This mouth-watering bang bang tofu is crispy on the outside, sweet, spicy and succulent on the inside. Serve these little bites on their own, over rice, or stuffed into tacos for a scrumptious vegan dinner.
Some of the recipes I post on this site are what I consider to be healthy, but not all of them are. They're all vegan, but that doesn't always mean healthy, and sometimes we end up with something that's indulgent. I'm okay with that!
This recipe is one of those times. I felt like I had to put my little disclaimer up there because somebody is bound to show up here and be surprised. Also, some of my more indulgent recipes can easily be modified to be healthier, but I'm just not sure that would work very well with this one. (Perhaps I can interest you in some baked tofu instead? Try this, this, or this. They're all delicious and way lighter!)
So, what makes bang bang tofu so indulgent? This tofu is dipped in a bath of vegan mayo and sweet chili sauce and then shallow-fried. That's pretty heavy for me. But the result? So delicious!
I think it's the mayo inside oil outside that gives these little bites such an amazing crispy texture, and then the chili sauce adds just the right amount of sweet heat.
I'd like to pretend this bit of evil genius is all mine, but I stole the idea from BoneFish Grill. My brother waited tables there when we were younger, and no they didn't have bang bang tofu — I think salad and bread was about as good as I could do back then — but they did have bang bang shrimp. Swap the shrimp with tofu, use vegan mayo and you've got a delicious little vegan treat.
I belive the non-vegan version is served as an appetizer, but you could really enjoy this any way you like: on rice, over crispy lettuce leaves à la BoneFish, in a sandwich, whatever! My husband and I actually stuffed them into soft tacos, which was great and I totally regret not thinking of before snapping my photos for this post.
Bang Bang Tofu
This mouth-watering bang bang tofu is made with crispy tofu cubes drenched in sweet and spicy sauce! Serve these little bites on their own, over rice, or stuffed into tacos for a scrumptious vegan dinner.
- ½ cup vegan mayo (I used Just Mayo)
- 2 tablespoons sambal oelek
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sriracha sauce, plus more for serving
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ¼ cup peanut oil, plus more as needed
- 1 (15 ounce) package super-firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes (press if using extra-firm)
- Chopped fresh chives or green onions,
In a small bowl, stir together the mayo, sambal oelek, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and sriracha.
Place the cornstarch in a separate bowl.
Very generously coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil (at least ⅛ inch deep) and place it over medium heat.
Once the oil begins to shimmer, place a few tofu cubes into the cornstarch and toss to coat. Place the tofu cubes into the hot oil. Continue adding as much tofu to the skillet as you can fit without crowding.
Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes, flipping the pieces two or three times, until browned and crispy on multiple sides. Transfer the cooked tofu to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat until all of the tofu is cooked, adding more oil to the skillet as needed between batches.
Place the cooked tofu into a bowl and add the mayonnaise mixture. Toss everything to coat the tofu in sauce.
Sprinkle the tofu with chives or green onions and serve immediately with sriracha on the side.
If you can find vegan-friendly sweet chili sauce, feel free to use ⅓ cup of it in place of the sambal oelek, maple syrup, rice vinegar, and sriracha.