I cannot take credit for this method. I learned it from Kip and this recipe for tamarind coffee fried tofu (which in itself is super delicious and I urge you to try it). She opened my eyes to the proper preparation of tofu. If you want crispy tofu that is super delicious, you have to do it this way.
Over time, I have concluded that pre-boiling tofu for any tofu dish, whether a crispy tofu or a tofu scramble or sandwich, is really the best method to optimise texture and it greatly improves tofu’s absorption of all the surrounding flavours and sauces. I now pre-boil tofu for any and all dishes that include tofu.
As for the crispy tofu, I have a hard time resisting the urge of snapping them all up before the meal.
My use of tofu as a main or a side isn’t limited to Asian dishes. Here I serve it as a complement to Easy Mac & Cheese with Broccoli & Cauliflower.
Recipe after the photo. Serves two (or one if you can’t resist).
- 1 packet of firm to super firm tofu, drained
- 1-2 teaspoons salt
- oil for frying
Slice the tofu in either small cubes (like I have) or slabs – depending on the final shape you want. Place the tofu in a saucepan, add the salt and cover with a sufficient amount of water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 3-5 minutes. Drain and then let the tofu cool on a cooling rack.
The boiling process changes the texture of the tofu (magic!) and makes it ideal for frying (or mashing, sautéing and any other preparation) and saucing up to your heart’s content.
I tend to shallow fry, while others deep fry (but you can also oven bake!). It is up to you what works best. In any event, make sure the frying pan and oil are hot. Carefully place the tofu pieces in the oil and make sure that you have enough room to flip them over when one side gets golden brown. If your frying pan is small, you may need to fry in batches. Click here for my Shallow Frying Basics.
If you will be baking the tofu, then preheat your oven at 200C and place the tofu cubes on a baking sheet. Bake without oil for 10-20 minutes, depending on how crispy you want the tofu. You can also brush the tofu with oil or marinate and then bake. The options are really all up to you.
The animals we love are no different from the animals we use as food. If you are not vegan, please go vegan. https://www.internationalvegan.org can help you get started.