Ever noticed how one ‘aspect’ is ‘compromised’ in order to gain another ‘point’ or ‘aspect’? A speeding vehicle may assist you in reaching your destination early but….the mileage is reduced. Ahem…one line dad says each time we hop into the car for a long drive, besides a few .…no plenty more.
For an instant gratification, a quick bite at a fast food place may satisfy your hunger for a while. But does it guarantee a healthy meal?While pondering on this thought last week I remembered this simple, quick recipe I had come across and had bookmarked to try.  What made me delay in trying this out was the fact that it hardly had many ingredients, flavorful, fiery ones that is. We are so used to eating spiced-up dishes or foods loaded with herbs or sauces. In this only sesame is used to lend flavor and taste!
Curiosity and the interesting way to cook tofu then made me eager to try it out. And off I went to get a packet of tofu and try this delicious Japanese appetizer. And we at home were NOT disappointed with the results. In fact it tasted GOOD and falls in cannot-have just-one category!! This fried tofu can be served as an appetizer with a hot, sweet & sour Asian flavored sauce or with an array of different sauces. Goes well when served along side with soups too.
The nuttiness from the sesame comes through well against the crunchiness of the cornflakes. The sesame is the one ingredient whose flavor is dominant in this dish. I added lesser of the plain flour than required in the recipe. Next I would probably try with just the cornflour to see how well the batter coats the tofu. If it works out fine then I can do away with the flour all together.
This starter is healthy and easy with just a handful of ingredients used, but that does not mean the taste is compromised!

What is Tofu?

Tofu or bean curd is a soft cheese – like food (like our Indian cottage cheese) made by coagulating soya milk. The resulting curd is pressed to get soft white blocks. They are rather bland to taste and they easily absorb the flavors of other ingredients.

They are commonly used in South East Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese,  Vietnamese, Indonesian.


Types of Tofu

Tofu varieties include firm tofu, soft tofu, silken tofu.

Firm tofu is dense and can be cubed and used to grill, fry, bake, scrambled. Soft tofu is ideal in dished requiring tofu to be blended. Silken tofu have creamy texture and are also used for blending.

For more on tofu varieties, click here.


Benefits of Tofu

As they are made from soy beans, tofu is rich in protein, vitamins and minerals. They are also low in calories and are vegan. They are cholestrol – free.

For more on healthy benefits of tofu and some concerns, click here.




Crispy Sesame Fried Tofu

Japanese starter, tofu coated with sesame and cornflakes

  • Tofu (drained well – 12 pieces of 2”x 1”)
  • Oil to shallow fry

For the batter

  • Plain Flour/ Maida – ½ cup
  • Cornflour – 2 tbsp
  • Baking Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Black Pepper powder – to taste
  • Salt – to taste

For crispy coating

  • Crushed cornflakes (crush till almost fine – ½ cup or as needed to coat)
  • Black sesame seeds – 1 to 2 tbsp

For garnish (optional)

  • Spring onion greens

To serve

  • Sweet Chilli Sauce or
  • Sweet (Sour and Hot Sauce or)
  • Chilli jam
  1. Take tofu block and put it in a bowl of hot water for 3 to 4 mins (not more). Drain well. You can keep this tofu in a muslin cloth and put it between two wooden blocks for few minutes to drain well as tofu contains large quantities of water. Cut into cubes.
  2. In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the batter. Add enough water to make a thick batter.
  3. In another shallow bowl/plate combine the crushed cornflakes (crush with hands) and the sesame seeds. Mix lightly.
  4. Dip the tofu cubes in the batter, roll in the cornflakes mixture and shallow fry in hot oil. Fry on all sides till they turn golden brown.
  5. Garnish and serve hot.
  6. Now wasn`t that easy??!

You may use white sesame seeds instead of black.But if you do get hold of the black ones, do add it for an authentic Japanese flavor.
Soaking tofu in hot water will help to remove impurities if any and soften them enough to absorb the flavors of the other ingredients well.


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