Friday, April 8, 2011

Golden Crispy Tofu

Yes, this tofu is crispy. And yes it is golden. But, it is also pretty darn tasty. The mustard and the hot sauce combined with the spices makes it rather delightful on its own, or topped with a sauce of your choice. It is important to press the tofu well so there is not too much water trying escape during cooking that will sog your breading. The panko is also essential. Lastly, I don't see any reason why you could not bake these at 450 for 15-20 mins or so per side (spray lightly with oil, perhaps), but I have not tried it myself.

- 1 pkg extra firm tofu

- 1 1/4 cup plain soy milk
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt

- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- large pinch ground pepper
- 1 tsp poultry spice
- 1 tsp paprika (smoked if you have it)

- about 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs

- oil for frying

1. Cut tofu into 12 slices. Line a baking sheet with a towel, then place the tofu on top. Put a towel on top of the tofu, then put another baking sheet on top of that. Put a weight on top and press the tofu for 15 mins.
2. Get a frying pan heating on the stove over medium to medium high heat.
3. Whisk together soy milk, mustard, hot sauce, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together flour and spices in a another. Place 1/2 cup of the panko crumbs in yet another bowl.
4. Dip a piece of the tofu into the soy milk mixture, then dredge in the flour mixture. Set on a baking sheet. Repeat with all the tofu.
5. Add about 1/4 inch of oil to the frying pan. Re-dip 4 pieces in the soy milk mixture, then toss in the panko crumbs (one at a time of course, adding more panko to the bowl if needed). Fry for a few mins per side, until golden and crispy (adjusting heat as needed). Drain on paper towels or a paper bag.
6. Add fresh panko the bowl (another 1/2 cup or so) and repeat step 5 with another four pieces, adding more oil as needed. Repeat again with the remaining four pieces.

NOTE: a few pieces of panko will fall off during cooking that will start to burn and stick to your next pieces of tofu. If you don't care, then great. If you do care, then remove these pieces with a slotted spoon between batches.