Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Crispy Tofu and Ginger Dressing with Bagged Asian Salad

You might think this is healthy, but you do not see the pool of dressing from this angle.
The wifey, the kiddo, and I have moved. Woo. Home ownership. American dream. Ra, ra, and other stuff. 

Pro: I have a kitchen that is much larger and my own. Con: this thing.

Small AND uneven heat, what is not to love?
So cooking anything beyond frozen food or three/four item recipes has been limited. But we are all moved in now (read about fifty percent of boxes are unpacked). 

Walking through the grocery the other day I decided I needed to get my mojo back with an IMPULSE PURCHASE!!! ..of tofu. Um? Behold me being risqué

14 oz block of extra firm tofu
6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) cornstarch, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
peanut oil

Ginger dressing (source):
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons prepared ginger root (not pickled)
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons honey

Store bought bag of Asian salad mix (get one with crunchies, because yum)

Remove tofu from packaging. Place between two thick layers of paper towels. Place something heavy on top. (See picture in commentary). Allow to sit for a few.

Mix salt and cornstarch.

Cube tofu to desired size. Toss in the cornstarch/salt mix (do this in two batches).

Heat peanut oil to medium-high. Add coated tofu. Rotate as sides get golden brown. Remove when browned on all sides.

Ginger dressing:
Mix all ingredients.

Microwave until warm, ie the honey is less viscous, and mix again.

Serve warm.


POUR DRESSING ON SALAD. Toss that salad.



I did the tofu in two batches of coatings and two batches of frying. The coating started to lump hence the second batch. The frying because of the size of the pan I was using.

I did some reading about cooking tofu online before hand (largely because I bought it and sat on it for a few weeks out of laziness). That is the source of the pressing of the tofu.  Apparently tofu is pretty wet. I really have no idea. I just ran with it. Although if I had literally sat on it for a few weeks, I suppose it would not have been an issue.

Because... the internet TOLD ME TO!!!
I have to admit one of the things that excited me about working with tofu was the idea I could make perfect cubes in great uniformity (I make no apology, I am an engineer damn it). Well I was let down. 

Look at this lumpy non-uniform piece of edible protein!
Make sure the dressing is stored in a container with a solid seal. I had to shake the ever lovin' bejesus out of it. Stirring/whisking just was not cutting it. 

The tofu was incredibly easy to make and is suitable for all sorts of applications. The salad dressing was a little fussy with the honey melt / general separation. Still it was very good. Plus the whole thing was pretty damn easy. I would give another go. I would consider adding some more crunchy things next time to give it a little more texture. 

I'm not the only one who wanted cubed food.

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