Hot, Sweet & Sour Tofu
An explosion of hot, sweet and sour flavours set against a riot of textures from creamy tofu to gently stir-fried veggies. Serve this comfort-driven dish on a bed of rice with a garnish of toasted peanuts/ cashews.
For the Sauce
- ⅓ cup rice vinegar
- 1½ tbsp mirin
- 4 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1½ tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp Sriracha or sambal oelek (adjust according to taste)
- 1½ tsp brown sugar (adjust according to taste)
- 1½ tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1½ tbsp finely chopped green onions (white part only ; you can use the chopped green stalk to garnish the final dish or add it to your fried rice)
- 2 tsp chopped Kashmiri chilli flakes (boiled first and then chopped)
- A pinch of Sichuan peppercorns
For the tofu & stir fry
- A packet of silken-firm (or extra firm) tofu, drained
- Corn flour for coating
- 1 – 2 tbsp peanut or sesame oil
- 2 cups chopped veggies of choice (red/ yellow/ green peppers, cut into cubes; diced carrots; green beans, trimmed and halved)
- Toasted peanuts or cashews for garnishing
To prepare the sauce:
Whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin and Sriracha (or sambal oelek). Add cornflour, water and sugar and whisk vigorously until it has completely dissolved.
Heat a tbsp of oil in a large skillet. Sauté the chopped onions until they turn translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, peppercorns and chopped chillies and sauté until fragrant.
Add the vinegar-based mixture and stir, cooking until the sauce slightly thickens. Taste and adjust depending on preference (you can add more sugar if you’d like it sweeter; a dash more Sriracha/ sambal oelek if you’d prefer it with spicier. Remove from heat.
To prepare the tofu:
Drain the excess water out of the tofu by wrapping the block between paper towels and then gently pressing down to release the water using a steel plate or even a wooden chopping board. Let the tofu sit for at least half an hour (ideally an hour) until it is fully drained and firm enough,
Then, cut it into cubes or long rectangular strips and coat it with cornflour.
Head a tbsp of oil in a skillet and pan-fry the tofu for 7 – 10 minutes , flipping the pieces over until they’re golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the stir-fry:
If required, add a bit more oil to the same skillet. Add the chopped veggies and sauté until they have softened.
Then slowly add the sauce and the tofu, stirring gently so that the tofu and chopped veggies are evenly coated. Cook for no longer than a couple of minutes, before removing from heat.
Garnish with chopped cashews/ peanuts and the chopped green ends of the spring onion. Serve hot on a bed of (fried) rice.