Tofu is no different. I looooove tofu. But I love tofu when it’s drowning in spicy greasy goodness and pork fat in ma po tofu or fried and stuffed with sweet vinegary rice. I love that tofu. I love that tofu a lot.
Years of disgusting, grease-soaked tofu failures at home have driven me to only ordering (fried) tofu while out until I discovered a few extremely simple precautionary measures needed to make the absolute perfect crisp crust that can stand its own when tossed in a sticky, sweet sauce. (I told you this was unhealthy.)
And because I love you all so much — I’m going to share it with you. (Or you could just Google it — but since you’re here already …)
Crispy pan fried tofu
1 block extra firm tofu
2 tbs all purpose flour
1 tbs corn starch
fresh ground pepper
3 tbs safflower or grapeseed oil
Create a press: Line a plate with several layers of paper towels. Place tofu block on plate and add a second layer of multiple paper towels. Add second plate and some weight (I used a jar of tomato sauce). Allow tofu to drain for 10+ minutes. Remove and cut into 3/4 inch slices (or cubes if you prefer.)
Mix flour, corn starch, and ground pepper and generously dredge each tofu slice.
Heat your oil in a cast iron skillet over high heat until it begins to shimmer.
Add your tofu — don’t crowd the pan — and reduce heat to medium high.
Cook for 6-7 minutes and flip when the edges begin to brown.
Generously salt. Drain on paper towels.
I like mine with a few shakes of crushed red pepper and sweet chilli sauce. Add some sliced green onions and cilantro if you’re feeling fancy. Mmmm….