Health-conscious people everywhere are in love with the nutritional benefits of tofu because it's a protein-packed plant-based food – but they also acknowledge it has texture and flavor drawbacks. So when you can find recipes like crispy tofu bites that overcome the texture and flavor issues, it's a winner. Next time you shop for online Asian groceries, consider stocking up the ingredients you'll need to make this crispy, tasty snack at home. The trick is to prepare the tofu in a way that makes it crispy on the outside and tender on the inside – and ideally glazed in a savory-sweet sauce for a delicious flavor.
When you're looking for make-at-home tofu snack recipes, keep an eye out for those with tips and tricks from professional chefs to make them better. For example, you want to dry the tofu's surface by draining, salting, and patting it with paper towels to make it easier to crisp. You also want to deep fry it at very high temperatures to make the outside super crisp. Glazing it with sauce right as it comes out of the pan helps it absorb flavor without going soggy. A sauce that includes ginger, garlic, and black pepper might be one your family loves the most. You might even serve it to health-conscious guests.
When you go shopping, you'll quickly see that tofu comes in many sizes, shapes, and textures. In general, chefs advise that you want a specific type of tofu for crisping. Medium-firm is preferred for crisping up, and if you see it on a product label, it might be one to try if you can find it. For snack and appetizer recipes, you'll be cutting the tofu into small cube-shaped pieces. Then coat every said with salt to draw out moisture while you make your sweet-savory sauce. It's likely going to include soy sauce, aromatics like ginger and garlic, and black pepper. Perhaps you'll also add mirin to bring out more flavor.
Deep frying tofu in small bite-size pieces requires about two inches of oil in a heavy pot with a cooking temperature of about 360 degrees F. It's usually wise to pat the tofu pieces dry with paper towels before dropping them into the oil – always use tongs. You'll be frying the cubes for five to six minutes, watching closely to see when it's brown and no longer sticking to the pot. Then turn it until it is fried to a golden brown on all sides. Once it's done, transfer the cubes to a bowl with the sauce and sprinkle them with sesame seeds. After that, toss everything together and top with more seeds, pepper, and scallions. Top of Form