Tofu: do you love it or hate it? I’m definitely a lover. Sometimes, when I’m prepping up a block, I’ll sneak a bite or two, of cold, unadorned tofu. I’m probably one of the few people in the world who likes to do that, but there’s just something about tofu in it’s pure state that is so incredibly satisfying to me. Soft/silken tofu, block tofu, egg tofu, tofu puffs, dry tofu, there are so many types of tofu in the world and I love them all!
If you aren’t a fan of tofu, it’s probably because you haven’t had it prepared correctly. For some reason, in North America tofu has this weird insecurity complex where it goes around pretending to be something else. Oh Tofu, what are you thinking? Obvs if you go around pretending to be turkey someone’s going to realize you’re not the real thing and call you out on it! If you just come to the plate as tofu, everyone’s going to LOVE you.
Sure, it sounds like I’m giving tofu some cheesy self-help, love yourself just the way you are advice, but the thing is: it’s true. When you pretend to be something you aren’t, you end up feeling guilty or inadequate. Do the people love the real tofu or do they just love tofu dressed up as turkey? If only you let your real soy bean self shine through. I can pretty much guarantee that someone will end up loving you as you, quirks and all.
Seriously though, tofu is one of the most versatile ingredients out there. I don’t have many tofu recipes on the blog because it’s just a part of my life. Tofu should be part of your life too! If you’ve never tried tofu or you want to give tofu another chance, this is the recipe for you. Crispy and crunch on the outside, creamy and smooth on the inside, with a delectable sriracha honey lime sauce (same as the sauce I put on chicken), this tofu is a winner, no pretending needed.
Spicy Crispy Tofu Recipe
makes 8 pieces
- 1 block tofu (I prefer medium, not firm)
- 1 cup potato starch
- oil for deep frying
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- sliced green onions, for garnish
Drain your tofu and cut it into 8 even pieces. Place a couple of paper towels down on a plate or cutting board and lay out your tofu. Place a couple of paper towels on top. They idea is that you’re drying it out slightly – you’re not pressing it, just removing some excess moisture. Pressing removes most of the moisture from tofu, which is NOT what we want here. Leave it a bit moist, this ensures a soft and creamy tofu interior that will contrast with the crunchy potato starch coating.
Spread your potato starch out in a shallow dish and coat each piece of tofu, ensuring that there are no bare spots.
In a cast iron pan, heat up a bit of oil over medium high heat. You don’t need a bunch of oil here, just maybe about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons. When the oil is hot and shimmery (you can test it with an uncoated wooden chopstick – when the oil is hot bubbles will form around the chopstick), add the coated pieces of tofu and cook until golden brown and crispy. Time wise, this can vary, but tofu is quite forgiving as it doesn’t brown easily. When one side is brown, flip it over and repeat. Rest tofu on a wire rack (this ensures crispiness) while you make your sauce.
In a small sauce pan, heat up the sriracha, honey and lime juice over medium high heat until slightly reduced and glossy. Drizzle over the tofu pieces and top with sliced green onions. Enjoy immediately!
Notes: A lot of tofu recipes call for marination, but I prefer to cook my tofu plain and add sauce later. That way the flavour of the tofu (and yes, tofu has a flavour) isn’t marred.
The tofu I used for this is block tofu, not silken.
You can find potato starch in most Asian grocery stores. Potato starch has a bubbly, extra crunchy texture when deep-fried. You can substitute cornstarch, but it won’t have the same crunch factor.
Love tofu? Check out my Mapo Tofu Waffle Recipe!