Please do not skip over this one if you’re “not a tofu person.” That was me for the longest time! The key to my conversion was perfecting crispy tofu. And by crispy, I mean a lot of things: I can get a good golden-brown edge on my tofu when I toss 1/2-inch cubes in soy sauce, cornstarch, and oil and bake at 425° for 20 minutes. Or even from a good pan-sear if there’s a hot pan and enough oil. But the holy grail of crispy tofu, for my kids at least, is golden-fried, like you see here in Hsiao-Ching Chou’s simple Seared Tofu with Baby Bok Choy, which calls for dredging the soy-sauce-drizzled tofu in corn starch before frying. This method is not new to me (or probably you) but I realized something that I probably should’ve realized a long time ago: The cut of the tofu makes a big difference when you’re dredging. For starters, I’d do anything to minimize touching squeaky-dry corn starch (insert shivering gif here) so the larger the piece, the fewer the pieces to dredge. Next the size of Hsiao-Ching’s triangle cut is just right — large enough to minimize the dredge work, but small enough to still maintain its crispy-chewiness when cooked.
Anyway, I loved the recipe (which went out in Monday’s newsletter) and there are many many more where it came from in Hsiao-Ching’s new book, Vegetarian Chinese Soul Food. Please consider checking it out.