Crispy Tofu with Asian Barbecue Sauce

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Main Dish

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, ensure your oil is hot enough before adding 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; is if it sticks to the pan, it's not quite ready to turn.

Crispy Tofu

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 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, remove the tofu from the bag, and set it aside.

Preheat your skillet (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 form along the bottom sides of the tofu, it's time to turn them. Continue the process, cooking the tofu to a crispy golden brown on all sides and adding additional oil to the pan as needed.

Remove the tofu to a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.

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

Mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, vinegar, chili sauce, ginger, and sesame oil 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. Using a spoon, drizzle the sauce over the top, or serve in a small separate dish as a dipping sauce. To finish, sprinkle the tofu with sesame seeds if desired.

This tofu is at its best right after it's cooked, so we suggest enjoying it immediately. However, you can refrigerate any leftovers in an airtight container and enjoy them within 2 to 3 days.