Stir-fry-tofu

This is the Fail-Proof Way to Cook Crispy Tofu

You’ll wonder how you ever survived without this recipe!

Forget the roll of paper towels and cheesecloth you’ve used in the past, to squeeze the liquid out of your tofu [trust me on this]! And, you won’t need to fry the tofu only to have it crumble into pieces. This method of cooking tofu will make you a believer in this crispy, meatiness version.

I was never big on cooking tofu, although I’ve been a vegetarian for 38 years — tofu wasn’t my thing! My diet consists of simple foods, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and poultry. I avoid foods high in bad fats, sugars, and sodium — that’s it!

My youngest son, who loves Asian-inspired foods, encouraged me to cook tofu. Although skeptical, I was willing to give it a try. I browsed the Internet to find recipes for making crispy tofu. As a non-tofu cook, I was hesitant. But, the one recipe I found was interesting. The recipe credited food journalist and author, Mark Bittman for his brilliance in recommending that you freeze (yep) and boil your tofu first [who would’ve thought]. Like magic, the tofu freezes into a block of ice [I know, doesn’t make sense, but it works]. The boiling process results in a chewy, meaty-textured tofu — brilliant!

The next step in the recipe was to fry the tofu in oil (nope!). I didn’t want to waste time standing over the stove frying tofu [back to the Internet to look for a crispy, non-frying tofu recipe — if that even existed]. Well, what do you know — you can have your crispy, non-frying tofu, and eat it too! I stumbled upon a baked tofu recipe from the Moosewood Restaurant. This was exactly the recipe I was looking for. I was able to combine the freezing technique with the baked tofu to create the only method I use for cooking tofu. If you’re looking for an easy recipe for cooking tofu, without having to spend a lot of time, below is the method I use:


Instructions

  1. Remove frozen, extra-firm tofu from packaging and place in a pot of rapidly boiling water for 15 mins.
    Boiling-Tofu
  2. Place boiled tofu in a strainer to drain any excess liquid, which is minimal compared to the non-freeze method [you’ll have to use only a few paper towels — I promise!].
    Tofu-Draining
  3. After tofu cools, place on a cutting board and cut into 1-inch thick slices.
    Tofu-Slices
  4. In a bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of vegetable or olive oil, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce (I like to use the reduced sodium), and 2 teaspoons of dried ginger (I used powdered ginger). I increased this measurement for each package of tofu.
  5. Place tofu slices in the bowl and thoroughly coat with the oil mixture.
  6. Place coated tofu slices on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake on 400 degrees until tofu is crispy.
    Coated-Tofu Crispy-Tofu

This is by far the best fail-proof recipe for cooking crispy tofu. I now prepare tofu, using this recipe at least once a week, with stir-fry vegetables. Try it and let me know what you think.

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