Fried Tofu with Chili Garlic Soy Sauce

Printable Version (Recipe Only)

The best way to get a meateater who's never tried tofu to hate it is to serve it as a meat substitute.

Because there is no way in hell a brick of soybean curd is ever going to take the place of a juicy steak, or a meaty pork chop, or even a piece of chicken breast. Well, maybe a chicken breast... specially if it's the boneless, skinless kind...

But that is exactly what happened to the 6'4" Man of Midwestern stock whose second to last significant love interest - upon embarking on a granola kind of lifestyle - subjected him to a steady diet of tofu and tofu byproducts, all of which presumably tasted *just like* meat/hotdogs/burgers/whatever you could mold it to look like and/or whatever else you season it with because everybody knows that the hippies, veggies, and foodpundits love to tell you that tofu takes on the flavor of whatever seasonings you use.

Which is what led him to tell me one day,

"Babe, I hate tofu. And quinoa, too."

No you don't, Man. You don't hate tofu. What you hate is tofu that's served as meat. What you hate is tofu fashioned into *burger* patties. What you hate is when people tell you to just sprinkle some Bacos on tofu and it'll taste just like bacon.

You like tofu. You know why? Because firstly, tofu tastes like tofu - mildly nutty and yes, wildly adaptable, but not in the way that unshaven, essential oil spritzing hippie chick told you. And when you prepare tofu to complement its flavor rather than mask it, you don't have the undesired effect of finding out that it really doesn't taste just like whatever you sprinkled on it. Secondly, because it is such a simple and elegant food, it takes well to simple, easy, and elegant preparations.

You like it like this:

Fried Tofu with Chili Garlic Soy Sauce
Time: About 30 minutes
Printable Version

- a roughly 1 pound package firm tofu
- salt for seasoning
- 2 Tablespoons neutral oil for frying

For the sauce:

- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1.5 to 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1.5 to 2 Tablespoons vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- sliced fresh chilies to taste (jalapenos or serranos are good for this dish)
- 1 Tablespoon sliced or chopped bulb onion
- crushed red chili flakes to taste

- 1 green onion, chopped for garnish
- optional: toasted sesame seeds for garnish

1) Slice the tofu into roughly 1/2" thick slices widthwise. Pat dry with a paper or cloth towel on both sides and season lightly with salt.

Don't mind the cubed stuff up top. 
That was for miso soup.

2) While the tofu is air-drying a bit, make the sauce by combining all sauce ingredients and stirring until all the sugar is dissolved. Start at the low end of the measurements and adjust upward if needed. Some folks like things sweeter and/or tangier than others.

3) In a preferably non-stick fry pan, heat the oil to medium high, and fry the tofu, about 3 minutes per side, until it's light golden brown. If you like a slightly thicker, browner crust, turn the heat down to medium and go 5 to 7 minutes per side.

4) Plate the tofu, spoon the sauce over it, sprinkle some chopped green onions on top, and enjoy. :)

"Babe, I *like* this tofu."

I know. :)

See? That wasn't so bad now, was it? ;)


P.S. No hippies or veggies should have been harmed in the reading of this post. I'm just poking a little patchouli scented fun. :P



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