“I love tofu! But how do you make it crispy?”
I visited a friend this weekend, who loves cooking and experimenting with ingredients as much as me! The friend I was visiting, is currently studying nutrition, and having a love for food as big as mine, naturally the conversation swayed toward all kinds of foods, from fruit and veg, to beans and rice to meats and fish. That may not sound like your idea of fun, but it sure seemed so for us!
She loves tofu as well, which is a bonus. Sat in her living room, we contemplated what to have for dinner and she asked if I’d show her how to make tofu, and make it crispy. Never one to shy away from a spot of cooking and showing others how simple plant-based dishes are to make, I jumped at the chance!
Crispy tofu – to fry or not to fry?
Whenever I have made crispy tofu I’e always fried it until the crispiness appeared, however when you’re cooking for a friend who’s studying nutrition you become keen to impress them by showing you can crisp things without frying all too much.
I had a quick scout on the internet as we were perusing the aisles of Asda getting the few bits Anna didn’t have and I learnt that many people actually bake their tofu. Admittedly have never tried this but being one to take risks when cooking we decided with this one to combine a bit of frying with 10 minutes of baking (mainly because we were a little too hungry to wait for the baking to have the desired effects – spoiler: it takes longer!)
I’d say when deciding how to approach this recipe, opt for the option or combination of options that suit your requirements whether time, health or taste.
Ready-made sauces – yay or nay?
Ok, there’s something to be said about shop bought sauces. I’m talking about everything from pasta sauces to stir fry sauces. A lot of people who purchase them, and this used to include myself – think that they’re cheaper and simpler – and before you’ve got the cupboard staples, they are, but once you have them it becomes much easier and much quicker to make them and they’re far better for you.
I often think how quickly fresh ingredients can spoil when I buy them or cook them – unless I freeze them, and then think of how many of these ready-made sauces suggest “fresh” ingredients being used. With use by dates projected for months and sometimes even years into the future – how can they be fresh without extra chemicals or preservatives being added?
Admittedly embarking on the mission to create my own sauces did take a few shopping trips and kitchen experiments for me to to get right, plenty of trials and errors but if you have a commitment to saving money, saving time and making that slight step toward being a little bit kinder to your body then it’s definitely worth it!
I’m not going to pretend I don’t buy these anymore, but I’ve definitely reduced just how often I purchase them.
So onto teriyaki sauce…
I’ve never made a teriyaki sauce and neither had Anna so we opted to try something new – as always I looked at advice across various resources on the internet and found some firm consistencies – so we opted for them. It took far less preparation and time than we expected and I have to say was the tastiest teriyaki sauce I’ve ever had – honestly!
PREP TIME: 15 MINS
COOKING TIME: 30 MINS
COST: < £5
- 396g of firm tofu (Cauldron tofu is awesome and found in most supermarkets)
- A tablespoon of cornflour
- A teaspoon of ginger and cayenne pepper for seasoning
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- A tablespoon of soy sauce
- A tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil
- 1⁄4 of a cup of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (or 2 and 1⁄2 tablespoons of brown sugar)
- 1⁄3 cup of vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic (reduce to 2 if you’re not of a fan of garlic as me)
- 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon of cornflour
- For the tofu: Preheat oven to 190°C
- Grease and line baking tray with baking/greaseproof paper
- Squeeze liquid out of the tofu (we didn’t have a tofu press available so used kitchen town and two heavy plates)
- Cut tofu into cubes and place in a bowl with seasoning, soy sauce and stir to coat the tofu
- Dust the tofu with the cornflour
- Heat coconut oil in a pan (frying pan or wok) over medium heat and add the tofu – fry for 10 minutes
- For the sauce: While the tofu is frying combine all of the teriyaki sauce ingredients except the oil into a bowl and whisk
- For the tofu: Once the 10 minutes has passed drain the tofu and lay onto the baking/greaseproof paper and bake for 10 minutes
- For the sauce: While the tofu is baking heat the coconut oil and warm the the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a frying pan or wok over medium heat (don’t have it too hot otherwise sauce will thicken too fast!)
- Keep stirring while on the heat using a spatula it should start to darken in colour and thicken
- Once the tofu has baked for 10 minutes, remove for the oven and add the cubes to the sauce and keep stirring until thicken sauce coats the tofu
- Serve with stir fried veg, rice, udon noodles or rice noodles
Tried this recipe? Let me know how it turned out.