Salt & Pepper Tofu with Amazing Sauce!
Yes, it's another tofu dish, but this is not just any tofu dish, Dearies. This is the one I make and always offer to my and Cauldron Boy's tofu hating friends. 'Are you sure you don't want anything to eat?' I say. And, of course, at the mere thought of tofu for dinner they quickly respond with something like 'No, no. I'm fine. Thank you though'.
Well, dinner starts and then what I call 'the eyes' start to happen. Yes, one all of a sudden notices that this meal looks delicious despite the presence of tofu. Since I am not a mean witch, I quickly address the look with a 'Are you sure?'. A very reluctant and somewhat guilty response of 'Would it be too much trouble to fry some more?' is heard. Little does my lovely know I already anticipated this response and made extra just for this inevitable moment *wink*.
Stories and jokes aside, Dearies, this meal of Salt & Pepper tofu with Amazing Sauce will most likely make a tofu lover out of you if you are not already one. It will indeed convince you that anything can be liked if executed properly. So the super easy recipe is below, and I really hope you will try it. Especially if you identify with not liking tofu so much. Plus, you can come complain about it to me here if you try it and don't like it;-)!
Salt & Pepper Tofu for 4
1-14 oz. Pack Organic, Extra Firm Tofu (Patted Dry & Cubed)
1/2 Cup Corn Starch or Potato Starch*
1/4-1/2 Tsp. Black Pepper
1/8 Tsp. Sea Salt
Vegetable Oil for Frying
*Ellie at Almost Bourdain also makes this dish and she feels that Potato Starch produces a superior result, so, if you're anti corn product, potato starch should be great. Just look at her pics!
Put your vegetable oil at least 1 inch deep in a 8-10 inch wide pot and bring to about 350 degrees/medium heat.
Meanwhile, pat your tofu block dry with paper towels and cut the tofu into about 1 inch cubes. I always try to dry the the tofu as I'm cutting it too, so that it is not water laden. Put your corn starch, salt, and pepper into a large plastic bag and mix. Gently place half of your tofu in the bag and toss it very gently. Grab the pieces out, give each one a pat to displace excess starch, and place them in the hot oil (not warm oil!). Do not move them at all for at least 2 1/2 minutes. Then turn to the opposite end and allow to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Place on a paper towel to drain. Repeat with second batch. By the way, this tofu stays nice and hot for quite a while, so don't worry too much about the first batch getting cold.
To those of you afraid of frying, just know that I was too. It's so easy for me now though. I don't take a temperature even. I just put my stove to a solid medium heat (#4-5 on my electric stove) and wait about 4-5 minutes. Then I put one piece of tofu in the pot-if it sizzles nicely, I place the rest of them in. If not, I wait a minute or two more. Also, if your oil gets too hot, simply pull the heat down a bit and just watch your food.
The only truly scary thing that commonly happens is splashing water in the oil or using a utensil that has water on it, so don't do that (smile)! Oh, and always fry on the back burner in case a water accident does occur.
Amazing Sauce for 4
6 Tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce (A Good One)*
1/2 Tsp. Toasted Sesame Oil
1-1 1/2 Tsp. Chili Garlic Sauce
2 Garlic cloves (Finely Minced)
1 Tbsp. Scallions (Sliced)
*Please, please use a nice soy sauce like San-J or Tai Hua brand, etc.