Author Notes: My son, who is six, loves tofu. He is very particular about it though: it has to made exactly this way. Crispy on the outside and 'fluffy' on the inside. He has had many happy meals stacking the tofu bricks into walls that he demolishes as he eats them. Those are happy meals for me too. —monkeymom
Pan fried Tofu
- 1 20 oz package of regular tofu (not firm, not silken)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- salt (kosher)
- Cut two slits in the tofu package on opposite sides an let the liquid drain out. Drain as much liquid as you can. If you let it sit for a few minutes, you can then turn it over again and drain more liquid.
- Heat the oil in a 12 in nonstick fry pan over high heat.
- Once the tofu has been drained, remove it from the box and place it on a cutting board. You'll want to cut it into 32 pieces. First, cut the tofu in half. Then cut each half in half again. Turn 90 degrees and do the same to give 16 pieces. Then cut each piece in half to give uniform blocks. Drain any liquid away.
- Add the tofu to the oil. Be careful! If the oil is really hot, it will splatter when the tofu hits it. Arrange each block so it is in contact with the pan.
- Sprinkle the pan with salt. Be generous. It is good to get some of the salt onto the oil. Lower heat to medium high.
- Let the pieces of tofu sit until they have a nice brown crust on the bottom. You can lift one or two pieces to check. Once it has browned nicely, then flip it over. I usually flip one or two at a time. Avoid flipping the pieces more than once.
- Give another sprinkle of salt to the tofu. Let the tofu brown on the other side. While the tofu is cooking, it might release more liquid, but this usually will evaporate as the tofu browns.
- Remove the crispy tofu to a serving plate. Let the stacking begin!
Soy dipping sauce
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons mirin
- 2 teaspoons agave syrup (or sugar)
- 2 tablespoons white wine, sherry, stock or water
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 green onion or onion, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 coin of ginger, minced
- hot sauce or hot chili oil (optional)
- Mix the soy sauce, mirin, agave, wine, and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in same pan that you used to fry the tofu. Add the green onion and fry until it has softened. Then add garlic and ginger and fry briefly until you can smell the garlic. Avoid browning the garlic.
- Add the soy sauce mixture and let it reduce for a minute.
- Remove to a serving dish. Add hot sauce or hot chili oil to taste. Adjust seasoning by adding more soy, sugar, or water to taste. Enjoy!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Soy