Bang Bang Tofu

GFGluten FreeGRGrain FreeNFNut FreeSFRefined Sugar FreeVVegan
5 from 5 votes
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This Bang Bang Tofu recipe features crispy baked tofu drenched in a sweet and spicy bang bang sauce. It’s a fun plant-based appetizer to serve at parties or with rice for dinner! Vegan, Gluten-Free.


One bite of CrispyBang Bang Tofu and you’ll be hooked! Spicy-ish tofu chunks are baked until crisp, then served with a delicious sweet chili sauce. Serve them on skewers for a fun party snack or over rice for a flavor bomb of a dinner.

Table of Contents
  1. Crispy Tofu With a Bang!
  2. What You Need for Bang Bang Tofu
  3. How to Make Bang Bang Tofu
  4. Serving Suggestions
  5. How to Store Bang Bang Tofu
  6. Bang Bang Tofu Bites Recipe
bang bang tofu in a white bowl served over rice topped with chopped green onion with a pair of chopsticks picking up a tofu bite, on a marble kitchen countertop surrounded by another serving of tofu bites and oven-baked broccoli in a white bowl

Crispy Tofu With a Bang!

This Vegan Bang Bang Tofu recipe is inspired by the famous bang bang shrimp appetizer at Bonefish Grill. Here, we’re ditching the shrimp for crispy baked tofu tossed in a savory-spicy coating and served with a drizzle of bang bang sauce on top. The tofu is crunchy and meaty, while the spicy-tangy-sweet sauce is like a flavor bomb in your mouth.

It doesn’t matter if you’re tofu’s #1 fan or a skeptic—the crispy crunch and flavor-packed sauce of these bang bang tofu bites will have you obsessed! 

Because everybody loves ‘em, you can thread the bites on a skewer and serve them as a party appetizer with extra sweet chili sauce for dipping. Do you need a tasty protein for dinner instead? Toss the bites on a grain bowl, salad, or in a taco. The limit on serving options doesn’t exist!

What You Need for Bang Bang Tofu

This easy party appetizer only requires everyday ingredients and simple condiments:

ingredients for bang bang tofu laid out on a marble kitchen countertop
  • Extra-firm tofu: A brick of extra-firm tofu is my go-to when making the crispiest, meatiest tofu. It’s first pressed to drain the excess water, then torn into chunks for a meaty texture.
  • Avocado oil: The oil coats the tofu to make it super crispy in the oven.
  • Milk + vinegar: Coating the tofu chunks in this vegan buttermilk mixture adds a rich and tangy flavor that pairs so well with the spicy sriracha and bang bang sauce.
  • Sriracha: This adds another layer of heat to the bang bang tofu (but not so much that your mouth will be on fire). If you don’t have sriracha on hand, use another chili-based hot sauce you like.
  • Seasonings: The tofu is simply seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, and kosher salt before it’s baked.
  • Cornstarch: The secret to crispy tofu bites! The heat of the oven seals the cornstarch to the outside of the tofu, creating a crispy, crunchy, and golden brown layer around every piece.
  • Bang bang sauce: This homemade sweet chili sauce is drizzled over the tofu bites to give them perfectly spicy, creamy, and sweet flavors. It’s easy to make with just vegan mayo, sweet chili sauce, and sriracha.

How to Make Bang Bang Tofu

a collage of six images showing the below-described preparation process of crispy tofu bites
  1. Tear the tofu into bite-sized chunks.
  2. Whisk the oil, milk, vinegar, sriracha, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a bowl. Add the tofu and toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the tofu and toss again.
  4. Lay the tofu on a baking sheet and bake until crispy.
  5. Meanwhile, whisk the mayo, sweet chili sauce, and sriracha together in a small bowl.
  6. Drizzle the bang bang sauce and green onions on top and serve warm.
bang bang tofu in skewers served on lettuce and topped with bang bang sauce and green onions

Caitlin’s Cooking Tips

  • Rip the tofu by hand. It’s the best way to make the tofu bites more meaty.
  • Leave room in between the tofu bites. Spread the coated tofu pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet, leaving 1 inch of space between them. Tofu bites that are overlapping or touching won’t crisp.
  • Bake on the top rack in the oven. Baking tofu on the top oven rack puts the pieces closer to the heating elements, ensuring that each piece crisps but doesn’t burn.
  • Adjust the heat. I recommend starting with 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce in the sweet chili sauce. Give it a taste after mixing, then add another 1 to 2 teaspoons depending on how spicy you like it.

Serving Suggestions

These addicting tofu bites are fun to thread onto skewers or lay on a serving platter and serve as a party snack. I also love serving them over a bowl of Garlic Rice with steamed broccoli or cauliflower on the side for a delicious lunch or dinner. No matter how I serve them, I always make sure there’s a bowl of extra bang bang sauce on the side for dunking. 

If you’re looking for more saucy tofu bites, you’ll also love these Vegan Buffalo Tofu Bites, this General Tso’s Tofu, and this 30-Minute Teriyaki Tofu!

If you have extra sweet chili sauce leftover, drizzle it over this Buffalo Cauliflower and Chickpea Casserole, this Baked Sweet Chili Tofu, or these Mushroom Veggie Burgers. It’s a fantastic dipping sauce for these Oven Baked Fries and these Crispy Smashed Potatoes, too!

bang bang tofu in a white bowl served over rice topped with chopped green onion with a pair of chopsticks placed on the bowl, on a marble kitchen countertop surrounded by another serving of tofu bites and oven-baked broccoli in a white bowl

How to Store Bang Bang Tofu

The leftover tofu and sauce will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Remember to let the leftover tofu cool to room temperature before storing. I recommend keeping the tofu and sauce in separate airtight containers to help the tofu stay crispy.

