The secret to crispy tofu? Use extra firm tofu, not the Japanese silken type which is too soft. Another secret? Use hot oil to deep fry and remove tofu cubes the minute they turn a light golden color. It will result in a wonderfully crispy outer texture.
Crispy tofu is a dish even kids and guys will enjoy but be careful, cause the inside is piping hot! It’s addictive and that’s a good thing, cause tofu made from soy beans is a great source of protein when you eat it with other vegetables. It’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans.
I use a cast iron wok and gas stove setup which give the best results. If you have an electric stove, use a stainless steel pot for deep frying the tofu and a skillet for stir frying the vegetables. Nonstick pans are not advisable because it can’t handle the high heat that’s required.
Remarkably, a Jamaican Chinese family makes Leasa’s tofu right here in Miami, I’ve visited their factory years ago. Their brand is available throughout the States, so check your local market for it. Even the Chinese tofu you get in the Asian markets are not as firm as Leasa’s, I’ve tried many types and theirs is still the best. (I am not associated or being compensated by Leasa, it’s just the truth.)
Follow these simple tips and you’ll be rewarded with crispy flavored nuggets. How do you like to prepare your tofu? Try this and post your results or any questions below.
This article originally appeared in South Florida Lifestyle Guide magazine, thanks Christine for including me in your wellness, balance and peace issue!
1 block extra firm tofu, cubed
Canola or safflower oil for deep frying and stir frying
handful of snow peas, topped and tailed
handful of green beans, topped and tailed
variety of multi-colored mini sweet peppers
2 scallions, cut diagonally
2 slices of fresh ginger, shredded
2 smashed garlic cloves
medium drinking sherry
Sauce, mix in small bowl:
1 teaspoon Koon Chun brown bean sauce
1/2 teaspoon Huy Fong chili garlic sauce
few dashes of sherry
quarter bowl of chicken stock
paper lined dish
big pyrex bowl or steel container that can withstand hot oil (not plastic)
1. Wash and prep your vegetables and set aside.
2. Drain tofu, dry with paper towels, then cut into chunky cubes.
3. Heat wok on medium high, add oil 1/2 way up wok. Test oil by putting a single wood chopstick into center of wok, when bubbles surround your chopstick, it’s hot enough to add in your tofu!
4. Use slotted spoon to lower tofu cubes into hot oil. Fry in two batches to prevent overcrowding.
5. Use slotted spoon to remove tofu, drain on paper lined dish and set aside. Pour hot oil into pyrex bowl or steel container and wipe out wok.
6. Fry garlic and ginger with a little oil on high heat in wok, immediately add all your veggies. Keep turning veggies so they don’t burn. Add dash of tamari and sherry, set aside on serving platter.
7. Add sauce mixture to wok on medium heat, stirring till it bubbles.
8. Add tofu cubes, turn a few times, then use slotted spoon to lift tofu cubes onto bed of vegetables. Serves 2 as a one-dish dinner or 4 with other dishes.