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Wood board topped with triangle-shaped coconut-crusted tofu pieces.

Coconut Crusted Tofu (Vegan & Gluten Free)

This coconut crusted tofu packs in delicious coconut flavor in every way possible! It creates beautifully golden brown and extra crispy tofu bites while remaining vegan and gluten free.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Vegan
Keyword Coconut crusted tofu recipe, Coconut tofu bites
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinade Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 Appetizer servings (~4 each)
Calories 339kcal


Marinated Tofu

Coconut Crust

  • ¾ cup coconut milk (half a 14 oz/ 400 mL can)
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • ¼ cup coconut flour (or another ¼ C corn starch)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ¼ cups shredded coconut (medium shred or desiccated)
  • cup vegetable oil (for frying)


Prep Tofu

  • Slice the tofu into ¼ inch (½ centimeter) thick slices. Cut each of these slices diagonally, forming triangles.
    350 grams extra firm tofu

Marinate Tofu

  • Place the sliced tofu into a container along with soy sauce, lime juice, mirin, sesame oil and half of the canned coconut milk (save the other half for breading your tofu).
    2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 tablespoon mirin, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, ¾ cup coconut milk
  • Rip or cut up the nori sheets and add them into the tofu marinade.
    2 large sheets nori
  • Place the lid on the tofu and shake well to combine the marinade ingredients.
  • Put into fridge and allow to marinate for 30 minutes, up to 24 hours.

Crust Tofu

  • To bread the tofu, set up three medium-sized bowls, ideally ones with flat bottoms.
  • In one bowl, place the remaining coconut milk and stir in water to thin it out.
    ¼ cup water, ¾ cup coconut milk
  • In the second, mix together corn starch, coconut flour (or more corn starch), onion powder and garlic powder.
    ¼ cup corn starch, ¼ cup coconut flour, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • In the third bowl, add shredded coconut.
    1 ¼ cups shredded coconut
  • Take a piece of tofu from the marinade (remove nori pieces if desired) and lightly coat it in the coconut flour and starch mix.
  • Then, fully dunk the tofu piece into the coconut milk.
  • Move the tofu into the shredded coconut and firmly press coconut onto either side of the tofu piece.
  • Place the tofu onto a baking tray (or wherever you want to collect all the pieces before cooking them).
  • Repeat until all the tofu is crusted with coconut!

Pan Fry

  • Depending on the size of your pan, you will need to pan fry the tofu in 2-3 batches.
  • Coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of oil (½ or ⅓ of total, depending on how many batches you'll work in). Warm, over medium heat, until the tofu pieces sizzle when placed into your pan.
    ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • Once the oil is hot enough, add the tofu in a single layer in the pan, making sure each piece is in some oil.
  • Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes on either side, until the coconut is nicely golden brown on either side.
  • Remove cooked tofu from the pan onto a plate or baking tray covered in paper towel (to absorb excess oil).
  • Carefully brush out bits of coconut from the pan before heating your second round of oil to cook more tofu (otherwise the leftover coconut will burn and ruin the next batch(es)). Use a piece of paper towel held with tongs to prevent burning yourself. It’s best to brush the hot coconut/ oil into a sink rather than garbage bag directly as the plastic could melt.
  • Repeat the process until all the coconut tofu is cooked.


  • Serve the hot coconut crusted tofu with a dipping sauce of your choice – sweet chili sauce or sriracha mayo both taste amazing!



Accuracy of nutrition information cannot be guaranteed (certain ingredients may not have all nutrients listed in the database); amounts may vary (and will vary depending on brands of ingredients used); all nutrition fact values rounded to the nearest whole number.


Serving: 4Pieces (⅙ of recipe) | Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 316mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 227mg | Iron: 3mg