Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sweet and Sour Tofu

This is one of my favorite dinners, crispy tofu, veggies, and an Asian style sauce. I had been wanting to try a sweet and sour sauce with pineapple and found this easy sauce recipe and thought I'd give it a try. I doubled the sauce recipe since I was planning on making a big batch with a ton of extra carrots I had in the fridge.

You guys know I have lots of small kitchen appliances, some that I use only once a year (Christmas pizzelle maker), some I use about once a month (panini press), and there are a few I use almost every day. The salad shooter is one I use almost every day. I feel kind of dorky talking about a salad shooter, but seriously, it does an awesome job shredding cheese and slicing veggies. Much better than my 14 cup food processor that I bought the extra slicing disc for which did not impress. The salad shooter is the best for shredding and slicing if you ask me. There are veggies you can't do in the shooter, like celery -- but being able to shred and slice carrots, potatoes, and apples with the salad shooter make it a very useful kitchen tool.

Anyway, I had a bag of baby carrots to use up and also about 4 small stalks of celery. Saute those in olive oil and a little bit of soy sauce until they are 'crisp tender.'

On to the tofu which is a bit of work but totally worth it in the end. Start with one block of extra firm tofu, slice it into rectangles, about 1/2 - 3/4 inch thick, then slice those into triangles. Press them with paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible.

Put about 1 cup of cornstarch on a bowl, it makes a wonderful crispy coating for the tofu when fried. Toss the tofu triangles into the cornstarch and shake and stir them around being careful not to break up the tofu. You will have to do this in a few different batches.

Remove the coated tofu into a colander and shake off the excess cornstarch back into the cornstarch bowl. Then deep fry them for about 3 minutes.

You can let them drain in the fry basket and the fry them again (double fry) for another minute to get them extra crispy. They will still be pretty pale but might have a few golden brown spots. They do not get really brown. Let them cool on a paper towel lined plate.

While the tofu are cooling stir in one drained (reserve the juice for something else) 15 ounce can of pineapple tidbits (you could use chunks but I like the smaller tidbits) into the pan of veggies. Bring to medium high heat and while stirring add in about 1 cup of vegetable broth and the doubled Sweet and Sour Sauce mixture stir it all together and let it bubble and thicken, if it gets too thick add a little extra vegetable broth until you get a nice saucy dish, remember you want enough sauce to go with the tofu and over rice as well.

Stir the fried tofu in and serve immediately over your favorite rice (I like jasmine). If you are not serving this all at once I would not add the tofu until just before serving.

I am such a huge tofu fan and just love this dish. The kids like it too since it has pineapple and that sweet sour flavor keeps their taste buds entertained. I know that deep frying tofu is not the healthiest (or healthy at all) way to serve tofu but it is so delicious and gives the tofu such a wonderful crispy outer texture.

Check back tomorrow for some delicious Coconut Curry Eggplant with Cashews for Tyler Florence Fridays :)


Maria said...

I can't wait to try this!! We have a deep fryer, but I try to not let my husband use it:) But maybe I will let him get it out for this one!

Flourchild said...

Looks great!

Natashya said...

I love sweet and sour, but have not made it at home much - I will definitely give this a try for my daughter, I think she will really like it.
ps, what brand of salad shooter do you have? Cuisinart?

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