Vegan Pan-Fried Tofu Slices
Last night, we had a packet of firm tofu sitting in the fridge that had to be used. I’d never cooked tofu myself before, though I’d had the pre-marinated stuff quite a few times. Though I looked through a bunch of tofu recipes on the internet, none of them really appealled to me and quite a few were chock-full of sugar, which isn’t the best when one is trying to be healthy! So I improvised something simple and yummy myself.
That there is thin sliced pan-fried (seared?) salt and pepper tofu, and it is delish.
Here’s how I went about it! Serves three ish.
First, you’ll need to press the tofu. I pressed it for about an hour and a half after draining the water. It’s pretty easy to do. Lay out a (clean!!!) kitchen towel on a plate, then pop some paper towels on top of that. Sit the drained tofu on the pile, then wrap it up in the paper towel, then wrap the kitchen towel around that. Ua second plate atop the wrapped tofu and carefully balance something heavy on top. I used four cans of tinned food. It looked ridiculous :p
You can press your tofu well in advance and store refridgerate it in a snap-lock bag if it suits you. It keeps for a few days. However, I jumped right into cooking.
Chop up the tofu into little square slices. Mine were about five centimetres square and no thicker than three quarters of a centimetre each. You don’t need to be hugely precise, but thin squares work nicely.
Take a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and heat it up in a large pan. Once it’s quite hot, throw in the seasonings you’d like. I used plain black pepper and an all-purpose seasoning that’s heavy on the paprika and salt.
Mix the seasoning in with the oil so that it’s pretty consistent, and do your best to give the pan an even coverage. Once you’re satisfied with that, plop all your tofu slices in there. Careful not to splash yourself with scalding oil like I did! Learn from my failure, folks. Things are hot after heating.
Nudge the slices around the pan to ensure they get nice and covered with the oil mixture. Keep checking their undersides. You want them to get brown and crispy, but definitely not to burn. It should take between five and ten minutes to cook to the right texture, but I confess I did not time anything and just judged by the pieces themselves. Your mileage may vary!
Once the slices are lovely and crispy, flip ’em! They won’t need as long to cook the other side, but it’ll still take at least a few minutes. As before, move them around to ensure a more consistent coverage across all of the pieces.
When the second side is cooked, they’re ready. Take them off the heat and serve right away for a yummy, crunchy treat 🙂 We ate our pan-fried tofu with cold salad and it was a great dinner.