Monday, February 15, 2010

Fried Tofu

Ever had this? Or seen it on a Thai (or other Asian) menu?
It's delicious. And easy. And a great vehicle for your favorite dipping sauce. When I made it this week, I used Trader Joe's Thai Peanut Sauce for dipping, and was pretty pleased with that. Sweet and sour sauce would also be nice, or a tamarind sauce... the possibilities are practically endless. Plus, the tofu is super easy to make. Even though it's fried, it's not oily, because the flour helps form a really nice crust and prevents the tofu from soaking up all the oil.

You need:
Tofu. Sold in water. I used extra firm, though next time I might step down to firm. You can pick whatever you like, or have handy.
Vegetable oil

  1. Drain the tofu, and pat it dry with a paper towel. Slice it up into pieces-- wedges as shown above, or my favorite, small cubes.
  2. Toss the tofu in flour, covering it completely. This dries out the surface of the tofu, greatly reducing the oil spatter (caused by water in hot oil, and often resulting in nasty burns or messy cleanup). It also allows the nice crust to form.
  3. Heat some oil in a wok or skillet. A nice round bottomed wok is great because you get the best frying volume with the least oil, but you only need a bit of oil-- half an inch deep, perhaps. Heat the oil until it's nice and hot. 
  4. Gently place some of the tofu into the oil. If you've got enough to cover the tofu, great. Let it fry for three minutes, perhaps.  If you've got less oil, then let fry for a few minutes, then turn until all the sides have a nice golden color.  Add the next batch, until it's all done. 
  5. Drain the fried tofu on a wire rack, or a plate with a paper towel. Serve with sauce while still warm. 
Leftovers are great in soup or stir fry, or as an appetizer tomorrow. To show you how great, this is all AJ and I had left after we made a whole package:

1 comment:

  1. so, this is hard to believe, but I've been frying tofu for approx. 1 billion years and had never previously thought to flour-dredge it. dumb! Makes that lovely crispy skin like at the restaurants. Thank you for finally pointing out this simple technique to me. And mine was om noms too.
    Except, how do the restaurants get theirs so much drier? got a theory? Do they dry the tofu more - fry it faster/hotter? hmmmm