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Crispy Tofu

May 10, 2018

I’ve had crispy tofu at a couple restaurants before but had not attempted it myself.  I was surprised at how relatively easy and tasty this was it is not deep fried.

Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: 5-10 min
Total Time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 servings
Taste: Great

INGREDIENTS:

1 (14- to 16-ounce) block extra-firm tofu
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Optional flavors: soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, or red pepper flakes

PROCEDURE:

  1. Remove the tofu from its packaging and drain any liquid.
  2. Line a plate with a folded paper towel and set the tofu on top. Place a plate on top of the tofu and weigh it down with something heavy, like a 28-ounce can of tomatoes. Press for 15 to 30 minutes. You will see liquid collect around the tofu.
  3. Remove the weight and drain off the excess liquid. Pat the tofu dry with more towels. Slice the pressed tofu into cubes, thick rectangles, or sticks, depending on how you plan to use the tofu.
  4. Transfer the tofu to a shallow dish and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to evenly season the tofu.
  5. If adding optional flavor of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil drizzle over tofu and let stand for a few minutes before coating with cornstarch.  If adding red pepper flake sprinkle evenly.
  6. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cornstarch over the tofu, then toss to evenly coat. Continue sprinkling and tossing until all the cornstarch is used. This is most easily done with a small strainer, but can also be done by sprinkling with your hands. After adding all the cornstarch, the tofu should be evenly coated with a sticky, gummy layer of cornstarch.
  7. Set a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Heat until the oil shimmers and flows smoothly to coat the bottom of the pan. It should not smoke. If you see a wisp of smoke, lower the heat slightly and immediately proceed with adding the tofu.  Add all of the tofu in a single layer. The tofu should sizzle upon contact — if not, wait a few minutes to let the pan heat before continuing.  At first the tofu will stick to the pan (unless you’re using a nonstick skillet). Wait until the tofu releases from the pan before browning the next side; the underside of the tofu should be golden-brown. Continue frying until all sides are browned and crispy.
  8. Transfer the browned tofu to a cooling rack while you finish your recipe. Eat the tofu immediately. It will remain crispy for a few hours, but will become chewy and lose its crispness if refrigerated.

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Source: The Kitchn

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From → Main Dish, Side Dish

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