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 tablespoon cornflour
- 2 tablespoon beef seasoning we use Tubby Tom's Steak Haus, optional
- 2 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 inch piece of ginger – chopped finely
- 3 cloves garlic – crushed
- ¾ cup sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 cups orange juice
- 6 tablespoon tomato ketchup
- 3.5 tablespoon 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 tablespoon of the cornflour and the vegan beef seasoning (if using)400 g firm tofu, 4 tablespoon cornflour, 2 tablespoon 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 tablespoon 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 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1.5 cups orange juice, 6 tablespoon tomato ketchup, 3.5 tablespoon 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 tablespoon of cornflour with a splash of cold water and stir well. It should turn into a runny white liquid.4 tablespoon 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
I liked the tofu and I don't usually like tofu. But the sauce is wasn't the best. It was edible but won't be making it again. But that is my taste buds someone else may like it.
Made this the other night for my non-vegan boyfriend and he lost his sh*t! He said that it was nicer than any dish he'd ever had in an actual Chinese restaurant! Only thing I didn't do was freeze/un-freeze the tofu as I didn't have time. Really looking forward to experimenting with this next time to get that "meatier" texture. Still delicious without doing this step though!