

You will need to heat at least three inches of oil in a sauce pot in order to fry the tofu puffs perfectly. If you have a deep fryer, you can use that as well.

Besides the oil, the temperature is also critical. Heat the oil to 375°F. Below that temperature will not produce great results. How do I know? I made these at lower temperatures a few times, so don’t make the same mistake I did!

If you are concerned about oil splatters, you can cover your pot with a splatter screen. Do not overcrowd the pot because the tofu may stick together.

After the tofu has been cooked for 2 minutes, stir occasionally for the next 3-4 minutes to ensure that they don’t stick together. Once the tofu is evenly browned, remove it from the pot.

Baking is easier, but you won’t get the same results. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Press the tofu for at least 10 minutes.

Tofu cubes should be cut into cubes, coated with starch, and baked for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

How To Serve Tofu Puffs

There are many ways to serve and use tofu puffs. I like to use them in salads, as well as with a spicy Sriracha mayo.

In addition to tofu poke bowls, and different Buddha bowls, the tofu puffs will pair amazingly with chicken.

Tofu Puffs Recipe

Ten minutes for preparation

10 minutes for cooking

Four servings


  • Fresh tofu block

  • Starch made from arrowroot, 14 cups

  • Frying oil


  1. With paper towels, gently pat the tofu dry.

Tofu should be cut into 2-inch cubes.

Tofu should be coated with arrowroot starch.

The oil should be heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit when it is 3 inches in diameter.

Tofu cubes should be gently placed into the oil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Tofu will float, and once it has turned golden brown, it should be removed and drained on paper towels. 6.

As desired, serve tofu puffs!

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Tofu Puffs

This recipe yields 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Time: 20 minutes

Tofu puffs are a delicious addition to any savory recipe!

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  • Fresh tofu block

  • Starch made from arrowroot, 14 cups

  • Frying oil


  1. With paper towels, gently pat the tofu dry.

  2. Coat the tofu with arrowroot starch after cutting it into 2-inch cubes.

  3. 3 inches of oil should be heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

  4. Cook the tofu for 2 minutes, stirring gently with a slotted spoon.

  5. Cook the tofu for another 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once golden brown, remove the tofu and drain on paper towels.

  6. Tofu puffs can be served in any way you like.

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