Crispy Mongolian Tofu

This Crispy Mongolian Tofu dish is inspired by the ubiquitous Mongolian Beef, which actually originated from Taiwan (confusing, right?!). These pieces of tofu are shallow-fried to a crispy golden-brown and coated with a familiar savory and sweet sauce.

They go so perfectly with freshly steamed rice — I easily finished two bowls and was left wanting more. Traditionally, the Mongolian-style sauce is not a spicy one, but I found that dried chilis gave it a pleasant little kick. Feel free to leave it out!


Crispy Mongolian Tofu

4 from 24 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: DinnerCuisine: TaiwaneseDifficulty: Easy
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Crispy Mongolian Tofu inspired by restaurant-style Mongolian Beef.

Ingredients

  • 1 block medium -firm tofu, twice frozen and thawed

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar)

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup room temperature water

  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 scallion, segmented

  • 2 dried chilis, seeds removed & segmented

  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds, for garnish

  • Thickening Agent
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  • Prepare the Tofu. For this recipe, we’re working with twice frozen and thawed tofu. As the name suggests, the tofu has been frozen, thawed, frozen again, and completely thawed again. Using a heavy object or a tofu press, press the tofu down for at least 15 minutes, pressing out as much liquid as possible. At the end of the pressing, the height of the tofu should have halved. Using your fingers, pull away chunks of the tofu (I tend to think about strips). You should get chunks that aren’t completely even and look naturally pulled. Carefully place the tofu pieces in a ziplock bag along with cornstarch. Shake the bag to evenly coat all the tofu pieces.
  • Fry the Tofu. In a pan, heat up a generous amount of vegetable oil on medium-high heat (think about shallow-frying). Once the oil is hot, fry the tofu pieces until each side becomes golden-brown and crispy. Remove from the oil and drain on a kitchen towel to remove excess grease. Set aside.
  • Make the Sauce. Heat up a clean pan on medium heat. Start the sauce by frying together the minced garlic, ginger, dried chilis, and brown sugar. Keep stirring and heating until the sugar is melted and caramelized, around 3-4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the soy sauce and water. The sugar is likely to harden and clump up, but just keep stirring until it dissolves again. Reduce this sauce for around 2 minutes and finish it with the thickening agent (cornstarch slurry). If the sauce wasn’t already boiling, bring it up to a light boil and it should thicken up nicely.
  • Finish the Dish. Remove the pan from the heat and add the crispy tofu back into the sauce. Add the scallion segments as well. Stir to coat evenly. Finish with a sprinkle of white sesame seeds. Enjoy warm with rice.

Notes

  • When frying the tofu, make sure there is enough oil for shallow-frying. You might end up with parts of uncooked cornstarch (in the layers and crevices of the tofu) if there isn’t enough oil.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to see your recreations!

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Mackenzie S
Mackenzie S
6 months ago

Tried this tonight. I over-fried mine so it was a smidge too crispy, but it tasted SO good that we will be having this again (and I’ll be sure to fry it correctly).

Josephine
Josephine
6 months ago

Tried this for the first time today – I’m so amazed at the texture that can be achieved with the tofu!! Great recipe, looking forward to making this again 🙂

Jace
Jace
3 months ago

Made this tonight for me and my family and absolutely loved it! Only had time to press the tofu for about an hour beforehand but turned out amazing regardless!! Thanks so much for this recipe!

Shelley
Shelley
3 months ago

This was amazing! Stepping into vegan waters and knowing I can not only tolerate tofu, but fall head over heels for it, is inspiring – because I hate tofu. A convert.

Katie
Katie
2 months ago

Could I put in about a teaspoon of garlic chili sauce instead of dried chili?

Megan
Megan
2 months ago

So good! Will be adding this to my regular meal rotation

Ashley
Ashley
2 months ago

Made for dinner tonight and was so delicious.

Kelly
Kelly
2 months ago

I’ve now made two of your recipes twice in like once week because once wasn’t enough lol soooo good, I can’t wait to keep trying more!

TaMarria Hudson
TaMarria Hudson
2 months ago

Hello,
This recipe is amazing. I added a few seasonings to the sugar like sage, turmeric and garlic chili sauce, which really gave it a burst of flavor. I served it over cold rice noodles and fell in love. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Emily Chun
Emily Chun
2 months ago

This was so wonderful! Thank you for this tasty recipe! Made it for dinner, and it was a hit 🙂

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