Chile Cornmeal-Crusted Tofu

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This Southwest vegetarian dish is a nice change from the usual Asian tofu recipes

1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 cup milk
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Slice the tofu widthwise into eight slices, the cut each of those slices in half diagonally- from the upper left corner to the lower right corner-so that you have sixteen long triangles. Set aside. Combine the soy milk and cornstarch in a wide, shallow bowl. Mix vigorously with a fork until the cornstarch is mostly dissolved. In another shallow bowl, toss together the cornmeal, spices, lime zest, and salt.

Dip each individual tofu slice in the milk mixture. Drop it into the cornmeal with your dry hand and use your other hand to dredge it in the mixture, so that it's coated on all sides.

Frying directions:
Heat about 1/4 inch oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. To test if the oil is ready, sprinkle in a pinch of batter. When the batter sizzles and bubbles form rapidly around it, you're good to go. Transfer the tofu to the skillet in two batches so as not to crowd the pan. Fry tofu for 3 minutes on one side, use tongs to flip over each piece, and fry for two more minutes. Drain the fried tofu on a clean paper bag or paper towels.

Baking directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the coated tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray with oil until lightly coated. Flip over and spray the other side. Bake for 12 minutes on each side.

Original recipe

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