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Author Notes: “Shimmy shimmy tofu what? Listen to it pound. Dip it up and take a puff, pass it to me now. Mmmmm….”
Adapted from Country Grammar by Nelly and my Indonesian friend RR's recipe.
- 2 package firm tofu, pressed (see step 1)
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 medium shallot
- 3 cloves garlic
- leaves of kale, cabbage, green onion or chive (see step 4)
- dashes salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 dash liquid aminos (Maggi, Braggs, coconut aminos)
- 2 teaspoons rice flour or cornstarch
- 1/2 scant cups all-purpose flour (batter)
- 1 tablespoon rice flour or cornstarch (batter)
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (batter)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (batter)
- 1/2 teaspoon black sesame seeds (optional)
- 1 egg (batter)
- 6 tablespoons water
- oil to fill your frying pan/wok to 1/4"
Dipping Sauce (use commercial sweet chili sauce or sambal olek if desired)
- 1/4 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 fresh red chili, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons white or rice vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- Prepare Tofu: An hour before, or overnight: Remove tofu from package and place between two dinner plates. Weight the plates with a book or skillet to press excess water from the tofu.
- Sauce: Chop the peanuts and reserve. Mix all remaining sauce ingredients in a small pan and bring to a simmer. Cook until slighly reduced and set aside to cool.
- Pat the tofu dry. Cut the tofu into 8 triangles. Using a small spoon or grapefruit knife, make a 1/2” hollow in the longest side and reserve the toru crumbles. Leave the triangles exposed to air to dry the surface while prepping the vegetable ingredients, in front of a fan if possible.
- Tofu Filling: Place the carrot, shallot, and garlic cloves in the food processor and pulse until finely chopped but still distinct. Add the sugar and pepper and pulse to combine. Add a combination of finely shredded cabbage kale, green onion and/or chives to make a total of 1.5 cups of vegetables. Keep the green vegetable pieces fairly short and reserve a few teaspoons of chive or green onion, if using.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan and add vegetable mixture. Sautee until the greens have wilted and the mixture begins to clump, then add reserved tofu bits, a dash of aminos and salt to taste. Be aggressive with the seasoning- the tofu itself is band. Add cornstarch, up to 3 teaspoons, until the mixture begins to stick together. The mixture needs to adhere to itself and the tofu enough to dip in batter
- Fill the hollow of each triangle and mound a strip of filling along the longest side of the triangles. Pat the log of filing down so that it adheres. Have batter ingredients at the ready.
- Wipe out the frying pan and add oil up to 1/4” deep. Heat over medium-high heat while preparing the batter.
- Batter: Mix the dry ingredients with the garlic and sesame seeds/green onion/chives if using. Crack and egg into the mix and stir the egg to break up the yolk. Add up to 6 tablespoons of water a few at a time until the batter is homogenous and just thin enough to dip the tofu in.
- When the oil is shimmering, dip the tofu in the batter and immediately place in the oil. Fry all sides until golden. I prefer to fry in this order to keep the filling attached: broad side, filling side, then remaining sides. Set cooked puffs on a paper towel-lined plate to blot, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve with dipping sauce.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipes with Tofu