@runaway_tweets was intrigued by my fried tofu, so I said I’d try to quick-blog it.
Yesterday in Target, I picked up a pack of Nasoya super firm cubed tofu. Even super firm, I find the consistency of tofu a bit off-putting, so I’ve been experimenting ways to alter the texture. I’ve done something similar with a block of tofu that I’ve sliced and baked, then cubed and fried as well.
So I drained the tofu as well as I could. You want to get as much water out as possible so it will soak the marinade. I then put it in a Ziploc bag and added Newman’s Own Light Lime vinaigrette. I’ve really been enjoying this salad dressing. It’s yummy. I put just enough salad dressing to cover all the cubes evenly so they had a chance to marinade like you’d expect. I let it sit in the fridge overnight – really like 18 hours.
I got a large non-stick skillet and put just a bit of oil on the stove and let it get hot. I emptied out the tofu into a bowl, and then using a slotted spoon, put the tofu cubes in a single layer in the hot oil. I let them sizzle for a bit and slowly would spoon the remaining marinade into the oil and let it cook off. I didn’t want too much liquid, because I didn’t want to steam it. Once one large spoonful reduced, I’d put another in and continue until the dressing was all incorporated, but just the flavors and oil – the rest cooks off. I’d toss the tofu every so often so it’d cook on all sides.
At some point, you see a change in the consistency of the tofu where all the sides begin to carmelize, and then it’s done. I took out the tofu and let the excess oil drain on paper towels.
It’s a little sweeter than I’d have wanted because of the salad dressing reduction, but that’s where the flavor is too. There may be some things I can do to make it more savory, but all in all it’s successful. The texture is good – not quite to chicken texture, and still not as good as the baked tofu they serve at Pei Wei. But I’m just an amateur. I ate a little just to try, but put the rest in the fridge. I’ll probably serve it in spinach salad tonight.
Fair warning – not everyone likes this salad dressing. At the 12:01am blog, they describe it as smelling and tasting like Lemon Lime Gatorade. I’ve done a similar preparation with barbecue sauce for my son (careful not to burn with all the sugars in it!), but he didn’t like it anyway. I liked that, too.
Good luck! And let me know if you have any better methods for changing up the texture of tofu.