We have a few different tofu factories here in Portland. They are really good, and many a trendy restaurant offers them as an option, many times as one of my all-time favorite Japanese dishes, Agedashi Tofu. Agedashi is tofu that is fried and served in a sweet dashi broth and topped with toppings ranging from bonito to green onions. I decided I would do a fusion version using a few different ingredients, some traditionally Japanese and some traditionally Vietnamese, and take out the frying to make this a healthy dish. I think it was a success and it's super-cheap and simple to recreate at home. Tofu is a really great and versatile form of protein that can easily made into weeknight-friendly dishes. —Alexandra V. Jones
Test Kitchen Notes
This dish goes perfectly with any leftover rice or stir-fried veggies you have on hand. The sauce is very vinegary, but I still went back for seconds and poured extra sauce all over my rice. The daikon adds an interesting texture. Plus, the tofu is seared so nicely that the sauce doesn't make it soggy, and serving the sauce and tofu together cuts down on dishes! —Nicole Hamari
brick firm tofu, cut in large chunks, lightly salted and placed in a strainer, to release moisture, for about 20 minutes
coconut oil, or cooking spray
fresh lime juice
dried Thai red chile flakes, or 1 small fresh Thai chile, minced
Preheat a griddle to 350° F or place a pan over medium-high heat. Spread coconut oil in pan to melt or spray prepared tofu with coconut oil spray, place on hot griddle. Brown tofu on each side for 5 minutes until golden and crispy.
Make sauce by combining, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. You can also microwave it for 1 minute to make sure sugar dissolves fully, as a shortcut.
Add chile and garlic into sauce, stir well, and add tofu. Top with scallions and daikon. This is great with rice or on its own as an appetizer.