July 21, 2010

Crispy Tofu.... with Spicy Thai Vegetables

Okay, it's time to be totally honest about last night's dinner. There were parts that I absolutely loved, and there were parts that were forgettable. As in, the recipe card went straight into the garbage afterward.
So, for the sake of focusing on the good, let's separate the two. 

May I present to you my favorite part of last night's dinner: Crispy Tofu

What a fantastic surprise! Tofu that is crunchy, crispy, and slightly spicy. Each little nugget is entirely good enough to eat on it's own. I would happily serve these on a platter, poked with little toothpicks at a party and accompanied by a delicious plum or sweet and sour sauce for dipping.

What we have is cubed firm tofu tossed in a coating of yellow cornmeal, sesame seeds, and cayenne pepper, then gently pan-fried. A tofu treat, sans fat, oil, and a frying pan. In my tofu dreams (in other words, next time I make these) I will substitute the sesame seeds for sweet coconut flakes and have coconut encrusted crunchy tofu. Yummmmmm. 

Now, may I present to you the forgettable element of dinner: Spicy thai vegetables served over rice

I know that I am being far too harsh on these poor vegetables. It isn't their fault that they were included in a recipe not worthy of keeping, and to be fair they were actually somewhat delicious. But their crispy tofu counterpart simply deserved better. I ended up eating the tofu first, then mixing the veggies and rice together afterward. 

Needless to say, either element of this dinner is worth making... on its own. So I'll separate out the recipes below and let you take your pick. Happy stir frying!
Crispy Tofu: (serves 2)
1/2 lb. firm or extra firm organic tofu
1/8 cup yellow cornmeal
2 T. cayenne pepper
3 T. sesame seeds
oil for pan frying

Drain and press the tofu to remove the water. Cut the tofu into 1" cubes. In a separate bowl combine the next three ingredients, then toss the cubed tofu in the bowl to coat thoroughly. Heat 1 T. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the pan is hot, place the tofu down and allow to brown on each side for a few minutes, turning over gently on each side. Serve with dipping sauce or on top of noodles.

Spicy Thai Vegetables:

1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
Frozen stir fry vegetable blend, defrosted
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon (or more) hot chili oil
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup brown basmati rice, cooked
1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves

Heat oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute then remove. Add the stir fry vegetables, then the next six ingredients. Stir fry until heated through and the sauce thickens. Stir in the basil, season with salt and pepper, then serve over rice and top with the peanuts. 


  1. Hi I'm new to your blog. Crispy tofu sounds great. I have bookmarked the recipe so I will be trying it!

  2. I hope you enjoy it, it's different, but a fun spin on tofu!



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