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Chili Crunch Tofu Recipe – Pinch of Yum

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Crispy baked tofu tossed with a 2-ingredient sweet, sticky, and spicy chili sauce!

This is a brand new recipe that’s part of our Spring 2023 SOS Series – in other words, EASY recipes! View our full collection of SOS recipes here.

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Lindsay’s Notes

Holy spicy crispiness! This chili crunch tofu is chompy, sticky-sweet, and delicious. Two main steps for this guy:

  • Bake the tofu.
  • Sauce the tofu.

The end! Happy day! You’re eating spicy, crispy, rockstar-level tofu with very little effort or thought into the whole thing which is what the SOS series is all about.

You can prep the tofu however you like, but I highly recommend the cornstarch method for baking (my favorite method as outlined in our tofu post), which is what’s written into the recipe here. It never fails to be miraculously crispy, golden, and the perfect canvas for your favorite sauce.

Speaking of sauce, this one couldn’t be easier.

  • Yum Yum sauce
  • Chili crisp
  • Honey (optional)

And that’s it. If you like to go BIG big on flavor, you can also grate a clove of raw garlic into the sauce for something extra kicky. The chili crisp I use (Momofuku brand (affiliate link)) has a bit of garlicky-ness to it so I usually am fine leaving it at that, but we love flavor. WE INVITE FLAVOR. Add to your heart’s content.

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I love making this chili crunch tofu for a quick high-protein weeknight dinner and the leftovers work beautifully for a repeat lunch with a second coating of sauce. And we make this recipe a whole family affair by just saucing the tofu for the girls with the plain Yum Yum sauce, which is creamy and sweet and mild and, of course, they love it.

Chili crunch tofu for prez!

Close-up of chili crunch tofu in a bowl with green onions on top

RELATED: Why is tofu so great?! It’s so great! These peanut-saucy tofu bowls are one of my other go-to tofu recipes!

Chili Crunch Tofu Video


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Crispy baked tofu tossed with a 2-ingredient sweet, sticky, and spicy chili sauce!

Chili Crunch Tofu:


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepping the Tofu: Cut tofu in half so you have two even, flat pieces. Press the moisture out of the tofu, using paper towels or a towel. (The more water you remove, the faster it will crisp up in the oven, but I usually don’t spend more than 5-10 minutes here.) Cut tofu into cubes and transfer to a bowl. Add cornstarch, soy sauce, and olive oil. Toss gently to coat. It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth, but just try to generally get all the pieces semi-covered.
  3. Bake the Tofu: Transfer to the baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice, to get the tofu evenly browned and crispy.
  4. Make the Sauce: Mix Yum Yum sauce and chili crisp in a small bowl.
  5. Mix Tofu and Sauce: When the tofu is done, toss it with several tablespoons of sauce, reserving sauce for topping.
  6. Serve: Serve with rice, on a salad, noodles, whatever you like. Dollop with extra sauce if you want, and top with green onions. OOO-eee this is good!
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How to Make Cauliflower Garlic Rice: This is totally optional – just something I enjoy with this tofu if I can handle one extra sheet pan in the mix. On a separate sheet pan, add a bag of cauliflower rice. Drizzle with oil and season generously with salt. Add to the oven at the same time as the tofu; roast until very browned and flavorful, about 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add about 2 cups cooked rice directly to the pan, along with 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and a squeeze of lemon. Toss to combine, return to the oven for a minute to warm it all up, and you’re done!

Nutrition: The nutrition info below is only for the tofu and does not include rice.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Asian-Inspired

Keywords: baked tofu, spicy tofu, tofu bowl

Recipe Card powered by Tasty Recipes logo

What Do You Serve with This Chili Crunch Tofu?

I usually serve it on pre-cooked rice (SOS) or, if I have a teeny bit of extra time, I’ll make cauliflower garlic rice, which is what you see in the pictures here.

To make it: you’re just roasting store-bought cauliflower rice until it’s golden and yummy, and then tossing it with precooked brown rice and a bit of garlic powder and salt (The recipe is also outlined in the notes section of the recipe card above.)

That said, you can serve this tofu with anything – a salad, a bowl of veg, or in a wrap! It would be great in lettuce cups for lettuce wraps as well.

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How Do You Make This Tofu Gluten-Free / Dairy-Free?

It should be naturally dairy-free, and to make it gluten-free, just use tamari or coconut aminos! But check the labels on your specific brand of Yum Yum sauce and your chili crisp just to make sure the rest is also gluten-free and dairy-free.

What Can I Sub For Yum Yum Sauce?

I buy Yum Yum sauce (affiliate link) at Amazon, Target, Cub, Kowalski’s… lots of different grocery stores carry it! At Target, it is shelved both in the refrigerated produce / dressing section and the global or international foods section, by the teriyaki sauce and soy sauce.

But if you can’t find it or just don’t want to run out to the store – you have a few options:

Yum Yum sauce tastes like a sweet mayo with a barely-there tomato flavor. I think you can build a great sauce just using regular mayo and adding a bit of extra salt and sugar and maybe a squeeze of ketchup.

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