Lime Fried Tofu

@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.

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6 responses to “Lime Fried Tofu

  1. Yum!
    Can’t wait to try this, it would never have occurred to me to marinade tofu in salad dressing.
    I love tofu, I mean LOVE it, and eat it a lot. I can eat it right out of the package. Luckily my family likes it, too. I’ve found that cooking tofu in a wok is much easier. I have a cheap (I mean, like 8 bucks) wok from IKEA that works just fine. There’s just more surface to work with. I cook up tofu in a small amount of canola oil, maybe about 2 tablespoons, and a few cloves of garlic and just eat it that way, simple. Or in sesame oil for a different flavor.
    You might like the texture change that happens when you freeze tofu. Take it out of the package, drain it, press it and wrap in a towel to get most water out. Then wrap in plastic wrap, put in a freezer bag & freeze. It almost gives the tofu a meaty texture.
    Here is a link to my blog with the recipe for my most special favorite crowd-pleasing Tofu and Broccoli with Garlic Sauce. You should try this, it’s easy and everyone I’ve ever made it for LOVES it. Impressive. It may as well be called Candy and Broccoli with Garlic Sauce because it is just that delicious. http://www.runawaysentence.com/2010/05/sweet-sweet-sauce.html
    There is also a recipe on there for veggie fried rice with tofu that is delicious. I’d be pleased if you spent some time at my blog, there are some recipes, and a lot more talking about other things.
    Thanks again for sharing this, and I look forward to sharing more with you and reading what you have to say here.
    Marian

  2. That sounds delicious!!! I can’t believe you can buy tofu in Target over there. In Oz you can only buy clothes and toys, it’s just a department store. đŸ™‚

  3. I was also going to say freeze it. I make a shepherds pie with tofu that was frozen.

    also if you deep fry it it’s nice (like a chinese restaurant)

    one other idea is cut into 1/4 inch think slices (so it’s a bit over credit card shape an 1/4 thick. Pres it by laying down paper towels on a cutting board. Lay tofu slice flat. One more layer of paper towels. Put a cookie over and something heavy (your knife block or canned foods). Press for 20-30 minutes and preheat oven to 375. Do the wet bowl/dry bowl thing with tamari in the wet bowl and a mix of flour, salt and spices (i use poultry seasoning)…i wing it but look up fried chicken breading ratios for a good start.

    then drench in tamari, drench in flour, lay on oiled cookie sheet spread oil on top with basting brush or spray it or pam on top to wet a bit.

    bake for about 30 turning at 20. tits good stuff

    • Those sound like excellent tips. I’ll definitely try them out.

      The shepherd’s pie with tofu sounds interesting. Do you have a recipe for that?

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