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Pan-Fried Tofu with Spicy Peanut Sauce


  • 200g firm tofu
  • 2tablespoons cornstarch
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • oil, for frying
  • Sauce
  • 1tablespoon peanut butter (i used crunchy)
  • 3tablespoons skim milk or 3 tablespoons soymilk or 3 tablespoons coconut milk (will do)
  • 1teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1teaspoon soy sauce or 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1tablespoon chili sauce or 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1dash chili flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  • Drain tofu (i pressed gently between paper towels).
  • Cut into bite-sized cubes.
  • Toss with cornstarch, coating the cubes.
  • Sprinkle a little salt and pepper.
  • Heat some oil (about 3-4 tablespoon, just ensure pan is coated).
  • Fry the tofu cubes in batches, making sure all sides are lightly browned.
  • Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired.
  • Sauce: Heat the milk in small saucepan (you can make sauce in microwave too).
  • Add peanut butter, stirring well.
  • Add other seasonings, according to personal taste (I love spicy food, so i added LOTS of chilli flakes!). If you use coconut milk, add 1/2 – 1 tsp of lime juice too – it will be great!
  • Serve hot, as a snack or appetizer. Sometimes i serve them with a sweet Chinese dessert: Green Bean Soup.


  • Pinot Grigio

    This is by far my favorite way to eat tofu – it’s SUPER EASY to make, SUPER YUMMY – and seriously addicting!!! The tofu turns out so light & crispy. Even my husband who doesn’t really like tofu loves this and we always fight over the last piece. I always use x-tra firm tofu and drain it for 30 mins before frying by placing it b/w 2 plates weighted by a cast-iron pan. Then I fry it in a little peanut oil. It always turns out perfect. We have made the peanut sauce in every combination possible and we love it best with chunky peanut butter, fresh minced garlic, soy sauce, coconut milk, 1/2 tbsp. chili sauce, and the juice from 1/2 a lime which makes is more Thai-like. We love spicy food, but found we didn’t need the chili flakes – it was spicy enough with the chili sauce. This is a favorite appetizer/light meal in our house that we feel good about eating!!! Thanks WaterMelon!

  • mommyoffour

    DH was so sure he wasn't going to like this….ha ha. He loved it. The tofu gets nice and crispy on the edges and soft and creamy in the center. The sauce to dip into was equally delicious. He couldn't get enough and neither could I. Thank you for sharing with us.

  • Anoushka

    Super easy. Make sure to fry the tofu well in just a little oil. I then remove extra oil and pour the warm sauce over it. Was lovely with a carrot salad with lemony dressing.

  • GennasMommy

    This was very tasty! I made a whole meal out of it. After I finished fying the tofu, I sauteed broccoli, red peppers and green onions using the same oil. When the veggies were done, I put the tofu back into the pan. I TRIPPLED the peanut sauce, and when that finished cooking I poured it over the tofu/veggie mixture. We ate the mixture over steamed rice. My DH loved it. We will definitely be making again.

  • eatrealfood

    so i approached the tofu with my usual circumspection, hemmed and hawed before deciding to try this, and am i pleased i did! i loved the peanut flavor and didn't find it overtly prominent like some of the reviewers did. i went with the coconut milk/soy sauce/ketchup option – drizzled with lime as you suggested. this sauce (along with the cornstarch) really did the trick for the dubious tofu!

  • eva_anita

    This is super easy but I think it depends on the kind of butter. Mine rendered the sauce which looked like a paste so I kept adding milk, soya sauce, garlic powder and chilli flakes, much more than in the recipe. The final result is quite good, next time I will tweak it more and experiment with it more. That is why I am giving it only 3 stars. Definitely worth keeping though because it’s easy and you’d normally have those ingredients at home, at least in my home…

  • alkaloidqueen

    I loved this recipe! I tweaked the sauce a bit by adding some rice vinegar. I served this with soba noodles and spinach. Yum! Thanks for sharing!

  • Hey Jude

    The best tofu we've ever had, whether at home or in a restaurant. I love the bit of crunch the cornstarch added to the tofu and the dressing is very addictive. I used a whole pound of extra firm tofu, tripled the dressing amount and served the whole thing with an oriental style cabbage salad as a main dish. I ended up using the peanut dressing on the salad, it was that good. I'm already craving it again and I type this. Thanks Watermelon for sharing this recipe!

  • Tameren

    I really loved this. Lately, I've been frying tofu because I love the crunchy shell and creamy interior. I haven't used cornstarch as a base, but that's the ticket. Golden, crunchy in less time than just frying. The sauce was great, as well.

  • Babybub

    I was ready to give the fried tofu five stars and the peanut sauce only one. I like my peanut sauce sweet & spicy and I was adding tons of coconut milk and sweetener to try to get it to my liking. But as I was clearing my mess in the kitchen, I tasted to the coconut milk and discovered that Lite Coconut Milk is not only light in fat and calories but light in taste. It hardly tastes like coconut milk at all. So I’m sure that when I make this again, and I definitely will, I’ll make it with full fat coconut milk and hope that it actually has the right flavor.