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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Đậu Hũ Chiên Giòn (Crispy Fried Tofu)


It's hard to cook, capture pictures, and blog during this time of the year. The gloomy, cold, windy, rainy weather and moody lighting make it difficult to capture good food photos especially when the phone's camera is the only tool I use. 

This crispy fried tofu is simple and yet tasty to have as an appetizer. The bite-size fried tofu has a natural sweetness and tender center; the beautiful golden brown skin is full of hearty savory notes.

Firm tofu is best for frying as holds its shape and browns better than other varieties.  There are many brands and types of tofu in the market but not all tofu are created equally. When making fry tofu, I would make a trip to a local tofu store Thanh Son Hien Khanh on Stockton Blvd or Otto's Market on Freeport Blvd to buy their fresh daily made tofu. If you can't find a local product, the next best bet is buying packaged tofu with the farthest expiration date.
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RECIPE: Crispy Fried Tofu

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Ingredients


1 block FirmTofu
Salt
Water
1 teaspoon Chicken Bouillon Powder
or
1 teaspoon Vegetable Bouillon
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon minced Garlic
or
1-2 Shallots, thinly sliced
2 stalks Scallion, finely cut
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Vegetable or Canola Oil, for deep frying
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Directions
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Preparing Tofu


Slice tofu into bite size cubes. In a bowl, add water and just enough salt to create a salty water bath. Soak sliced tofu in a bath of salty water and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes. Using this method draws out the moisture and add seasonings, resulting in a better crust and texture.


The next step is removing excess moisture content in the tofu.  Lay tofu slices on a couple layers of paper towel or a kitchen towel. Then, add another paper towel or kitchen towel (doubled over) on top and gently press out the excess water, until the paper towel is no longer drawing out much water. 
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Preparing Scallion Sauce


Put about a tablespoon of olive oil and garlic or shallot in a sauce pan over medium-low heat until the garlic or shallot begins to turn pale gold. Turn off the heat. Continue stirring until the color deepens.
In the picture, I mixed all the sauce's ingredients together and the crispy garlic lost its crispiness.  So be sure to remove garlic or shallot from the oil and set aside.  Add chicken bouillon powder, and sugar in the hot oil and mix well.  Let the oil cool down for a little bit then add scallion (scallion will wilt if added too soon.)
I played around with this sauce recipe a couple times before I figured out I liked the crispy shallot over the crispy garlic.  
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Deep Frying Tofu


Heat oil for deep frying in small saucepan on high (oil should fill pan to at least 2 inches). To test if your oil is hot enough, dip the tip of a chopstick  into the oil.  If it begins to sizzle then the oil is ready for frying.  

Blot dry tofu with a clean dish or paper towel to avoid splattering.  Carefully add the tofu to the pan. Don’t crowd the pan. Let it cook, flipping the tofu occasionally to prevent tofu from sticking to pan and also to ensure that all sides of the tofu are golden brown.

fresh daily made tofu

organic tofu from Costco

Transfer the tofu to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

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Presentation


Transfer tofu to a serving plate. Drizzle the scallion  and sprinkle crispy shallot or garlic sauce over the tofu. My little one loves seaweed, so I topped tofu with shredded seaweed.


Serve while it's still warm and crispy.
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Eat well.  Stay hungry.

2 comments:

  1. I love fried tofu! Thank you for the tip. One question please, after soaking the tofu in salted water, do we need to rinse it before draining it on a towel?

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    Replies
    1. You don't need to rinse it before draining it on a towel.

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