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
- Sweet Chilli Sauce or
- Sweet (Sour and Hot Sauce or)
- Chilli jam
- 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.
- In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the batter. Add enough water to make a thick batter.
- In another shallow bowl/plate combine the crushed cornflakes (crush with hands) and the sesame seeds. Mix lightly.
- 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.
- Garnish and serve hot.
- 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.