In our latest TikTok recipe adventure, we decided to give crispy tofu a try, as recommended by our very own Christina Refford. Now, when I made the suggestion to my son, I let him search for the recipe, and here’s why: a) Kids are much better at finding stuff on the app than we are and b) it gives them some ownership of the process, since the idea is to get them to cook with me.
When he first searched for crispy tofu on TikTok, I had to guide the search a bit based on what we actually had in the pantry for this recipe, which is partially why we landed on this crispy tofu recipe by @feelinclueless.
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One thing I know about working with tofu is that you want to drain it if you are going to fry or bake, so I actually set it out to drain earlier in the day knowing we would be tackling this recipe after “school” was over.
(Yes, I inserted air quotes around “school” because pandemic schooling from home is just two hours a day that he stares at a computer full of Zoom circles with initials in them because no one turns on their camera. Just us? Sigh.)
Then we cut up the tofu, and followed the directions as detailed in the TikTok video.
One really nice thing about the TikTok recipes is that the instructions are very simple and easy to follow, although I did have to push pause and replay a few times to make sure we got the measurements correct — which only resulted in about 5 teen eyerolls at my adultness.
We had all of the ingredients on hand except for the mushroom broth, so we used the Multipurpose Umami Season Blend from Trader Joe’s, which I love, and use on pretty much everything.
We guessed on the exact water measurement. (Tip: 100cc = about .8 cup)
As for the pan, really any non-stick fry pan should do. I think All-Clad is always a good bet, but whatever you have is fine. And hey, if it gives you an excuse to buy that top-rated chef’s wok you’ve had your eye on then go for it.
Then we threw our tofu in the hot oil and fried them up, hoping to make some delicious crispy tofu, as promised.
Related: The TikTok Folded Sandwich Hack
The result: Meh.
The tofu tasted great, but to be honest, it didn’t really get as crispy as my son and I would like. You can probably guess that from this photo. I’m guessing the oil was not quite hot enough, or perhaps we didn’t let the tofu cook long enough to achieve that golden brown color.
I’m actually glad they didn’t turn out perfectly, because even though this is a fun experiment, as with most of my parenting, I tend to turn a lot of everyday things into life lessons. Recipes will not always turn out great or exactly like the video you watch, just like many of the things we do in our life. (See also “school” during a pandemic/.)
So you learn what you did right or wrong, and try try again.
Oh, and we will definitely try crispy tofu again…but maybe with a different recipe.