Crispy, Tangy Tofu
Published by William Morrow
This is a quick, tasty, and nutritious way to start a meal and one of my favorite ways to serve tofu. The top stays crispy, yet the rest absorbs the pungent citrus sauce. Excellent with a chilled, bone-dry sake like a daiginjo (and, even better, one from Niigata Prefecture, Japan, where it tends to be citrusy and clean-tasting), it’s equally good with a glass of well-chilled Champagne.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party
Recipe Courseappetizer, hot appetizer
Dietary Considerationhalal, kosher, peanut free, tree nut free, vegetarian
Taste and Texturecreamy, crisp, fruity, tangy, umami
- Zest and juice (about ¼ cup) of 1 large lemon, preferably Meyer
- Zest and juice of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons carrot juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- Pinch of cayenne
- 3 scant tablespoons rice flakes or fine dry bread crumbs
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Pinch of freshly crushed black pepper
- 1 block silken tofu, drained, then wrapped in paper towels to absorb moisture
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 generous tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives (optional)
Put the citrus juices into a small saucepan, add the carrot juice, honey, soy sauce, and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer while you prepare the tofu.
Put the rice flakes (or bread crumbs), salt, and pepper in a coffee or spice grinder and pulse a few times. Be sure the paper towels have absorbed as much water as possible from the tofu, then slice the tofu along its “equator,” creating 2 large flattish slabs. Cut each of those in half, giving you 4 pieces. Spoon the egg yolk on one side of each piece and evenly spread the rice-flake crust over them. Heat the butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat and sauté the tofu, crust side down, for about 5 minutes, until nicely browned. Carefully flip the pieces over with a spatula and briefly cook the other side, about 2 minutes. Pour some of the reduced sauce into a warm plate or shallow bowl and slide the tofu into the center of the sauce, crispy side up. Top with the orange and lemon zest and the chives if desired.
2007 Eric Gower