Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fried Tofu with Thai Vinegar Sauce

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I love thai food. Its a perfect balance of spicy and sweet, bitter and salty. I also love anything fried. This thai-inspired dish delivers in heartiness, taste, texture and presentation. If you deep-fry tofu, Ener-G is your friend. You simply dunk whatever you're frying into diluted Ener-G before coating in cornstarch and it repels the oil from whatever your frying magnificently. I like to prepare the vinegar sauce and marinate the shallots overnight—if you don't have time to do this, a quick saute of the shallots will do the trick.

1 block of tofu (I like to cut it into 8 pieces and then again in half to make squares, but whatever way you cut it will work fine.)

1 1/2 tsps Ener-G, whisked with 5 tbsps water
vegetable oil
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 cup boiling water
5 tbsps sugar
1 tsp salt

red chili pepper flakes
2-3 shallots, sliced thinly
cilantro sprigs

Make your vinegar sauce by first dissolving the sugar with the boiling water in a small saucepan. Add the vinegar, salt and red chili pepper flakes. If marinating the shallots, add those and transfer the mixture, covered, to the refrigerator.

Once you are ready to prepare the tofu, set up two wide shallow bowls—one with cornstarch and one with the Ener-G mixture. Heat plenty of vegetable oil in a wide frying pan over medium high heat, about 7 minutes. You can tell when the oil is ready by inserting a wooden spoon into the oil. If it bubbles up around the spoon, its ready.

Working in batches, dunk the tofu slices into the Ener-G mixture, then transfer to the cornstarch, tapping off any excess. Add to the hot oil and fry on each side until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon onto paper towels until ready to plate.

Arrange the tofu slices in a shallow bowl, spooning the prepared vinegar sauce over the top. Top with shallots and cilantro—enjoy the deep-fried goodness!

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