Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Unfried Fried Tofu & Hoison-Mustard Sauce

I learned this technique for dry-frying tofu in Appetite for Reduction and have been using it a lot. It gives tofu the same great texture as frying but without any fat.
  1. Press a block of tofu for at least a half-hour to get as much moisture out as possible. The more dry your tofu is, the better the results. Cut up the pressed tofu into half-inch cubes.
  2. Heat a pan over medium heat and spray with a little bit of cooking spray. Add your cubed tofu and let it cook for 5 minutes, flipping with a thin spatula to keep the pieces intact, with the goal to get the tofu browned on all sides.
  3. After 5 minutes, drizzle 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, toss to coat, and cook for another 5 minutes.
The result is chewy tofu with a great fried texture. Doesn't it look delicious?
It doesn't have a strong taste, so it would be best with flavorful sauces or gravies instead of on its own. My favorite sauce is the Hoison-Mustard Sauce from Appetite for Reduction, where this technique came from. I've said before that I don't like to post recipes from current cookbooks, but I think posting one or two is okay--I know I'm more likely to buy a cookbook after I've tried a few recipes first. Since I haven't posted any AFR recipes yet, I'm posting this--my all-time favorite tofu recipe!

Hoison-Mustard Tofu
Serves 4

  • 1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into half-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (1/2 teaspoon if you want it spicier)
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons hoison sauce
  • 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
  1. Fry the tofu per the instructions above and set aside.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in the sesame oil. Cook for about 10 minutes, using a little cooking spray if it becomes dry. Veggies should be soft and brown.
  3. Add the mirin and let it cook for 3 minutes. Mirin is a thick, sweet Japanese wine. I think it's important to use it in this recipe to get the sweet and thick consistency of the sauce, so I don't think you should substitute anything for the mirin. It will look like this after you add the mirin.
  4. Add the hoison and mustard and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the tofu to the sauce and toss to coat.
This tofu and sauce is so amazing, it's hard for me to wait to even put it on a plate. I want to gobble it all up right out of the pan. I had it with the Unfried Fried Rice from Appetite for Reduction, which I first talked about here.I think this sauce would also make a good dipping sauce for spring rolls and other types of Asian appetizers.


  1. I love the dry fry method. It gives such a great texture and is so easy. I'll have to try that sauce as I've seen you mention it before!

  2. This is one of my favorite ways to make tofu...

    Add another coat of soy sauce on the tofu w/ high heat and coat the hot tofu in Nutritional Yeast. Yum, yum, yum!

  3. Oh, great suggestion. I'll definitely try it next time. Yum!