Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu

Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu

Salt and Pepper Tofu is a popular Chinese dish that can be made easily at home. The tofu has an incredibly crispy exterior, giving way to a soft, silky interior.

Crispy Salt and Pepper Tofu



  • 18 oz firm tofu drained
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • Canola oil for frying

Optional Garnishes:

  • 2 red chili pepper seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 scallions thinly sliced
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Place tofu block onto a cutting board. Place a second cutting board over tofu. Place a heavy object on top of the cutting board, preferably a heavy can. Apply the weight on the tofu for about 15-20 minutes, to release water from tofu.
  2. Slice tofu into 1 inch cubes. Pat dry the tofu cubes with paper towel.
  3. Add about 1 inch of oil to pan being used for frying. Bring to medium heat.
  4. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, white pepper and salt. Add to a large ziploc bag. Add in tofu and seal bag. Shake bag several times until tofu is evenly coated in starch.
  5. When oil is hot, add a few pieces of tofu and fry until crispy on all sides before removing. Because you are using cornstarch instead of flour, the battered tofu will not change that much in color when finished cooking. Instead of a golden brown, the tofu cubes will be a pale yellow gold.
  6. Repeat with remaining tofu until all tofu is fried. Keep tofu waiting to be fried in the cornstarch bag. If you lay down the tofu cubes to rest while waiting, they will release more water and will soak through the cornstarch coating and cause it to fall off.
  7. When tofu is fried, you can garnish with chili peppers, scallions and fresh ground black pepper.

This recipe and image adapted from:

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