Tofu. That most polarizing of foods. To some, tofu is hippie food––one of those things that you “sacrifice” taste for in the name of health. To others (me included), tofu is a magical substance.The thing about tofu that those-not-in-the-bean-curd-“know” don’t know is: it takes on the flavor of whatever you cook it with. Translation? It’s a great VEHICLE for flavor.
It’s also a textural thing. A lot of people don’t know about how many different types of tofu there are out there, but it comes in tons of different varieties––for a full overview, check out our Chinese Tofu and Bean Curd ingredients pages, where we list some of the main types of tofu that you can find in your local Asian market.
For all you tofu novices and tofu lovers alike, I give you this Teriyaki Tofu recipe. It’s simple to make, and involves firm tofu––those white blocks that you can find in most grocery stores these days.
It’s cut into cubes, dredged in cornstarch, and then fried in a pan for maximum crispiness. Then it’s tossed in a homemade teriyaki sauce––just add rice and maybe a sautéed vegetable, and dinner is done.
Teriyaki Tofu Rice Bowl
Cook Time: 30 min : Persons: 4
- 1 14 oz. package of firm tofu
- ¼ cup cornstarch, plus 2 teaspoons
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ½ cup water
- 1 scallion, chopped (optional)
- Steamed rice, to serve
- Toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- Pat the tofu dry with a paper towel, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add the ¼ cup of cornstarch to a shallow bowl, and dredge the tofu pieces until they all have a light coating of cornstarch. You’ll see the cornstarch getting absorbed by the moisture of the tofu––this is normal.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a cast iron or nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the tofu pieces to the pan, and fry on all sides until golden. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
- Add the ginger to the pan, and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the onions and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add the mirin, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer. Meanwhile, dissolve the remaining two teaspoons of cornstarch in ½ cup warm water. Add to the sauce and onions, along with the cooked tofu. Toss everything together for 1 minute, until the sauce has thickened and the tofu is coated in the sauce. Stir in the scallions.
- Serve over steamed rice with some toasted sesame seeds if desired.