Vegan Garlic & Chilli Tofu

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Vegan Garlic & Chilli Tofu

High in protein, big on flavour and quick to cook, this delicious vegan garlic and chilli tofu is perfect for a midweek meal or as part of an Asian feast at the weekend.

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The combination of crispy tofu and sweet garlic sauce in this dish is a real treat for the taste buds. Serve it with rice, noodles or a fresh and zingy Asian slaw. Sprinkle some peanuts over the top to finish.

What is tofu actually made of?

Tofu is made from soya beans. To make firm tofu (the type used in this recipe), soya milk is curdled, pressed into a solid block and then cooled. When sold in supermarkets, firm tofu is packed in water to keep it fresh. You’ll need to press the water out using a tofu press, or use a tea towel to dry it out a little.

Silken tofu is a softer, more liquid-like tofu which does not have the whey pressed out of it during the production process. Silken tofu is commonly used in sauces, desserts, noodle dishes and miso soup. It can also be used to make a more ‘runny’ version of scrambled tofu.

How do you make tofu crispy?

Coating the tofu in cornflour really helps to get a crunchy texture. Make sure your oil is nice and hot, too. As above, ensuring as much water is pressed out as possible will help to get that lovely crunch.

You can also use an air fryer to crisp up your tofu, which will require less oil than frying. Heat your air fryer to 375°C/190°C and place your tofu cubes in the air fryer for around 10-15 minutes, until they’re nice and brown.

Is tofu healthy?

Popular in Chinese and Thai cooking, tofu is a fantastic meat replacement. Whilst animal products like beef and pork are high in saturated fats and cholesterol, tofu is low in calories, high in protein and contains health-boosting antioxidants.

Not only can tofu aid heart health and help fight common diseases, it can even ease the symptoms of menopause.

Tip: This recipe uses Ketjap Manis, an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. It can be found in the World Food section of most supermarkets or in health food shops. Alternatively, use soy sauce with a little sugar or agave syrup.

Total Time: 20 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Servings: 1


Total Time: 20 minutes

Servings: 1




(Servings: 1)

  • For the tofu
  • 400 400 g extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 3 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • For the sauce
  • 1 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • 10 10 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 1 large red onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 1 red pepper, cut into chunks
  • 2 2 red chillies, sliced
  • 120 120 ml sweet chilli sauce
  • 60 60 ml dark soy sauce
  • 60 60 ml water
  • 2 2 tbsp Ketjap Manis
  • 2 2 tbsp salted peanuts
  • To serve
  • steamed rice or noodles
  • fresh coriander, chopped
  • extra sliced chilli (optional)


  1. Fill a large, heavy-based pan 2 inches deep with vegetable oil and place over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the cornflour, flour, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, bicarbonate of soda, garlic, ginger and vinegar to a bowl and whisk well with enough water to make a thick batter. Add the tofu cubes and toss to coat in the seasoned batter, ensuring they are all well coated.
  3. Once the oil is hot, carefully add the tofu, in batches if necessary. Fry until crispy and golden before removing and placing on kitchen paper to drain.
  4. In a wok or large frying pan, heat the sesame and vegetable oils until smoking hot. Add the onion, peppers, garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir fry for 2 minutes, or until beginning to soften, before adding the rest of the sauce ingredients. Leave to bubble for a minute or so until thickened.
  5. Add the tofu to the sauce and stir to coat. Leave this until immediately before serving so that the tofu remains crispy.
  6. Serve straight away, with rice or noodles, and topped with coriander leaves and some extra chilli, if using.

Each 100g serving provides: Fat 5.4g, Saturates 0.7g, Carbohydrates 6.7g, Sugars 2.7g, Protein 5.1g, Salt 0.93g


Need some more tofu in your life? Discover these easy vegan tofu dishes!

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Vegan Food & Living

Vegan Food & Living is a magazine dedicated to celebrating the vegan lifestyle. Every issue is packed with 75 tasty recipes, plus informative features.

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