Veggie Tofu Puffs

By • June 15, 2016 2 Comments

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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.


Serves 4

Tofu Puff

  • 1 package firm tofu, pressed (see step 1)
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • few leaves of kale, cabbage, green onion or chive (see step 4)
  • pinches salt, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 dash liquid aminos (Maggi, Braggs, coconut aminos)
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 scant cups all-purpose flour (batter)
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour (batter)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder (batter)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (batter)
  • 1 egg (batter)
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • oil to fill your frying pan 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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. Pour water off of the tofu and pat it dry. Leave exposed to air to dry the surface while prepping the vegetable ingredients.
  3. 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.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan and add vegetable mixture. Sautee until the greens have wilted, add a dash of aminos and salt to taste. Remove from the pan to a bowl. Add flour, up to 3 teaspoons or so, until the mixture begins to stick together. The mixture needs to adhere to itself and the tofu enough to dip in batter
  5. Cut the tofu into 8 triangles. Using a small spoon or grapefruit knife, make a 1/2” hollow in the longest side. Fill the hollow 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.
  6. Wipe out the frying pan and add oil up to 1/4” deep. Heat over medium-high heat while preparing the batter.
  7. Batter: Mix the dry ingredients with the garlic and 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.
  8. 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.
  9. If you live near an Asian market: the traditional recipe calls for pre-fried tofu puffs to be filled and fried a second time. So. Good. If you can obtain 2 of these from an Asian market, skip all tofu prep listed here and cut the tofu diagonally with kitchen scissors. Slit them and pack with filling in step 5, then proceed with the recipe.

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