Blackened Crispy Tofu

If you’ve ever met someone who declared they didn’t like tofu (or if you yourself think you don’t), I beg you to try this recipe.  In my house, we rarely prepare tofu, as it is not our favourite ingredient (we’re more tempeh lovers), but this recipe brings tofu to a whole new level.  The blackening and crispiness make it so desirable, we crave this!  The secret is the smoky spices and cooking the tofu at high heat.  Served with a fresh salad, over quinoa or other grain, or even in a sandwich, this is one of those meals that pleases even the pickiest eater (including my four year old), omnivores and herbivores alike.  I’m always wishing I made more….

We had ours with a fresh green salad, with beautifully striking purple bell peppers from the garden.  Their colour is so vibrant, we had to eat them raw.  I almost felt bad slicing through these beauties.  The vinaigrette was a creamy dijon, which consisted of 1 tablespoon dijon mustard, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, a pinch of sea salt and pepper.  Whisk all ingredients, and voila, you’ve got a classic homemade vinaigrette.


Blackened Crispy Tofu Recipe

Serves 2-4


  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt


  • Lay a few layers of paper towel onto a cutting board, place tofu on them, then cover with more paper towel.  Place a plate overtop, with something heavy over the plate to drain out as much water as possible.


  • In the meanwhile, prepare your spice mix by combining all dry seasonings in a shallow bowl.  Whisk to combine.


  • Once the tofu has drained, cut it into 4 pieces lengthwise.
  • Pour the tamari into a shallow bowl, and let the tofu sit in this for a few minutes, turning to coat both sides.
  • Dip each piece into the spice mix, making sure to get it well covered on each side.


  • In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil.  Once hot, place all tofu pieces into the pan.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, you will see it darken on one side.
  • Turn all pieces over, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Repeat, turning over the tofu on each side once more.  It will be crispy, blackened and delicious looking!


  • Remove from heat, and serve on a bed of greens.  Alternatively, you can serve it on a bed of quinoa or other grains with a side of greens.
  • Enjoy!

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28 thoughts on “Blackened Crispy Tofu

  1. This tofu looks so great! I have never made it before,but would love to try. Those purple bell peppers also look stunning, I’ve never seen them before, do they taste difference?

    • Aren’t they pretty? I had also never seen a purple bell pepper before we started growing them this year. They are similar to green pepper, slightly bitter. I’ve heard they lose their vibrant colour when cooked, so we eat them raw 🙂

    • Awe, Celeste! Thanks so much, that means a lot. I am so embarrassed about my earlies photos on my blog. Sometimes, I am tempted to delete them! How I’d LOVE to come to California and take photos with you 🙂
      Sophia 🙂

      • Please don’t delete your early photos chica! I like seeing progression in a blog and besides it gives me hope that I’ll be able to improve. And you’re always welcome to come visit me in SoCal – that would be so much fun!! Celeste 🙂

  2. In Louisiana, blackened = dry pan + something coated in a dry spice rub + highly aggravated smoke detectors. Not a good sight. Curious about the atmosphere, though – did this produce a lot of smoke? (I’d really like to avoid creating angry neighbors)

    Also – what type of pan did you use? I only have non-stick, but I’d really like to try to make this.

    • Hi there!
      It did get smoky, nothing over the top. I don’t have cast iron, but I have a thick bottom pan that is meant for high heat. Non-stick is not the best idea for high heat, that’s the only problem. It can damage the coating and warp your pan 😦
      I love your description of blackening food in Louisiana! I guess it wasn’t as authentic as what you would do there. I used a bit of oil, it wasn’t a dry pan 🙂

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