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Mmm, mmm, mmm. To me, there's nothing better on a cool night than a nice hearty meal, and one of my favorites is crispy, fried tofu. People have a love/hate relationship with the block of soy protein known as tofu, but I'm here to tell you: if you cook it right, it's amazing.
First off, when you buy your tofu, put one in the fridge and one in the freezer. Why? Well, tofu, like everything else, will keep indefinitely in the freezer. I know this for a fact because I accidentally forgot about a block of tofu that had been hiding in my deep freezer for a year....still perfect! Also, once you freeze tofu, the texture changes. This texture change is more appealing to people, especially those who aren't particularly into it. Second, you need to lightly batter and fry it up. Here, then, is my fool-proof recipe for perfect fried tofu. I'm including the easy-peasy bbq sauce I make with it, but you can use your favorite store-bought.
Fried Tofu with Homemade BBQ Sauce
1 block of frozen tofu, thawed and drained. *
1/2 c. cornstarch
1 t. corn meal
1 t. each garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, turmeric, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper
Oil for frying
1 can tomato paste
1.5 c. water
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 T. brown mustard
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1 t. molasses
2 t. each garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, parsley, chives, lemon-pepper
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 T. olive oil
1. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a sauce pan, then bring to a boil on the stove.
2. As soon as the sauce comes to a boil, turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Cut your tofu into four pieces, set aside. **
4. Mix up the rest of the tofu ingredients in a shallow bowl.
5. Dredge the tofu, making sure to get the sides as well.
6. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat until ripples begin to form.
7. Put two pieces of the tofu in the pan, frying on both sides for approx. 5 minutes on each side. ***
8. Set the tofu aside to drain.
9. Turn off the sauce when it's done, then spoon it over the tofu.
* You can literally squeeze the thawed out tofu to drain of water, otherwise, wrap in paper towels, sandwich between two plates, then stack canned goods on the plate. It takes about 15 minutes to get most of the moisture out.
** You can make more tofu if you want. Just double the dredge ingredients per block of tofu.
*** Cook times can vary with stoves, so keep a good eye on it while frying.
I served this with roasted brussel sprouts and this great millet cake recipes from Forks over Knives for a fantastically delicious meal. Enjoy, and comment if you try and like this!