Crispy tofu with blistered tomatoes

I guess you must have realized by now that I am not quite vegetarian. Like most people I know, I am not a big fan of tofu. And if you read my blog, I am sure you may be a bit surprised to see tofu on the menu. Well, this is one of the two tofu dishes we have on a regular basis and JB even asks for it. Then you know it has to be excellent.

Removing the excess moisture from the tofu changes the texture and makes it much more interesting. Cut the tofu however you want: small cubes, slices or rectangles like I did tonight. When the tomatoes burst and the juices mix with the sauce, you just can’t wait to take another bite. I usually serve it without rice or noodles but feel free to do so if you wish. Adapted from a Kylie Kwong recipe I saw on the Food Network a few years ago.


1 block firm tofu
1/2 cup corn starch, for dredging
peanut oil for frying
2 tbsp fresh ginger, cut into 3 cm juliennes
1/4 cup chinese cooking wine (Shao Hsing) or sherry
2 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp black vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 squirt Sriracha or sambal oelek, as much or as little as you want
3 spring onions, chopped
8 to 12 cherry tomatoes
cilantro for garnish


1. Start by cutting the tofu in 3 cm slices and lay them on a plate covered with paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and another plate and put a weight over it for at least 20 minutes. More time under the weight will not hurt. This will remove the excess moisture.
2. Coat the tofu with corn starch and remove any excess.
3. In a hot wok, fry the tofu until it is golden brown on all side. Let drain on paper towels.
4. Remove most of the oil from the wok except for 2 to 3 tablespoons and lower the heat to medium. Add the ginger and stir for one minute.
5. Add the brown sugar and stir for 30 seconds, then add the wine or sherry, soya sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil and sriracha and stir once or twice.
6. Put the tofu back in the wok and cover. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes.
7. Add the tomatoes and cover. Cook for another 5 minutes, until the tomatoes just start to burst. Add the spring onions and serve immediately. Garnish with cilantro.

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9 replies »

  1. In my very-long-ago short course on Chinese cooking, we were taught to use thinly sliced (ca. 2 mm), wok fried firm tofu as a sort of noodle substitute, not so different from this approach, and I loved it. You’ve reminded me I must try using that approach again!


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