Last night I decided to use the Toofu (yes, Toofu- apparently the extra O stands for Organic) that I had picked up at the farmer’s market on Sunday. I looked online for some fried tofu recipes and decided to make a sweet and sour recipe with pineapple juice, ketchup, vinegar, and brown sugar, among other things. It might not be authentic Chinese food, but it’s authentically Chinese-American food, and it sounded good. I also made a recipe from a Moosewood cookbook with steamed sweet potatoes and broccoli- steaming seems to be my preferred method this month- that were marinated in a lemon olive oil vinaigrette. I followed instructions online that recommended 20 minutes steaming time for the sweet potatoes, which ended up being TOO LONG, so next time I try steaming them I will shorten the cooking time. According to Alton Brown, steaming is the ideal way to prepare sweet potatoes without making them soggy or otherwise undesirable. I steamed the broccoli for just a few minutes before blanching them. Happily, I avoided overcooking the broccoli, as overcooked broccoli is one of my least favorite things in the world. I added sliced apples, pecans, and the above mentioned vinaigrette and let the dish sit. I thought it was ok after about an hour, but better the next day. DH just plain didn’t like it. I think the idea is good, but the details of the recipe are not quite right, so I won’t be posting it here until I’ve got a better version. The sweet and sour tofu was a rousing success, and we fought (playfully) over the leftovers for lunch today. I think both this recipe and the PF Chang fried tofu recipe are good, and I wouldn’t rate one higher than the other. They’re both good, but different, fried tofu recipes. We had our meal with short grain Japanese rice, which I sprinkled with black sesame seeds today for added flavor. Overall, a delicious meal, and I will be making the tofu again. We have some leftover sauce, so I may also try it on some stir fried veggies tonight or tomorrow. Love that sweet/tart and tangy flavor! If you’re feeding little ones, they may like it with a little more sugar. So says DH and his sweet tooth, but I liked it as is. Enjoy!
Sweet and Sour Tofu
1 block firm tofu, pressed in a towel for 15 minutes and cut into desired shape- triangles, squares, etc.
Canola or Peanut Oil for frying
Sweet and Sour Sauce:
(You will have lots of extra sauce- you can half the recipe if desired)
Take pressed tofu and dust with cornstarch. Heat oil over high heat on stove (or use deep fryer). Fry tofu in batches. (too many and the heat will lower excessively, resulting in greasy tofu.) Let drain on rack or on plate with a paper towel. Reserve, keeping warm in oven on low or covering with aluminum foil etc.
Make Sweet and Sour Sauce:
Serve with rice and vegetable dish of your choice. You can mix the tofu into the sauce or serve it on the side. Very yummy!
DH loved this, and said sweet and sour sauce was his “favorite.” I liked it too. It’s not “authentic” Chinese food, but it’s tasty!