A bold statement I know, but considering I’ve been trying to coax flavor out of this pressed soy bean cake for years now, I feel qualified enough to be bold.
There are a couple of obstacles I have cooking tofu in my house: only half of the people like it (myself and my son), and it is a challenge to come up with a dish that makes you love it over say, a piece of meat.
I actually do love tofu in any form: the silky kind that is great floating in a miso broth or thin soup, to the hardier variety that can be thrown on a grill. I don’t like when it gets spongy or acrid tasting so I am constantly trying new ways of cooking it.
I love fried food and Asian flavors, so I combined the two. The panko crumbs and thick coating of egg and hoisin sauce gave the outside a definite crispy-ness, while the inside felt meaty and moist.
I loved this so much that I made it again the very next evening.
* Great for blood Type A diet, vegetarians & vegans alike*
You will need: I lb extra-firm tofu, 1/3 cup & 2 tbs hoisin sauce, 3 tbs rice vinegar, 1 tbs sweet chile sauce OR 1/2 tbs hot sweet chile sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, 2 eggs, 1 cup panko breadcrumbs crumbs (more if necessary), 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (more if necessary), extra-virgin olive oil for frying (non extra-virgin will work also).
*Optional dipping sauce: 3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt, 1 tbs chili garlic sauce OR sweet chili sauce. (not an option for Blood type A’s)
1 – Put the tofu block on a plate and stack 3 or 4 plates on top, balanced as evenly as possible. This helps press any excess water out of the tofu. Do this for about ten minutes. Drain off the water. Cut the tofu into 3 pieces so you have 3 thinner pieces of the same size you started with. Cut diagonally two times so each pieces becomes 4 triangles. Set aside on a plate.
2 – In a small bowl mix together 1/3 cup hoisin, 2 tbs rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce. Set aside, (this is your dipping sauce) OR/AND mix together the optional dipping sauce.
3 – Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk in 1 tbs rice vinegar, 2 tbs hoisin sauce and sesame oil with a fork until well-blended.
4 – Spread the panko crumbs and flour on two separate dinner plates and put a large saute pan on medium/high heat.
5 – Gauge how many pieces of tofu will fit on your pan in an even single layer and work in batches of that size. First dip the tofu in flour, then coat with egg mixture, and lastly cover with panko crumbs.
6 – Add about 3 tbs of oil to your pan and when it is hot, fry the tofu for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and continue frying until done (you may to add more panko, flour and oil as you go)
Serve alone with dipping sauces or on a bed of crispy romaine lettuce. I served it with rice, onions and peas and it was a great complete meal (also Blood type A friendly)