Not going to lie, it took me a while to realize how delicious and versatile tofu can be. I would always see it as an ingredient for vegan recipes from sour cream replacements, to ricotta filling to just a simple meat replacement and always wondered if it was actually good. Once I started to do enough research, I realized tofu can definitely be DELICIOUS. I started testing a bunch of different recipes. I definitely failed a few times but this recipe never disappoints and has become a weekly menu item.
Crispy Asian Style Tofu (2-3 servings)
1 Block of extra firm tofu*
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
3 tablespoons of sesame oil
1 tablespoon of five spice
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
3 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of sriracha
1-2 teaspoons of sesame seeds (topping)
Chopped spring onion (topping)
Remove your tofu from its packaging and slice lengthwise in half. Press the tofu for a minimum of 30 minutes.** Preheat the oven to 425 F and prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, mix the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, five spice, sriracha, the juice of one lime and one tablespoon of sesame oil, then set aside. Once the tofu has been pressed, cut up the block into bite sized cubes. In a medium sized bowl, toss the remainder of the sesame oil and cornstarch with the tofu until each piece of tofu is well covered (this is what makes it crispy!!!)
Place the cornstarch and oil covered tofu cubes on the baking sheet, make sure they are all spaced out and laying flat on the baking sheet. Bake the tofu for 25-30 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
In a large pan, add your sauce mix and let it reduce on medium heat for 3-5 minutes (you can add water if you find you need more sauce, the sauce will thicken quickly once the tofu is added). Once you are content with the reduction, add in the baked tofu cubes and stir gently on medium-low heat until fully incorporated.
Serve with rice and veggies with a sprinkle of sesame seeds and spring onion.
*It is super important to use extra-firm tofu because that’s what helps the tofu have a meatier, crispier texture!
**Place the two tofu blocks on a cutting board enveloped in a tea towel and place another cutting board on top. Place something heavy (I often use recipe books) on top of the second cutting board to press the tofu down evenly.