Friday, 10 October 2014

Simple Chinese Crispy Fried Tofu

Pity the poor tofu. In the West, if you're not vegan or overly health conscious you probably dislike tofu.  In fact, most vegans and overly health conscious people here probably dislike it as well and only consume it due to the fact that it's vegan and healthy.  Poor tofu.  Tofu is loved by omnivores in Asia and yet here it has the reputation of being bland and boring.  Perhaps due to its association with vegans.  See, back home in China, we eat them deep-fried with dried shrimp and minced pork.  I love it.  I love it drenched in oil and accompanied by meat and seafood.
Here's an incredibly easy recipe for you tofu-novices to try out.  It's just a simple sauce to go along some fried tofu.  Delicious.  Sometimes I steam the tofu for this, sometimes it's straight out of the pack.  It all depends on how healthy and lazy I'm feeling.  You know what else is good? Smoked tofu
or marinaded tofu.  You can find those in health stores (*sigh*) and they're delicious.  Those I just eat straight out of the pack.  On the street.  As a quick snack.  Yes, I'm one of those awkward people that eats as they walk on a busy street.  Sometimes I'm just there with a box of sushi and a pair of chopsticks, eating and walking on Oxford Street.

Serves 1 as a starter
100g firm tofu
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1 sprig spring onion, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 tbsp brown sugar (or to taste)
a dash of sesame oil
sesame seeds, for garnish 

Make the sauce by whisking the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil and a bit of water together.  Adjust quantities to your liking.

Cut the tofu into small slabs of about 4x4x1.  Wrap in layers of kitchen paper to soak up as much moisture as possible.  Season the tofu pieces with a bit of salt.

Whisk the egg in a bowl.  In a large plate, spread the flour.  Prepare another big plate to put the tofu in.  Coat the tofu pieces in the egg, then the flour and place on the plate. 

In a large pan, heat 1cm of oil until hot (it's ready when it sizzles if you put in a wooden spatula).  Put the tofu pieces in and fry them for about 1 minute on each side. Place them on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Put the tofu slices on a plate, drizzle over the sauce and sprinkle on some toasted sesame seeds and spring onion.

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