Before I went vegetarian, I had never really tried tofu beyond what appears in miso soup. It was this mysterious substance that I had heard an alarming amount of horror stories about and was, admittedly, more than a little terrified to try out. Even after going veg, I had an incredibly hard time bringing myself to try cooking it. I would order it places and eat it without issue but it still baffled me within the walls of my own kitchen. It took on the flavors of what it was cooked in- so how to cook it? I eventually adventured into the world of tofu and am incredibly happy I did. Now we always have a block in the fridge waiting to be turned into something delicious.
My latest discovery came to me from Chef Alton Brown. He’s a favorite of mine (we even named our fish after him!) and I was showing my lady the glory that is Good Eats. We settled in for his Tofu World episode and, while none of the dishes offered a dairy or egg free option, I was able to adapt one into what has quickly become a quick dinner staple.
Crispy Marinated Tofu Steaks
- 4 slices (1/4″ thick) of firm tofu
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp white cooking wine
- 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
- 2 separated teaspoons garlic powder (or 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp powder)
- salt & pepper
- any other of your favorite savory seasonings. I use a cuban blend from a local spice shop.
- 1/8 c flour
- Oil for pan frying
- Sandwiched between towels, press your tofu. Lay them out and place a baking sheet on top with some sort of weight on top of that. I use our extra large peanut butter jar. You could use any heavy object you desire. Leave for 30-45 minutes.
- Prepare the marinade in a shallow dish. Mix soy sauce, cooking wine, hot sauce, 1 tsp garlic, pepper, and any other seasonings (you can leave the salt out of this bit- the soy sauce takes care of that)
- When the tofu is done being pressed, place the steaks into the marinade and leave for 15-20 minutes per side. While this sits, mix the flour with remaining spices.
- Dredge the tofu in the flour giving it a thin but thorough coat. This is for maximum crisp!
- In a frying pan, pour enough oil to coat the pan approx 1/8″ deep and heat over medium heat until ripples form and the oil is toasty.
- Place each tofu steak into the oil and fry 2-3 minutes per side. Remove onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Serve with greens, rice, noodles, on toast, or whatever else you can come up with. I like to top mine with an extra squire of sriracha. Pictured, it is served on top of some Indian leftovers. Delish!