Yesterday was a little crazy – after waking up to the sounds of airplane sirens and our neighbors knocking on the door to let us know there may be a potential tsunami coming our way, we packed up what we needed and headed to high ground to wait. Luckily, a few hours later, the tsunami warning was lifted, and we could go back home, safe and sound. A very fortunate day, and it makes me feel more thankful to be home.
And cooking again.
This recipe was inspired by my sistah-friend (a friend who is like a sister to me!). I talk to her a few times a week – sometimes even three days in a row! She’s my oldest friend and one of my BFFs, and we can talk about anything under the sun. Sometimes we just talk about what we’re going to make for dinner, and we brainstorm on ways the both of us can be more creative. Well, last week she was running out of ways to make tofu. I set out to spice up the regular block of tofu stir-fry and remembered that I made it encrusted with panko breadcrumbs a while back. It was delicious, so this time I made it again, remembering to write down my recipe. Hope you enjoy it everyone!
Side notes: If you don’t have the time or the ingredients to make the curry sauce, a bottled teriyaki, ponzu, or sweet chili sauce would be wonderful too.
To press the tofu, you can take it out of its package and place it on a plate; place another weight on it by placing a small plate with a can of beans on top for about an hour, until a lot of the liquid has been squeezed out. Pat with paper towels.
Oh, and if any of you have a meal you’d like me to makeover, or just want some new ideas for the same ol’ dinnertime thing, don’t hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for some suggestions.
Crispy Panko-Crusted Tofu with Curry Sauce
makes 8 slices of tofu
For the Curry Sauce:
1 tsp canola oil
scant 1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry powder (I use Madras)
1/4 tsp paprika
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 tsp sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp coconut milk
For the tofu:
1 block extra-firm tofu, pressed to release as much liquid as you can and dried with paper towels
1/2 cup AP flour
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large egg
3 Tbsp water
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp canola oil
1. For the curry sauce, heat the tsp of oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the salt, curry powder, paprika, sauteeing for another minute. Add the garlic and tomatoes, then the chicken broth, soy sauce, and sugar, bringing mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer for another 4-5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, and turn off the heat. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until creamy. Set aside.
2. For the tofu, slice the tofu into 8 slices. Prep three shallow bowls – in the first bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper; whisk together the egg and water in the second bowl; add the panko breadcrumbs in the third bowl. One by one, place each slice of tofu first in the flour mixture, coating all sides evenly and shaking off excess flour. Then lightly dip the tofu in the egg wash, and finally coat with the panko. Repeat with the other slices.
3. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the tofu, frying on each side for about 4 minutes each or until browned.
4. When the tofu is done, drain on paper towels. Serve with curry sauce or any of the alternatives mentioned, along with brown rice and a salad on the side.