Salty and sweet with heat from chilies and garlic, hoisin sauce and black bean sauce add a rich color and flavor to this crispy fried tofu with chili garlic sauce. Cooks in 15 minutes.
15 minutes? Sure! It takes 10 minutes to fry the tofu and another 5 minutes to saute an onion, add the sauces and toss everything together. Serve immediately so that the tofu is still crisp. This dish goes beautifully with miso soup and pork spring rolls (lumpiang Shanghai to Filipinos). And rice, of course.
Start by frying the tofu. FIRM tofu. Not silken tofu nor anything too soft. You’ll need plenty of oil and a super high cooking temperature. Once the tofu pieces turn golden and crisp, scoop them out and transfer to a strainer.
Pour off the oil leaving only a trace. Saute a finely sliced onion just until stating to soften.
Add the tofu back to the wok or frying pan.
Now add the sauces. One heaping tablespoonful each of chili garlic sauce, hoisin sauce and black bean sauce. We use Lee Kum Kee at home (no, this is NOT a sponsored post) but you may use your preferred brand or brands.
Toss everything together and add just enough water to make a thick but still spoonable sauce.
Off the heat, drizzle in a little sesame seed oil and toss a few times more to blend evenly.
Ladle the crispy fried tofu with chili garlic sauce into a bowl or bowls, sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve.
Crispy Fried Tofu With Chili Garlic Sauce
- 1 300-gram cake firm tofu
- cooking oil for frying
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 1 heaping tablespoon chili garlic sauce (available at the Asian section of better groceries)
- 1 heaping tablespoon black bean sauce (available at the Asian section of better groceries)
- 1 heaping tablespoon hoisin sauce (available at the Asian section of better groceries)
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- sliced scallions to garnish
Rinse the tofu and pat dry with paper towels. Cut into bite-size pieces.
In a wok or frying pan, heat enough oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
Fry the tofu over high heat until golden and crisp. Scoop out and transfer to a strainer.
Pour off the oil leaving only about a teaspoonful.
Reheat the oil and saute the sliced onion until just starting to turn soft, about a minute.
Add the fried tofu back to the pan.
Add the sauces. Pour in about a quarter cup of water. Tip: You may mix the three sauces with water before pouring into the pan to make everything simpler.
Cook, tossing, until the tofu pieces are heated through and evenly coated with sauce.
Off the heat, drizzle in the sesame seed oil and toss the tofu a few more times.
Transfer the crispy fried tofu with chili garlic sauce to a serving bowl or individual bowls. Sprinkle with sliced scallions before serving.