Fried Tofu with Hot Chili Oil Drizzle

Serves 4 as an appetizer


  • 1 14-oz package of extra-firm tofu
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1½ teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Neutral oil, for frying
  • Sesame seeds, for serving
  • Green onion, sliced, for serving

For the hot chili oil drizzle 

  • 2 tablespoons Thai & True Hot Chili Oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey or agave
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt 


  1. Open the package of tofu and drain out the water. Wrap the block of tofu in a paper towel and then wrap in a kitchen towel. Set something heavy like a cast iron skillet or a cookbook on top of the wrapped tofu and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, make the marinade. Combine the low-sodium soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and rice vinegar in a shallow container. Set aside.
  3. Slice the tofu into 1-inch slabs, then slice each slab into evenly sized triangles or cubes. Arrange the tofu pieces in a single layer in the marinade. Let the tofu marinate for 10 minutes, then flip the pieces to marinate the other side for another 10 minutes.
  4. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the marinated tofu pieces to a large zip top bag or a clean container with a lid, leaving excess marinade behind. Add the cornstarch to the tofu a tablespoon at a time and gently shake to coat the pieces evenly. 
  5. Line a large plate with a few paper towels and set it near your stove.
  6. Heat the neutral oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the tofu to the hot skillet, shaking off excess cornstarch in the bag or container before placing each piece in the pan. You’ll know the oil is hot enough if the tofu sizzles when it hits the skillet.
  7. Cook the tofu without disturbing the pieces for 3 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Continue to flip and cook so each side of the tofu is evenly golden and crisp. Set the fried tofu aside to drain on the paper towel-lined plate.
  8. In a small bowl, combine the toasted sesame oil, Thai & True Hot Chili Oil, honey or agave, and sea salt. Stir and taste; adjust the quantities of each ingredient to your liking, as needed. 
  9. Serve the fried tofu on a platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions. Just before serving, dress the tofu with the hot chili oil drizzle. Or, serve it on the side for dipping.