Leftovers are best when they’re reheated in a 350ºF oven or air fryer until warmed through and crispy again.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Mayo Substitute: Replace the mayo with a store-bought thick coconut yogurt (I like Culina or Cocojune) or a homemade cashew “mayo” made by blending 1 cup of cashews with 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt until smooth. 
  • Sriracha Substitute: Use another hot sauce with a similar flavor, like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or Sambal Oelek chile sauce.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Substitute: If you don’t have ACV, use rice vinegar or white vinegar instead.
  • Cornstarch Substitute: Arrowroot powder or tapioca starch will work just as well.
  • Gluten-Free Option: This recipe is naturally gluten-free but keep in mind that some sweet chili sauces use wheat as a thickener, so double-check the ingredients just in case!
bang bang tofu in a white bowl served over rice topped with chopped green onion with a pair of chopsticks placed on the bowl, on a marble kitchen countertop surrounded by another serving of tofu bites and oven-baked broccoli in a white bowl

Recipe FAQs

Is bang bang sauce vegan?

Classic bang bang sauce is mayo-based, so it isn’t vegan-friendly. Luckily, all you need to do is substitute vegan mayonnaise to make an easy vegan version!

Is bang bang tofu spicy?

It has a mild to medium amount of heat, depending on how sensitive you are to spicy food. I find that sauce has a nice balance of sweet and spicy flavors and the mayo tempers any overwhelming heat. If you’re worried that it will be too spicy, only use 1 teaspoon of sriracha.

Can you make this recipe in the air fryer?

Sure! Line the air fryer basket with aluminum foil and add the coated tofu in an even layer. Air fry at 400ºF for 12 to 18 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes. Cook the tofu in batches to prevent the pieces from sticking.

Enjoy! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love it if you could leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thank you for the support 😊

Bang Bang Tofu Bites

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
This Bang Bang Tofu recipe features crispy baked tofu drenched in a sweet and spicy bang bang sauce. It’s a fun plant-based appetizer to serve at parties or with rice for dinner! Vegan, Gluten-Free.

Ingredients
 
 

For the Tofu Bites:

For the Sweet Chili Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise see notes for subs
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1-3 teaspoons sriracha
  • 1 green onion finely sliced (or sub chives)

Instructions

  • Prep: Preheat the oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Tear the tofu into 1” bite-sized chunks for a more meat-like shape and texture (recommended), or cut into small cubes. Set aside.
  • Season the Tofu: In a large bowl whisk the oil, milk, vinegar, sriracha, garlic powder, and onion powder together until combined. Add the tofu to the bowl and gently mix with a spatula until evenly coated – to prevent breakage I recommend pressing the spatula down the side of the bowl, then gently “scooping” the tofu up. Sprinkle the cornstarch on top and mix again. Transfer to a baking sheet and spread out the tofu pieces so they aren’t touching. Bake on the top rack of the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
  • Sauce: In the meantime add the mayo, sweet chili sauce, and 1 teaspoon of sriracha to a small bowl and whisk until combined. Add more sriracha to taste, if desired.
  • Serve: Remove the tofu from the oven and transfer to a serving dish or skewers. Drizzle with the bang bang sauce, then sprinkle green onion on top. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

  • Mayo Substitutions: You can replace the mayo with a thick coconut yogurt (culina or cocojune), or make a cashew “mayo” by blending 1 cup of cashews, 1/2 cup water, and a pinch of salt together in a bullet or high-speed blender until smooth (makes extra).
  • Other Substitutions: Sriracha can be replaced with Frank’s Red Hot for a similar flavor. Apple cider can be substituted with rice vinegar or white vinegar. Cornstarch can be substituted with arrowroot powder or tapioca starch.
  • Air Fryer: If your air fryer has a grate basket, I recommend lining it. Bake at 400F for 16 to 20 minutes, shaking the basket every 5 minutes. You may need to bake the tofu in multiple batches to prevent it from sticking.
  • Gluten-Free: This recipe is gluten-free as written. Some sweet chili sauce may use wheat to thicken the sauce, so just double-check the ingredients there!

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 9gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 613mgPotassium: 213mgFiber: 1gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 64IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 51mgIron: 2mg
Keyword: bang bang sauce, bang bang tofu, vegan party snacks, vegan tofu recipes
Course: Main, Side
Method: Oven
Cuisine: Chinese
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

About the Author

Hey there, I’m Caitlin! I make easy-to-follow, wholesome, and budget-friendly vegan recipes that are mostly gluten-free and refined sugar-free. I’m also an avid yogi, love the great outdoors, am chocolate-obsessed, and enjoy eating almond butter straight off of the spoon.

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Comments

    1. Let’s call it the “bang bang sauce” for the recipe as there are additional ingredients to make it, aside from the pre-made sweet chili sauce.

      1. 5 stars
        This is some of the best tofu we’ve ever made! My husband and I followed the instructions for baking the tofu in the air fryer, and it came out perfectly golden brown and crispy. The sauce was incredible—we subbed Frank’s Red Hot for sriracha. We served it with brown rice noodles and a side of broccoli. So tasty! We will definitely be making this one again.

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is so good you would not belive its so simple and easy!!!! Literally 1 bowl, and ready in 15, cook your veggies/rice at the same time no problem. This is added to my rotation, AND this is my new go-to crispy tofu recipe. Thanks for this!