Friday, November 02, 2012

Salt and Pepper Tofu

Vegan Chinese Salt and Pepper Tofu
 serves 2 as an entree or about 4 as an appetizer
1 block (14 oz when drained) extra firm tofu
 4 tablespoons corn starch as needed
 1/2 teaspoon or to taste freshly cracked black pepper
 Freshly ground Salt
Vegetable or canola oil for frying

Pat dry the drained tofu.
Let it stand with paper towels over it under a weight for 30 minutes.
Cut into 1x1x1/2 inch cubes.
Place the tofu cubes in a large bowl.
Add corn starch, salt and pepper.
Gently toss till the tofu pieces are very well coated.

In a frying pan, pour oil so that it comes up 1/2 inch (I did much less than this).
 Heat the oil.
Make sure oil is hot.
Add tofu cubes a few at a time. (If you fry too many at once or if the oil is not warm enough, they won’t crisp up.)
 Fry the tofu pieces, flipping them around, so that all sides are golden brown.

 Drain onto a few layers of paper towels. Add the fried tofu cubes to whatever dish you want.

We put it over chilequiles instead of boiled eggs.

 Serve vegan Chinese salt and pepper tofu with your favorite chili sauce and garnish with celery leaves or green onions.

 For a quick appetizer, serve the fried tofu with chili sauce.

 Notes: - Instead of tofu, try button mushrooms, parboiled cubed potato, baby corn or paneer.
The only change you will make is to make a batter out of the cornstarch and dip the vegetables or paneer in the cornstarch batter before frying.

- fry one piece of tofu first and taste it. Adjust the salt the pepper in the batch if needed and then continue frying the rest
- try using some coconut oil that can take higher temperatures
 - the tofu can be fried about an hour ahead of time and placed in your oven in the lowest temperature. simply toss the tofu in the sauté in the last minute
- Here is a suggested saute that could be added to the tofu, but fried rice would work too for the sauté 1/2 tablespoon oil 2 medium leeks, white part only, washed and grit removed (1 cup when chopped) 1 celery rib (1/2 cup when chopped) 1 small green pepper (1/2 cup when chopped) 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger 1 tablespoon light soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar Chop the leeks, celery and green pepper into a fine dice. Heat oil in a wok on medium-high heat. Add chopped leeks, celery, and green pepper. Sauté on high heat for about 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Add soy sauce and brown sugar and cook 30 seconds. Set this mixture aside.