The genesis of tofu can be traced back to China, where it was and is prepared by coagulating soy milk. Tofu is a wonderful meat substitute for vegans. Moreover, since it's low in cholesterol content and calories, it's a healthy food item. Tofu, unlike cheese and other dairy products, is suitable for lactose intolerant people as well. However, cooking tofu properly can be challenging. The bland taste of tofu can cause it to be considered insipid, however, since tofu takes on the flavor of other ingredients, well cooked tofu is flavorful. A common problem encountered while cooking tofu is its crumbling due to soft texture. Let's have a look at how to fry tofu in a pan, so that you have a well prepared tofu meal.
How to Deep-Fry Tofu
Type of Tofu
For stir frying tofu, one cannot use the silken tofu, because its soft, custard like texture will disintegrate. Always get the pressed or firm type of tofu for stir frying. Pressed tofu will feel firm to touch and can be easily cut into cubes.
Slice the Tofu
Before slicing you need to remove excess moisture. You can remove moisture by placing the block of tofu on pieces of paper towels. Take the pressed tofu and slice it up into small pieces. Do not make the pieces too small, lest it crumbles.
Take canola or any other vegetable oil in a large frying pan and keep it over medium heat. Make sure the level of the oil is double the height of the tofu cubes.
Once the oil is hot, drop the tofu cubes in the hot oil. Do this carefully, because you do not want the fragile pieces to break. Allow the pieces to fry till they transform into a golden brown, crisp tofu cubes. Now flip the pieces over and wait for the other side to become golden brown as well. Remove the fried tofu pieces and place them on absorbent paper for the oil to get absorbed.
Thus, frying tofu is not a big deal. All you have to do is ensure that the tofu is firm and is not cut into very tiny cubes before frying. Deep-frying is not the only way one can fry tofu. You can also dry fry tofu on a pan and this means 'no oil'. Let's have a look at how we can dry-fry the tofu.
For this you need a Teflon pan. When you are cooking without oil, the danger is of tofu sticking to the pan. So, the key factor to remember would be slow cooking. The slow cooking ensures all the moisture evaporates from the interior, before the exterior begins to brown.
On low-medium heat, place the tofu on the Teflon pan. Place the cut pieces of tofu in the pan in such a way, that these pieces have enough room between them. As the tofu pieces begin to get fried, use a non-stick spatula to exert pressure on each of the tofu pieces. As you press, you will find moisture seeping out of them. Continue to fry them till the base is golden brown. Then, flip all the pieces and do the same with the other side. The golden brown, non-oily tofu pieces are ready to be added into one's favorite fried tofu recipes.
The dry-type of frying is perfect for recipes accompanied by marinades. This is because, dry tofu pieces will readily absorb the marinade like a sponge. Deep-fried tofu can be stir fried in several dishes. They espouse the flavor from other ingredients in the dish and develop a unique character of their own.