For those who’re a tofu fan, you’ll have observed an unlucky dichotomy: These golden, crispy-on-the-outside, just-squidgy-enough-on-the-inside items you get in a bowl, stir-fry, or sandwich from a restaurant at all times hit the spot. However once you attempt to recreate these dishes at dwelling, you’re left with tender, soggy squares—until you propose on turning your kitchen right into a deep fryer.
That was the dilemma confronted by chef Jenny Rosenstrach, writer of The Weekday Vegetarians and creator of the weblog Dinner: A Love Story, when she began cooking tofu at dwelling and was getting solely so-so outcomes. Certain, she’d get an ideal final result when she lined tofu with cornstarch and fried it in oil, however that become a prolonged (and messy) course of that wasn’t precisely conducive to straightforward weeknight dinners.
So when she determined to get severe about incorporating extra meatless meals into her household’s food regimen, she knew it was time to search out a straightforward, go-to prep methodology that tasted nice and was straightforward sufficient to throw collectively after work.
And after some experimentation, she discovered the answer: Roasting.
By roasting the tofu—and incorporating just a few essential steps pre-bake—Rosenstrach discovered that it’s potential to get DIY crispy, scrumptious tofu at dwelling with out a whole vat of sizzling oil. Right here, she shares what she’s discovered so you are able to do the identical.
Step 1: Get the correct of tofu.
You are searching for agency or additional agency tofu, nothing else. Each agency and additional agency tofu comprise much less moisture than tender or silken tofu, so it’s going to maintain its form once you slice it and tackle a satisfying crust once you bake it.
“I take advantage of agency as a result of I wish to have a bit of bit squish to get that distinction between crispy exterior and tender inside,” Rosenstrach tells SELF. However in order for you the tofu to be a bit of denser (nearly nearer to meat), go for additional agency. Attempt Wildwood Natural Agency or Additional Agency Tofu ($4, Instacart).
Step 2: Press the tofu.
Agency or additional agency tofu have already got much less liquid than their tender or silken counterparts. However you may up the crisp issue by urgent out much more of the moisture. This may be fairly fast. “Urgent for half-hour is finest, however 10 minutes is nice,” Rosenstrach says.
Slice the block of tofu into thirds horizontally, place the thirds on a paper towel-lined plate, and layer one other paper towel on high. Prime the paper towel with one thing heavy and flat, like a skillet or sauté pan crammed with just a few cans of beans. (It’d flatten the tofu a bit of, however that’s okay.) The load will press extra water out of the tofu, and the paper towels will sop it up.
Step 3: Toss the tofu with just a few crispifying elements.
After the three slices of tofu have been pressed, reduce the slices into cubes. Intention for roughly 1-inch items, however you do not have to be tremendous exact about it. Switch the cubes to a bowl. Then add 3 tablespoons of olive or canola oil, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to the bowl. Toss the tofu with the opposite elements gently (use a spatula or your arms) so all the items are nicely coated.