Restaurant quality crispy tofu is as close as your stovetop! Here's how you do it:
First, drain and remove all of the water from the tofu. Second, use a cast iron pan for cooking the tofu, nothing works better. And third, make sure your oil is hot enough before you add the tofu. The tofu should sizzle when it hits the pan. And last but not least, let the tofu brown before you try to turn it. A good rule, if it sticks to the pan, it's not quite ready to turn.
1 pound extra firm organic tofu
3 to 4 tablespoons canola or peanut oil
2 tablespoons corn starch
pinch of salt
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Use a tofu press to remove the water from the tofu or wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel or several layers of paper towels, then place the tofu in between 2 large dinner plates weighing down the top plate with a heavy pot or 2 to 3 cans of vegetables. Allow the tofu to sit for 8 to 10 minutes to release all its liquid.
Next, slice the tofu into 1-inch thick pieces, then cut each piece into 1-inch cubes. Add the corn starch, salt, and cayenne pepper to a baggy or bowl, and add the tofu. Toss to coat evenly. Set the tofu aside.
Preheat your skillet (either non-stick or cast iron) over medium-high heat for about 1 minute, then add the oil. Carefully add the tofu to the pan without crowding them. The tofu should sizzle when it hits the pan.
IMPORTANT: Do not disturb the tofu! Let the tofu cook undisturbed for approximately 2 to 3 minutes before turning. When you see a golden crust begin to form along the bottom sides of the tofu, turn them. Continue the process until all of the tofu is cooked to a crispy golden brown. Add additional oil to the pan as needed.
Remove the tofu and place them on paper towels to drain.
Asian Barbecue Sauce
1 cup of soy sauce
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons crushed garlic
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (like Sriracha)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cool water
Stir the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, vinegar, chili sauce, ginger, and sesame oil together in a small saucepan; bring to boil.
Whisk cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch dissolves. Pour into boiling soy sauce mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before serving,
Plate or skewer the tofu. Ladle the sauce over the top, or serve as a dipping sauce. Garnish tofu with sesame seeds if desired.
Refrigerate any leftovers.