Crispy Fried Tofu with Sweet Chille Sauce

By DK on Oct 06, 2011
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
It feels like yesterday, but the memory is fresh.  Eons ago, I happened to spot some "white slabs" sitting next to my all time favorite Paneer, in the aisle of the grocery store I frequented. See, I was this good girl who went shopping for my mom during the weekends, all on my own, so that my mom can relax her feet. At times I used to buy other stuff that caught my fancy apart from the list my mom provided. So on this particular day, this packet with something called as "tofu", went into my basket. I, in fact, thought it was probably another "brand" of Paneer and even wondered at the peculiar name ( ..those naive days!!!)

Once home, my mom had a different story to tell. She told me it was not Paneer but a similar cheese but made of Soy. She said that she never bought it cos it was bland. I opened the packet and put some right in my mouth and so did my sister. Her face mimicked my mom's with a "Blech!" expression. I ,for some "weird" reason, loved it! My love affair, loyal that I am, still stands inspite of the test of various types and flavors of Tofu that have crossed my path in all these years hence.
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
In fact I think I love it even more (if that's even possible!) My husband actually has a nickname for me - "Dofu Monster!" and he literally means it. That name has its origins with an interesting incident that I will recount later with some other tofu recipe :) As for today this recipe is from a cookbook that I trust blindly to the point of not even making my habitual modifications. I have made teeny weeny "blink-u-will-miss-changes". As for the taste, the title is self explanatory. The Tofu is beautifully crispy, thanks to that crunchy coating ,before melting into your mouth with its softness. And that sauce, for all its simplicity, is extremely addictive. Sweet with a mild heat to it and plays a perfect partner to these cubed beauties.

recipe minimally adapted from the best international recipe

Basic Information
Prep Time: Under 15 min
Cook Time: Under 15 min
Serves: 4 people
    For the Tofu
  • 1 (14-oz) block Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu (see Tips)
  • 3/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Cornmeal
  • Salt and ground Pepper to taste
  • Chili Flakes to taste (optional)
    For the Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp Sambal Oelek (see Tips)
1. Tofu: If you cannot find the Mori Nu brand, then simply use "Medium-Form" or "Soft Tofu". The book mentions that you can also use Firm/Extra Firm tofu but that it will taste drier.
2. Sambal Oelek is an Indonesian Chile paste. If you cannot find it, use whatever chili paste is available to you and add as per taste. You might need less/more than the 1 tbsp depending on the type of chili paste you are using other than the one mentioned.

Slice the tofu into cubes/1-inch thick slabs. But before that make sure that drain any water and pat it dry completely.

Important Tip: I was a little slack in doing a good job and it shows the way it fried. So make sure to use several layers of paper towels and let it sit  for few minutes esp. if you are using the tofu that comes with water

Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
While that's draining, mix the remaining ingredients in the "Tofu" section in a pan.
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
Make sure to blend it well.
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
Next add the tofu cubes to this mixture.
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
Coat it well. Due to the mistake (as mentioned in the Step 1 tip), my coating was not as smooth as it should be.
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
In a shallow (12 inch non stick) pan heat some 3/4 cup of vegetable oil until shimmering in med-high heat. Carefully add the tofu to the oil
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
turning it until its crisp and golden on all sides. It takes about 5 minutes. Gently lift the tofu
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
and drain them on paper towels. You can transfer them to 200F oven to keep them warm.
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
Meanwhile for the sauce, whisk all the ingredients mentioned in a small saucepan
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
and cook over med-high hear, whisking constantly, until the sauce is hot and thickened. take around 5 minutes. Cover and set aside to keep warm.
Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
That beautiful shiny, glossy and addictive sauce works so wonderfully with that crispy tofu. Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
The crispiness when you first bite into it then leads to softness of the  silken tofu. Though being a lover of tofu, I can eat them all alone, my better half preferred it with the sauce.

Mori Nu "Extra Firm" Silken Tofu Recipes
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Did you make this recipe?Please click below to share your experiences while you were making this recipe. Thanks for your input!
51 Responses to “Crispy Fried Tofu with Sweet Chille Sauce”
  1. cindy

    I JUST made this.. and I’m so addicted already. Some days I have a hard time liking tofu and this is amazing. They’re crispy and go so well with the sauce. I bet dipping them on hot sauce or any flavor of sauce would be just as good. Thank you so much.. I’m definitely passing it on

  2. annie

    can i bake this in oven ?

  3. Chetana

    Hello DK,

    I am a regular vistor to your virtual place, but writing for the first time. You have an awesome recipes and site, kudos to both of you! I am not much a cooker myself, so need a great motivation and inspiration, you have been one.

    I was actually wondering if I could use some soya chunks instead of tofu or paneer here? If I can, how to go about it?

    Keep up the great work of sharing and ispiring others to cook!

    Thank you in advance,

  4. Ally

    This looks delicious! I am trying to watch my calorie intake though, so just wondering, of the the 3/4 cup of oil, how much actually gets soaked up by the tofu pieces? Or how much of it is left over in the pan? Thanks so much :D

  5. Mary Blackledge Corroo

    I don’t usually use a recipe for salt and pepper fried tofu. I press it, season it, coat it with cornstarch and fry it. I like to try different sauces to serve with it. I made yours tonight. It was quite good. Thanks for sharing the recipe! ps. I should have read the post more closely. I was hungry and in a hurry sorry. Cornmeal sounds great in fried tofu! I’m going to try that next time. Have a great day. :-P

  6. Ferdinand Ligan

    What type of chili flakes is used as seasoning? I have been looking for a mixture of spices. Most recipes say to use Chinese five spice powder but, it’s not the right kind. Because, its too sweet and not spicy. I have been looking for the right blend of spices. Thanks!

  7. This recipe is fantastic; It’s become a go-to for me. I often make the tofu according to these directions, skipping the dipping sauce, and use it in other recipes; It’s particularly fantastic with some slices avocado and fresh veggies as a quick wrap.

    My suggestions aren’t about the recipe so much as a couple of things I’ve found about the preparation / technique that make life easier.

    First, for the best even coating, put all the dry ingredients in a large zip-lock freezer bag, close it, shake it up to mix, then open it, add the tofu, close it, and toss the bag around for a while. It coats *exceptionally* evenly, and because it’s all contained, you can even go sit in front of the TV or whatever and idly toss the bag while doing something else. It also solves the “Why is there so much of the coating?” issue. Because these are all shelf-stable dry ingredients, if you use this recipe often, you can leave whatever’s left in the bag, zip the bag up and stick it on the shelf, then use it again for the next batch. I find I can get two good batches out of the recipe here.

    The other thing is that I found carefully removing the tofu blocks from the dry mix and placing them in the oil kind of stressful and time-consuming (I’m sort of paranoid about hot oil, though). It made things a lot easier and resulted in more even cooking if I took the blocks out, shaking them off a bit, into a bowl, and then just added that whole bowl to the pan when the oil was hot.

    I also think it’s worth encouraging people to experiment with the spices in the dry mix. I try something a little different every time. I like adding cumin. The batch I have going right now has black pepper, red chili flakes, a little cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder.

  8. angy pangy

    I wonder why the coating calls for 3/4c cornstarch and 1/4c cornmeal… I halved those amounts and there was still plenty. This simple one step crispy recipe was awesome.

  9. :-P That looks really nice. I’ve never tried tofu but it looks good.

  10. This looks delectable! I will try it soon. I am going to use a pan that can have the temperature set- do you think 375 would be correct? I just found your site and I love it! So many recipes I want to try! And I think the design and links to other recipes is fantastic!

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