My thoughts about tofu up until this meal have been just… “meh.” Not anymore! I’ve totally converted from “meh” to “ican’tstopeatingthis.”
This method of frying the tofu is super easy and really, REALLY yummy. Paired with a simple and scrumptious 10-minute fried rice (yep… 10 minutes!!!), this meal is hearty, delicious, easy to make, and really healthy.
Reading: how to make tofu fried rice
The biggest key to cooking tofu properly: dry it out. Simply slice the tofu into the sizes you want to cook, and lay it out flat on a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and cover with another paper towel, and let sit for about 10 minutes- the salt and towels will draw out much of the moisture, making it easier to brown. (You can do your prep for the fried rice while you’re waiting for the tofu!)
At this point you can bake it or saute it as is. I wanted extra crispy tofu, however, so I coated the pieces with a thin layer of cornstarch before frying (a lot of fried asian foods are coated in cornstarch rather than flour or bread crumbs). Just put a few tablespoons of cornstarch in a bowl with salt and pepper, add the tofu, and shake around to coat.
Another trick: it’s best to use a cast iron skillet for frying the tofu. With a natural non-stick surface created by layers of oil, it makes it ideal for frying delicate foods like tofu (using a non-stick skillet for frying isn’t ideal, since the oil gets so hot it can damage the Teflon surface). Don’t have one? You should seriously consider purchasing one- it’s my favorite thing in my kitchen! The tofu will fry easily in a thin layer of olive oil, browning on each side for 2-4 minutes. It’s a cinch.
Once the tofu is done cooking, the DELICIOUS fried rice comes together super quickly in the same skillet. (This part of the recipe is adapted from Pinch of Yum- one of my favorite blogs. Go check it out!) The thing that sets this fried rice apart from others? The chopped fresh basil and scallions. So fresh, and so tasty.
Hey, if you want to forgo this whole “frying tofu” thing all together and just make the fried rice for dinner, I hear you. That’s what I did the first time I made it! (just add a couple more eggs and call it a day). But seriously, the tofu is super tasty. And it makes the meal so much more hearty and satisfying. Even with frying the tofu, this whole meal only takes about 30 minutes to make. Not too shabby!
One final thing: top this off with Sriracha sauce. You won’t regret it. YUM!!!