Fool Proof Pan Fried Tofu & Perfect Teriyaki Sauce
Tofu can be tricky when you first start to experiment with it. But when you learn a few basics, tofu can become a staple in your kitchen. I have perfected a pan frying method to get golden brown crispy tofu that never fails.
This post is more to share a technique than to share a specific recipe. So serve this tofu with any sauce, vegetable, and grain you have on hand. I chose a teriyaki that bubbles in the pan with the tofu and ends up lightly caramelizing the tofu. YUM!
Follow these three guidelines, and your bland tofu days will be over!
FIRST- when dealing with tofu, it is important to press it for an extended amount of time in order to get the excess water (and therefore the watery, yucky texture) out of the tofu.
1- Wrap the tofu in paper towel (to keep fuzzy bits of kitchen towel from sticking to it)
2- Wrap in a kitchen towel (to absorb all the excess water)
3- Put something heavy on top. I use a large skillet, but anything will do.
4- WAIT… for at least 20 minutes. But you can start it pressing in the morning and let is go all day. You can press it in the fridge so that it is ready for you to cook with in the evening.
SECOND- Cook the tofu on high heat in a seriously non-stick pan.
1- Get a skillet, frying pan, or wok preheating over high heat.
2- Cut the tofu into whatever size pieces work for the dish you are creating.
3- Add oil to the pan. Vegetable oil is best since it does not easily burn.
4- Wait for the oil to heat up. When you add the tofu it should immediately sizzle.
5- Brown on each side. Depending on how hot your pan is it should take about 4 minutes on each side.
THIRD- Flavorful sauce is a must for tasty tofu. I have a few different favorites. Here is the recipe for one of my favorite, PERFECT TERIYAKI.
1 cup low sodium soy sauce (if you don’t have low sodium use 1/2 water, 1/2 soy sauce- otherwise the salt will overpower all the other flavors)
1/2 cup mirin (sweetened rice wine)
3 tbs sugar
-optional: splash of OJ, zest of lemon/lime/orange, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes-
Add this after the tofu is browned and allow is to bubble in the pan. It will reduce a little bit and caramelize slightly. The flavor is amazing and so much better than store bought teriyaki.
Cook’s Notes: This recipe uses one block of tofu which serves 2 people. The teriyaki recipe makes quite a bit of sauce. The extra can be drizzled over the vegetable and grain you serve alongside the tofu.
Click on the pictures for a description.