You’ve seen tofu at restaurants. You may have already eaten tofu yourself. Tofu is just about everywhere these days. Tofu is a soy product that is one of the easiest and healthiest food to cook. It’s packed with protein and has such a mild flavor that you can influence it’s flavor profile however you want. If you want to make restaurant-quality (a.k.a. really tasty) crispy tofu at home, there are a few steps you need to take.
Slice open the package and cut the tofu into thick rectangles or cubes. Lay each piece on a dish towel or layers of paper towels, then place another dish towel or paper towels on top of the tofu. Set a cookie sheet on top to squeeze some of the moisture out. You shouldn’t have to go to extremes here, because you purchased extra-firm tofu.
2. Make the surface of your tofu as dry as possible
Like anything you cook in hot oil, you want to make sure you’re not adding any unwanted moisture to the pan. Dry, dry, dry your tofu. Wipe it dry, or better yet toss your tofu in corn starch. I’ve cooked tofu both ways and to me the only difference between the two are that adding corn starch to your tofu prevents dangerous and unpleasant sputtering.
3. Use a cast-iron skillet to pan fry your tofu
If you want crispy tofu, you really need a pan that has an evenly heated surface area. For me, that is my seasoned cast-iron skillet. Add a layer of oil, heat it up, and gently drop your tofu in. Fry all sides of the tofu until golden brown and crispy.
Boom! Extra crispy tofu. Just remember, if you plan to use your tofu in a stir-fry or with something saucy, set the tofu aside first. Then cook all of the remaining ingredients and add the tofu back in at the last minute so it remains crispy as long as possible.
Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick rectangles and pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Toss the tofu in cornstarch until coated. Heat oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat, until the oil is just shimmering. Carefully place the tofu pieces into the oil. Lightly fry the tofu until golden brown on one side, then flip with a slotted spatula. Once golden brown on both sides, drain the tofu on a paper towel and set aside. Lower the heat of the pan to low and wait a few minutes.
In the same oil, add the onions. Fry lightly until the onions turn soft and transparent. Take care not to burn them by maintaining the heat at low to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring to prevent burning.
Add the turmeric, coriander, chilli, salt, and tamarind paste and fry for about a minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sri racha (if using), beans and edamame and cook until the tomatoes break down and the oil separates from the sauce, about 5 minutes. Taste the beans, the beans should be more than half cooked at this stage. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed.
Finally add the fried tofu and mix well. Simmer for a minute to reheat the tofu, remove from the heat, garnish wtih green onions and serve warm with rice or rice noodles.
This is a great way to use any extra jalapenos you have laying around too. Toss all of your ingredients in a blender, allow the sauce to thicken and then it’s ready to rock. Really quick and easy. I’ll never buy chili sauce in a store again. Delicious!
Puree together the jalapenos, garlic, vinegar, sugar, 3/4 cup water, and salt in a blender until smooth as possible. Transfer to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 3 minutes or until the mixture slightly thickens.
In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 Tbsp water until smooth. Add to the pepper mixture and simmer for another few minutes or until the mixture is thickened slightly. It’s still going to be a little bit runny. The cornstarch is added to help suspend the pepper and garlic bits rather than have them sink to the bottom.
Let cool completely then store in the refrigerator.
Adjust the heat with the amount of jalapeno seeds you add.
From what I’ve gathered, my Thai Basil Meatball recipe is one of Mister’s favorites. He always eats too many of them and pats his tummy when he’s finished his third plate. Being Spring and all, I decided to bring these back but in a lighter form.
Instead of serving this with heavy thai noodles or steamed rice, we wrapped each meatball in a small piece of lettuce instead. The crisp lettuce added a new crunchy element to this dish and happy taste-buds were born! I’m going to try adding some crispy Asian noodles next time for some major crunch action. Granted, I’ll use any excuse to buy those crispy noodles. I could snack on those all day if I had access to them.
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil (sweet or thai)
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce (like Sriracha)
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 pound ground turkey
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons oil, for brushing
For the spicy garlic sauce:
1/8 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup water
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion
2 teaspoons hot chili sauce (like Sriracha)
2 teaspoons cornstrach
Make the sauce. Whisk all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for a minute or two until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (this happened really quickly for me! Don't walk away from your stovetop while you do this). Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix all meatball ingredients except for the oil with your hands (get messy). Roll the mixture into balls roughly 1-inch in diameter. Place them on a baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray, brush the tops with the oil, and bake them for 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Sometimes I put these under a broiler for a couple minutes too, depending on how brown they get.
Serve the meatballs with sauce and additional chopped basil and green onion, if desired.