This meatless Monday we’re keeping things easy with this recipe for lightly crisped tofu doused in traditional tangy sweet and sour sauce! It’s perfect served over rice or with tender Chinese steamed eggplant or bok choy.
Crispy Tofu with Sweet and Sour Sauce Recipe
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Sweet and Sour Sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon fresh grated ginger
¼ teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
½ cup water
½ cup agave nectar
2 Tbsps tomato paste
2 Tbsps low-sodium soy sauce
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Tofu and Batter:
1 brick of medium firm tofu (or firm tofu)
3 cups vegetable oil for frying
1 cup brown rice flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup cold soda water
Drain the brick of tofu from the packaging water and cut into bite size cubes. Allow the cubes to sit on a clean tea towel or paper towel to get rid of excess water while you prepare the sauce.
To make the sauce mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil over medium-low heat. Add minced garlic, ginger, and chili pepper flakes. Stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant, being careful not to burn the garlic or ginger.
Add in remaining sauce ingredients and whisk together over medium heat until just bubbling. Then whisk in the cornstarch and water mixture. Whisk frequently for 10 to 12 minutes until slightly thickened and reduced. Remove from the heat and set aside while you prepare the crispy tofu.
Heat 3 cups of vegetable oil in a medium sized pot to 375°F.
Prepare the batter by combining rice flour, cornstarch, sea salt, garlic powder, and ground pepper together in a mixing bowl. Do not add the cold soda water until your frying oil is ready.
When you’re ready to fry, stir in soda water to the flour mixture and combine well.
Using your hands coat 3 to 4 cubes of tofu and drop each one in the frying oil delicately. Fry for 2 to 2 ½ minutes. If some stick together you can gently separate them in the frying oil with a slotted fryer spoon. Remove crispy tofu from the oil with the slotted spoon and let them sit on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Continue this process with remaining tofu cubes.
Heat up the sauce again if needed. In 2 to 3 batches you can coat the crispy tofu with sauce by adding some sauce to a large bowl and tossing crispy tofu cubes until coated evenly. Serve over rice or vegetables.