Thursday, January 19, 2012

Salt and Pepper Tofu

Every time we get the opportunity to hang out with my brother-in-law and his wife we go out for Chinese food...
...every time we eat Chinese food, they order Salt and Pepper Tofu...
......every time they order Salt and Pepper Tofu, I have to nibble off their plate and eat several pieces!

I was never one to order tofu until hanging out with them. Needless to say, I am a huge fan now and decided it was time to learn how to make it myself! This recipe was easy to follow and it turned out amazing!!! My whole family loved it! My only complaint is that it was rather messy to cook. The hot oil was spitting and spattering the whole time I was frying the tofu. It was worth the mess I had to clean up afterwards but that may be a good reason to continue ordering this dish at a local Chinese restaurant.

Salt and Pepper Tofu
Source: Veggie Belly

Serves 2 as an entree or about 4 as an appetizer

For the sauté:
1/2 T. oil
2 medium leeks, white part only, washed and grit removed (1 c. when chopped)
1 celery rib (1/2 c. when chopped)
1 small green pepper (1/2 c. when chopped)
1 T. finely minced garlic
1 T. finely minced ginger (I left this out.)
1 T. light soy sauce
1/2 t. brown sugar

For the tofu:
1 block (14 oz when drained) extra firm tofu
4 T. corn starch
1/2 t. or to taste freshly cracked black pepper

Vegetable or canola oil for frying

Chop the leeks, celery and green pepper into a fine dice. Heat oil in a wok on medium-high heat. Add chopped leeks, celery, and green pepper. Sauté on high heat for about 2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic. Cook another 1-2 minutes. Add soy sauce and brown sugar and cook 30 seconds. Set this mixture aside.

Pat dry the drained tofu. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Place the tofu cubes in a large bowl. Add corn starch, salt and pepper. Gently toss till the tofu pieces are very well coated.

In a skillet, pour oil so that it comes up 1/2 inch. Heat the oil.Make sure oil is hot. Add tofu cubes a few at a time. If you fry too many in one go they won’t crisp up. Fry the tofu pieces, flipping them around, so that all sides are golden brown. Drain onto a few layers of paper towels.

Heat up the sautéed leeks, celery and bell pepper. Add the fried tofu cubes to this. Toss well. Serve Chinese salt and pepper tofu with your favorite chili sauce and garnish with celery leaves or green onions.

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