Okay, yet another recipe post here.
I haven’t (in all honesty) been a huge tofu fan in the past, largely because of texture. I have long-standing issues with food textures, from childhood on. There is a reason why I still, to this day, do not eat green peas unless it would be rude not to. And it all stems from childhood food traumas.
Yes, I was a picky eater if you must know. But I digress.
My main issue with tofu is that the texture is, well, boring. Squishy, flabby, uninteresting, even when I tried cooking the tofu in some kind of sauce. Blah.
But then I figured out that by using the same techniques I used for certain fish recipes and for chicken tenders, I could make the tofu more interesting! And that’s where this recipe (and its variants) come into play.
Start with one 16-ounce package of tofu, preferably extra firm (I used 365 brand from Whole Foods, good and pretty cheap.) Also, one egg and Panko crumbs (Japanese rice cracker crumbs), plus wheat flour. For this particular recipe variation, I also used sriracha sauce to give the crust a bit of extra heft. (Not shown, salt to taste, which you would either sprinkle on the tofu or into the egg mixture.)
Slice the tofu brick into eight roughly equal slices.
Then dust with flour. This is to help ensure that the egg wash will adhere to the tofu and not flake off. (Same is true for fish or chicken tenders, by the way.)
After that, dip into the egg wash (here, egg blended with sriracha sauce), then into the panko crumbs.
In the meantime, heat extra-virgin olive oil in a large pan. (I used a nonstick pan.) Put the tofu slices, coated with the egg wash and panko crumbs, into the pan and brown on each side.
Sauté for maybe 1-2 minutes per side (kind of depends on the heat you use — I had this set on medium-high [electric] heat.) Then remove and serve with whatever you wish.
What I like about Crispy Tofu is that the crispy crust has a nice crunchy feel to it, a nice contrast to the silky smooth interior of the tofu. The sriracha adds just enough heft to the mix that it isn’t entirely bland. (And you can always increase the amount of sriracha to taste.) This is very nice for either breakfast or lunch or dinner, very satisfying.