Cooking tofu for vegetarians will not be a big issue as most vegetarian products are soy based and they may easily adjust to the taste. But inculcating this product in a regular diet for a non-vegetarian is little challenging. Unless prepared fancy or crypt-ed its going to be pushed to the side of the plate. My first attempt ”Chili Tofu” was quite successful, our guest Mr.Tofu enjoyed quite a bit of hospitality.
Tofu Chilli / Chilli Tofu / Indo-Chinese Tofu Stir-fry /Tofu Saute / Tofu Curry / Tofu Pan Stir -fry / Firm Tofu
|30 nos||Tofu cubes|
|1 no||Green bell pepper|
|1 no||Red bell pepper|
|½ tsp||Ginger (minced)|
|½ tsp||Garlic (minced)|
|1 tsp||Soy sauce|
|2 tsp||Red chili sauce|
|2 tsp||Green chili sauce|
|3 nos||Green chili (slit open )|
|½ tsp||Salt (or to taste)|
|4 stks||Green onions (finely chopped)|
|1 tsp||Soy sauce|
|4 drop||Rice vinegar|
|¼ tsp||Black pepper powder|
|1 tsp||Ginger and garlic (finely minced)|
|3 tbsp||Oil (for shallow frying)|
How to select Tofu: This product comes in variety of consistency. Firm, extra firm, silken and much more. For any stir-fry dishes, firm or extra firm will work well and they will tend to stay as cubed without breaking much. Silken soft variety is used for pastries, baking , thickening soups and gravies. These are usually easily available in most grocery markets, packed in the form of bricks or mini blocks in freezer section.
Once the box is opened, you can see little blocks of tofu stored in water, take whats necessary and store the rest tightly sealed in the inner most part of your refrigerator. They usually stay good for 5 to 6 days. You may have to change the water every 2 days. Normally every box will be packed with 80 to 90 tiny ones, I used half the box. Place them on a paper towel to drain all the water content.
This is how they look… almost like our paneer cubes but tasteless. Tofu are kind of porous and they tend to suck all flavour in which its incorporated. So a better way to cook them is by deep frying / shallow frying or dry frying and then marinating. This way the outer skin tend to stay firm and inner portion will be soft and flavourful. Adding them plain without any frying and marination will also work but will taste bland.
Shallow fry them in a small pan with oil until the skin turns light brown.
My Indo-Chinese marinade (table-2) with soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger garlic, sugar and black pepper powder is all set for the fried tofu to take a dip. Once fried, drop them in the sauce and you will be surprised to see those thirsty porous tofu blocks absorbing the moisture. Let them bathe for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile chop your veggies and start heating a frying pan with little oil. Add the onions, green chilies, bell peppers, ginger, garlic and toss for few minutes over medium flame. Add the marinated tofu with leftover sauce and start adding soy sauce, red chili sauce, green chili sauce and salt. Toss until it becomes dry and garnish with green onions. Adding more of sauce will yield slightly chunky style gravy. Mine is prepared as a dry item, suits for chapati, tortilla roll ups, filling for pita pockets or as an appetizer for any Indo-Chinese style menu.
Rice vinegar is optional you may also use few drops of regular white vinegar or lime juice.
Yield: 3 adult servings.
Red and Green Chili sauce Chings products are being used for this recipe, which is usually availble in most Indian Stores.