These tofu bites are so crunchy, you might need earplugs to eat them! The possibilities are endless. Add them to a salad, include them in a sandwich, try them in spring rolls, experience them in tacos, or devour them à la carte as a tasty snack. Irresistibly crispy and crunchy, tangy and spicy, and with a tender and almost creamy interior, these addictive bites will convert even the most staunch tofu skeptic into a faithful devotee, proving just how far this versatile, unassuming white block can go…
The Crispiest Tofu [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1/4 cup liquid aminos (see note)
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
- Zest from 1 lime
- Juice from 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
- 3 medium garlic cloves, crushed or finely minced
- 2 teaspoons berbere (see note)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or chili garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 12-ounces extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups corn starch
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- Vegetable oil, for sautéing
- In a medium bowl, combine the liquid aminos, tamari, vinegar, oil, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, berbere, ginger, turmeric, sriracha, and maple syrup, and whisk to combine.
- Place the tofu in a small baking dish or shallow bowl, so the pieces lay flat in one layer. Pour the marinade over the tofu, and gently toss to coat the tofu evenly. Let rest for one hour to infuse the flavor. If the tofu is not fully submerged in the marinade, toss it occasionally to redistribute the pieces.
- Place the cornstarch in a medium bowl, and whisk in the garlic powder. Also get out a large plate, big enough to lay out all the tofu. Take a piece of tofu out of the marinade, and place it in the cornstarch, rolling it around until all sides are completely coated. Place it on the plate to dry while you repeat with the remaining tofu pieces, laying them in a single layer. Once they are all coated, let them rest for a few minutes to set. Reserve the marinade to use as a dipping sauce, if desired.
- Line a large plate with paper towels, and put it near the stove. Place a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, and pour in enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom in a layer about 1/8-inch deep. When hot, add the tofu in a single layer and do not stir. Let them cook on one side until deeply browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Then flip the pieces and cook for an additional 4 to 6 minutes, until the opposite side is also browned. Use tongs to gently toss the tofu—be careful not to spatter the hot oil—and continue cooking until the tofu is evenly browned on all sides to your liking, another 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully transfer the sizzling tofu to the paper-towel-lined plate, placing them in a single layer, allowing the oil to drain. Serve hot with the marinade as a dipping sauce if desired, and enjoy!
Braggs Liquid Aminos are available online, or in many grocery stores. If you cannot find it, substitute an equal amount of tamari. Tamari is Japanese soy sauce that contains no wheat, and has a richer flavor with less of a harsh saltiness. It is commonly sold in stores right next to the soy sauce, but if you cannot find it, substitute an equal amount of soy sauce. Note that this will make the recipe no longer gluten-free. Berbere is an aromatic Ethiopian spice blend. It can be found online, or in grocery stores. Adapted from Emma K. Morris