Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chinese Tofu Balls

Every time I make tofu ricotta I think to myself that I should try to make a fried tofu ball not unlike the fried chicken balls I used to scarf down at Chinese buffets back in the day. I would like to get the batter a little crispier, so if anyone has some tips please pass them along. (UPDATE: see this recipe).

- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup plain soy milk
- 1 tbsp finely ground flax seed
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 1 pkg extra firm tofu, pressed for 20 mins
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp poultry spice (or to taste)
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- ground white pepper
- 1-2 tbsp vital wheat gluten
- oil for frying

1. Heat your frying oil to 375 degrees.
2. While oil is heating, make the batter by whisking together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk flax seed and water together until thick, and then whisk flax mixture into the soy milk. Whisk wet into dry ingredients. Add more liquid or flour as needed. The goal is a thick pancake batter consistency--not too thick, but not so thin that it drips right off the balls.
3. Make the tofu balls: mush the tofu in your hands until very fine and clumping together. Add spices and hoisin sauce and mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of wheat gluten over top and mix in. Check to see if you can form into balls, and add more gluten if needed. Form into about 16-20 balls, not too big.
4. To fry: dust a few balls with flour, then dip into the batter, letting any excess drip off. Fry for 1-2 mins, until very lightly golden. Drain. Repeat with remaining balls. Return first set of balls to the oil, letting fry until a deep golden brown. Drain and serve with your sauce of choice.