(Yay first cooking post!)
Now with that out of the way, I’d like to share a simple recipe I used to satisfy my fried tofu cravings.
As a college student, tofu isn’t overpriced (costs less than beef), and generally considered a healthy food. Plus it definitely gives you your daily protein intake, (especially for you gym brahs). Last but definitely not the least, it’s gluten-free and vegan too!
I’m done stating the obvious here. Here’s a photo of it:
What you’ll need for this simple (yes, simple, like, really simple) recipe for Fried Tofu is:
– Tofu (medium-hard to hard kind) – Oil (cranola, grape-seed, olive, coconut oil, any of them will work) – Corn flour (flour … made from corn) – Water – Salt and Pepper
Since this is my first post on cooking, I’d just like to note that I’ll probably stick to only listing out the ingredients you need and not how much of them you need, mainly because practical cooking should have improvisation (to me at least), and literally tons of cooking/recipe websites with professionals already tell you how much you need. I’ll provide them when there’s a need, though. But not for tofu.
I’m going to try to keep it as ‘healthy’ as I can.
1. Pat dry your tofu.
Open it up and estimate how much of tofu you want to eat. Cut and take it out of the packaging. Note: Do not pour away the water from the packaging if you have leftover tofu you don’t want to cook yet. I made this mistake which my house mates (who are way skilled at cooking than I am) promptly told me. Grab a few kitchen tissues or serviettes and wrap up the block of tofu to pat it dry. We want it as dry as possible to avoid the hot oil of death from scalding our hands, even more so you’ve just moisturized it or got a pedicure.
Because tofu absorbs water, we need some kind of weight to squeeze out the water retained inside. Wrap it up and invert another plate on it, then put a can of beans or soup on top of it to press down the tofu. Leave for about 20 minutes or so (it’s really up to you). You should see more water being pressed out.
2. Cut it into blocks.
Cut up your now dry tofu into cubes or blocks, thinner slices fry faster, thicker ones are more juicy.
3. Coat with Cornflour.
Put a few tablespoons of cornflour on a plate, and then drop your tofu in and roll ‘em in the white dust. The little amount of moisture on the tofu should make the cornflour stick. If not, add very little water to the cornflour and repeat. This is the subjective step, more cornflour for a thicker coating, less if you’re
cheap like me not a fan of thick coatings.
Using a non-stick pan, add some oil and heat it up. You can of course deep fry it with tons of oil, but again I’m
cheap trying to keep it healthy. I used pretty much only one tablespoon for each pan of tofu. Having a non-stick pan helps reduce oil here. Wait for a little bit (the pan should feel hot if you hover your hands over it) and turn the heat down. On an electric stove we’re talking a 4 or 3, on fire I suppose a small fire would do. We don’t want hard and burnt tofu on the outside and squishy uncooked tofu on the inside, unless that’s your thing. I don’t judge.
Place it gently into the pan, with chopsticks or a spoon. I ended up just using fingers carefully after the first few and knowing that the oil won’t pop at me. (Basically had to make the oil acknowledge that I respected it and was grateful for cooking my food). Leave it for a minute or so, and then flip it to the other side. Repeat until all sides are cooked and you’ve achieved a golden-brownness you want.
5. Plate it and Instagram it.
Arrange your golden blocks of tasty tofu, find an angle and Instagram it if you want to. Serve immediately for best taste, but as a college student, I made more for the next meal. Let it cool and refrigerate if so. (It does become soggy and less enjoyable though).
6. Bonus tip.
Tofu is flexible. Stir-fry with barbecue sauce, or some vegetables. Add chili flakes for an extra kick, eat it plain with some sauce, chop it up further and use it as the ‘meat’ for another dish, kinda like chicken.