Crispy chilli tofu is the one. A classic on Chinese takeaway menus throughout Britain and further afield, the dish (and it's non-vegan counterpart) has been adopted as a favourite all over the world.
The recipe uses orange juice for a sweet tartness and apple cider vinegar for a sour edge, as well as sweet chilli sauce for spiciness and tomato ketchup (believe it or not) for delicate sweetness.
Altogether these ingredients combine into a homemade 'fake-away' with a healthy(ish) edge.
Ever tried freezing tofu? We started experimenting recently and freezing tofu changes the texture - you get a much firmer, 'meatier' texture once it's been frozen and defrosted. It takes quite a while to defrost though, so you need to plan ahead!
Crispy Chilli Tofu
- 400 g firm tofu – frozen, defrosted and then pressed for at least an hour
- 4 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp beef seasoning we use Tubby Tom's Steak Haus, optional
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 inch piece of ginger – chopped finely
- 3 cloves garlic – crushed
- ¾ cup sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 cups orange juice
- 6 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 3.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 spring onions – cut into chunks
- 2 carrots – cut into matchsticks
- 2 red peppers – cut into strips
- Chilli flakes – optional, to taste
- Sesame seeds – for serving, optional
- Once your tofu has defrosted, press it for at least an hour. Once pressed, cut the tofu into 1cm wide strips, then coat in a mix of 2 tbsp of the cornflour and the vegan beef seasoning (if using)400 g firm tofu, 4 tbsp cornflour, 2 tbsp beef seasoning
- Heat up your oil in a frying pan. Once hot, add the tofu and cook until crispy and golden on all sides - you should end up with a nice crunch on the outside but still have a chewy middle.2 tbsp coconut oil
- Set the tofu aside while you make the sauce.
- Add the garlic and ginger to a wok and cook for a minute on a medium heat.3 cloves garlic, 1 inch piece of ginger
- Put the orange juice, apple cider vinegar, sweet chilli, ketchup and soy sauce into the wok and continue cooking on a medium-high heat.¾ cup sweet chilli sauce, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1.5 cups orange juice, 6 tbsp tomato ketchup, 3.5 tbsp soy sauce
- Add in the veggies – red pepper, carrot and spring onions and stir well.2 carrots, 2 red peppers, 4 spring onions
- Mix the remaining 2 tbsp of cornflour with a splash of cold water and stir well. It should turn into a runny white liquid.4 tbsp cornflour
- Pour the cornflour mix into the wok and stir well, the sauce should thicken almost instantly.
- At this point, taste the sauce and add chilli flakes, more sweet chilli or soy sauce, depending on your taste.Chilli flakes
- Add the tofu to the wok and make sure it gets a good coating of sauce.400 g firm tofu
- Serve with rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.Sesame seeds