In my grad school days, I used to eat sometimes at a little joint on Bancroft Avenue that served what Chad and I affectionately referred to as “Kentucky Fried Tofu”: crispy, spicy tofu cubes as a snack. It was very tasty and I’ve wanted to reproduce it ever since, preferably without the deep frying.

Today I worked quietly at home, and the rain outside (thank you, El Niño, from our vegetable garden!) made me want to have some warm snacks. I had a giant bowl of salad for lunch, followed by kale chips and oven fries, and am cooking a lovely chili on which I shall report later today. But for an extra snack, I’m making baked tofu, and my premature tasting suggests that this perfectly and deliciously replicates the crispness and joy of Kentucky Fried Tofu–without a drop of oil.

1 package extra-firm tofu
1 cup soy sauce, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, or a combination of both
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch ginger chunk, minced
a spritz of liquid smoke
a spritz of Sriracha
1 tbsp cornstarch

Remove tofu from packaging and place on a plate or in a bowl. Place a cutting board, or plate, on top of the tofu, and place a heavy object on top of that. Leave for about half an hour.

When you return, the tofu will have drained from some of its liquids. Great! Cut it into cubes (I’m doing about 3/4 inch cubes) and place in a tupperware. Throw in all remaining ingredients (save for the cornstarch) place lid on top of tupperware, give it a good shake, and leave it for 30 mins to absorb the taste. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet.

Now, remove tofu cubes from marinade, toss with cornstarch, and place in one layer, cubes not touching each other, on baking sheet. Bake for about 15 mins, then toss a bit, and bake for another 15 mins. SNACK TIME!

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