Southern Fried Tofu


Is there anybody in there?

Just nod if you can hear me…

Ok all Pink Floyd references aside, it has been a long time since I clicked “add new” to the post section of this here blog. It’s a pleasure to reacquaint myself with your company.

What have I been doing, you ask?

Making southern-fried tofu, of course:


I’ve also taken up piano. No, really! I have! I’ve brought back Sunday Lunch to VMHQ, read every spare second, bought more books from across the globe, watched every episode of Two Fat Ladies twice, holidayed at the beach, overnighted in the country, snuck Hotline Bling into innocently unsuspecting playlists, begun a Harvard coding course, tried desperately to rescue a stubbornly bare rosemary plant, and have I been busy in the kitchen or what.

In other words, I have been having a Very Nice Time.

I also continue to be maudlin at every given opportunity about my firstborn going to school. But that is a story for another day.

Today, it’s all about the tofu, my friends.

Now, regular readers would know I’m not a huge fan. I eat it, when it’s done right, but I don’t love it and there’s not many recipes on here that deal with it. However.

In my insatiable urge to clean out the freezer so I can actually put stuff in it, I’ve been slowly eating whatever is in there to make way for the new. In a fit of preserving productivity, a few months ago I threw in some firm silken tofu before it went bad, as I knew that freezing tofu and then defrosting it changes the texture and makes it less wobbly and watery. Except I’ve never bothered ever doing that before, no matter how much I had heard that it made the unpalatable actually very good.

See, look: no firm, stubborn, wobbly, watery, white blob:


I worried all day about having this defrosted tofu the centrepiece of the dinner, but I’m a frugal girl and I wasn’t going to waste it. I figured if it was really that bad after I’d worked my magic on it, well there was plenty of sides to tide us over and we’d scratch it up to a lesson learned.

I also figured that anything coated and deep fried is going to be far more delicious than baked or pan-fried so if we were starting behind the eight ball already with bland old tofu, and I was leery of the outcome, then dammit, I was going to deep-fry the sucker.

Friends, let me say I’m glad I did. I regret not making this tofu before today, and I’ve eaten a lot of shitty tofu in its stead. Man, even the word tofu is just one of those things that make you go hmmm but more with a sneer of confused disgust and less of the hammer pants and peace earrings.

If you’ve got some firm silken tofu (I like the one they sell at Costco, it’s great), chuck it in the freezer and make yourself some southern fried tofu. Put on some hammer pants if you want.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I am receding into some distant ship smoke on the horizon. Peace.

Hate tofu? You won't after this trick to turn wobbly, watery blocks of nothingness into a beautifully-textured version with a crispy, spicy coating. You can thank me later!

Southern Fried Tofu

Serves 3
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Appetizer, Main Dish
Misc Child Friendly


  • 3-400g firm silken tofu, frozen and then defrosted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch each garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper ((instead of the salt, pepper, onion and garlic powders, you can use 1/2 teaspoon Paula Deen's House Seasoning)
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 3 Large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (extra)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper (extra)


Step 1
Squeeze your defrosted tofu in your hands until you have wrung out most of the water.
Step 2
Place on a plate covered in a paper towel, cover the tofu in a paper towel, cover the lot with another plate, and place something heavy on the top so it can press the remaining water from the tofu. Leave for 1 hour at least.
Step 3
chop the tofu into strips or nugget-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Sprinkle over the salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder, or house seasoning (you can get the recipe from and toss to coat. You could also add some chicken-style broth or stock cube powder at this point (but cut back on the salt if you do).
Step 4
In a large bowl beat the eggs with the water, and in another large bowl, mix the extra salt and pepper into the self-raising flour. You could also add whatever herbs and spices you like here - I tend to use lots of pepper in my coating!
Step 5
Take the pieces of tofu and dip them into the egg, letting the excess run off, and then coat in the flour mixture. Dip once again into egg, and then into flour.
Step 6
Have your frying oil hot enough so that the tofu pieces sizzle and the oil bubbles around them when you put them in. I shallow-fried these in about an inch of oil in a regular frying pan, turning when the bottom was golden brown. They don't need much cooking, as long as the coating is cooked through.
Step 7
Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Enjoy!

Adapted from Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons Cookbook.


  1. says

    I once went on a date, back when I was at uni. The guy worked in the city and wore a suit. I was a wannabe hippy. He took me to a fancy restaurant and the stupid greeny in me chose “tofu three ways” off the menu. I wanted to appear worldly or some crap. I had total meal envy. The relationship ended not long after I took him to a sushi train and he literally spat out food onto his plate. Ahhhhh memories.
    This does look delicious though.
    And all hail Clarissa and Jennifer!

  2. says

    I love tofu. I’ve been eating it fresh in Vietnamese spring rolls on these hot summer days but it’s not really something to give to the toddlers.. I’ll have to try this recipe, I’m sure the boys will love it this way- fried and tasty.

    • says

      I love the marinated stuff in those spring rolls – we had a bunch of people over for Sunday lunch a few weeks ago and we made soooo many! They’re so addictive, especially with ketjap manis. And my husband makes a pretty epic satay sauce, so good!

  3. says

    Oh God damnit, I just threw out my hammer pants the other day … I’ll definitely be getting my southern fried tofu on though. I want it so badly right now. Oh and welcome back by the way. You’ve been missed. I love how you say you’ve been doing a bit of pottering in the garden and in the same sentence you throw in that you’re doing a Harvard coding course. A Harvard coding course??? That is completely epic. You are such a clever clogs. I also have my eldest starting school in a couple of weeks and I’m completely in denial.

    • says

      It’s really good with ranch dressing to dip into! Yummmoooo! thanks for the kind words :) what have you been doing while I was gone? Mainly just freaking out about school? haha that seems like what I’ve been doing. She’s so excited to go and I’m over here just wondering how it’s all going to go down with my mama emotions.

      oh ps the course is an online one that anyone can do, so it’s probably not as fancy as it sounds :)

      • says

        Yep, I wonder how it’s going to go with me. Lol. I’m freaking out a tad because I still don’t have the uniform and all of the other pallaver. Once I have that I think I’ll be feeling calmer. Hope your little one’s first day goes well.

  4. Tina Lacy says

    Welcome back, I have missed you!. They two times I have tried tofu it has been akin to eating rubber so might skip this recipe I feel :)

    • says

      It’s good to be back! And I totally understand about fried tofu. It can be a real bummer! that’s why I like this one, because it’s so different to the usual frying recipes that it’s actually a joy to eat! Tofu ain’t for everyone, that’s for sure :)

  5. says

    Dude!! You’re back!!! I actually emailed you last week to check that you were ok ( I knew you were ok I mainly just wanted make sure you weren’t leaving forever & to tell you I missed your post) but I imagine you get 587 emails everyday so it’s probably sandwiched in there somewhere!!

    I’m so glad you’ve been having nice times, and they really do sound like super nice times. Tell me what books you’ve bought?! I’m trying really hard to read what’s on my shelves but then I accidentally bought more at the op shop & then somehow ended up in the library borrowing more books because the book I started & REALLY wanted to love because Oprah loves it, is just not grabbing me. Anyways, yay to seeing a VM post in my feed x

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says

    YUM! After sort of sharing a meal with you the other day I feel like I know how merry your break has been because I’ve seen it in action. Deep frying anything (well almost anything) has got to be good!

  7. says

    I admit this has tempted me to try tofu. It looks good. So glad to see you write but also know you’ve been doing creative things while away. My oldest starts school this week too. Can’t believe our first borne are going to school!

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