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Surrounded in a light and crispy shell of potato starch with a juicy umami-packed center, this tofu karaage is a delicious plant-based version of Japanese fried chicken.

Tofu Karaage

With a potato chip crisp shell and umami-packed center, this Tofu Karaage recipe not only looks like Japanese fried chicken it tastes like it as well. Learn how to turn this plant-based protein into a scrumptious vegan-friendly treat.
Course Appetizer, Entree
Cuisine Japanese
Keyword crispy, deep-fried
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Tofu
Diet Dairy-Free, Low Sugar, Low-Carb, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Calories 296kcal
Author Marc


  • 400 grams firm tofu (1 block)
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon konbucha (not the fermented beverage, see headnotes)
  • 3 grams ginger (½ teaspoon)
  • 3 grams garlic (½ teaspoon)
  • 45 grams potato starch
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 1 Lemon (for serving)


  • Put the tofu on a wire rack set over a tray and then place a flat-bottomed plate or tray on top of the tofu. Balance some weights on top of the tray to press the tofu. Let this rest for 1 hour.
    Pressing tofu under a weight to remove excess moisture.
  • For the Karaage marinade, whisk the sake, soy sauce, konbucha, ginger, and garlic together in a bowl and then tear bite-sized pieces of tofu into the marinade. Gently stir this together to ensure the tofu is evenly coated in marinade. Let this marinate for at least 30 minutes.
    Marinating torn pieces of pressed tofu with soy sauce, sake, ginger and garlic.
  • When the tofu is ready to fry, preheat 1.5 inches of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pot with high sides to 340 degrees F (170 C). Line a wire rack with a few layers of paper towels.
  • Once the oil is up to temperature, drain the tofu and then roll each piece of tofu in the potato starch to give it an even coating. Dust off any excess starch and set each piece of Karaage into the oil. Flip the tofu periodically to ensure even browning.
    Potato starch dusted marinated tofu being added to hot oil to deep fry.
  • When the tofu is light-brown and crisp (about 5 minutes), transfer it to a plate and set it aside. Then, turn up the heat to 355 F (180 C).
    Adding karaage tofu into oil for second fry.
  • Add all of the Karaage back in once the oil is up to temperature and fry it until it is golden brown (another 4-5 minutes).
    Karaage tofu deep frying in a black pot.
  • Transfer the Karaage to the prepared rack and let it drain. Serve immediately with lemon wedges for squeezing.
    Crispy fried Karaage tofu draining on paper towels.



Calories: 296kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 776mg | Potassium: 344mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 12IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 285mg | Iron: 3mg