Tofu is one of the main staples in China. Made from soybeans tofu has a lot of protein and is perfect for vegetarian dishes. Tofu does not really have much flavor by itself, but it will take on the flavor of a great marinade or sauce in a dish.
Frying tofu is easier than it looks. First, there are several different types of tofu that are found in most grocery stores. These are broken down into two main groups. Regular tofu which is packed in water and usually found in the produce section because it needs refrigeration; and silken tofu which is packed in boxes and found in the ethnic section of most local grocery stores. Each of these types of tofu are then broken down into the categories of extra firm, firm, regular, and soft. Each one of these is used for different cooking purposes. The regular extra firm tofu is the one that is best used for frying because it retains its shape. Following are the basic steps on how to fry this type of tofu.
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- The block of extra firm tofu comes packed in water, so once the tofu is purchased, the first step is to drain it thoroughly from the water and then blot it with paper towels.
- Next, cut the tofu into cubes. The best way to do this is to cut the block in half long ways so that you have two flat pieces that are parallel. Then cut it into 4 equal pieces width ways, and then into 3 equal sections long ways so that it forms equal sized cubes.
- Next, take each cube and just blot it firmly, without squishing it to get as much of the moisture out as possible.
- Then in a flat bottomed pan or wok heat a thin layer of peanut oil on high.
- When the oil is hot carefully add the tofu and let it cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until it browns on the bottom. Depending on the size of your pan, only add about Ĺ of the tofu cubes at a time so that you donít overcrowd the pan.
- Then turn them onto another side and let them cook another 2 to 3 minutes. Keep turning them and cooking them on each side for 2 to 3 minutes until all of their sides are browned.
- Then remove them and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off the excess oil. Then continue cooking the remaining tofu cubes.
- Once all of the tofu is fried itís ready to use in another recipe, or you can simply dip them in a dipping sauce or add them to a salad.