Thursday’s Dish: Fried Tofu

From the title, you might assume that this post is about fried tofu, but it’s actually about the pan I use to fry my tofu. You see, before last week, I had never, ever successfully fried tofu before. I had tried many times, with advice from friends and instructions from many a food blog, but just couldn’t do it without the tofu sticking to the pan. Lo and behold, I got a Green Pan, and now miraculously browned squares of tofu slip easily from my spatula. (This is not an advertisement for Green Pan, they didn’t give us any money or product, I just really like it that much, but there may be other ceramic-coated pans that work just as well.)

So let’s back up a minute. Why a Green Pan? After reading about the harmful chemicals released by Teflon a few years ago, I started trying to use all stainless steel or cast iron pans. Most things worked well in those, but not eggs or tofu, not at all. I kept one little Teflon-coated pan and would use it only for eggs, cooked on low heat to mitigate the release of the chemicals. Then one day I was at a kitchenwares outlet store and saw a Green Pan on sale. I took it home, and our love affair began. I can make eggs any way you can think of, and they always slide out nicely, plus cleanup is a breeze. (Except I can’t make a frittata, which would have to go in the oven, because the Green Pan is not oven safe, alas.)

It worked so well, I got to thinking, “What else can I cook in this bad boy?” Which brought me to the ultimate challenge: tofu. Using firm tofu, I placed the two cubes from the package onto a plate lined with paper towels. I put more paper towels on top, then balanced another plate on top, and placed it all in the fridge with a bowl of leftovers perched on the upper plate to squeeze out moisture. An hour later, I removed and disassembled this contraption, then sliced the tofu into 1/2-inch squares.

Then, I sprinkled all the squares with a little salt and a little cornstarch (see the shaker?). I did one side, then the other, then put them immediately in the pan with some olive oil (although a purist would use coconut or peanut oil, but this worked).

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I flipped them once, with ease, until they were golden brown, as you see below. Happiness!

I put them in my toaster oven on warm while I made a quick veggie stir fry (also in my Green Pan!) and served it all over rice with a quick sauce made from Caravelle, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce (just mix about 1/2 cup of Caravelle with 1 tbsp. vinegar and 1 tbsp. soy sauce, then adjust to your taste if you like it more sweet, sour or salty). I wish I had a picture of the end product, but my family was too hungry. I think I would have lost a finger trying to get a photo.

The moral of this story: If you think you cannot make something, maybe you just don’t have the right tools!

2 Comments on Thursday’s Dish: Fried Tofu

  1. Hi Shannon — I applaud the idea of creating a safer home, and because there’s so much misinformation out there about the Teflon® brand, I’m not surprised that you are concerned. I’m a representative of DuPont though, and hope you’ll let me share some information with you and your readers so that everyone can make truly informed decisions.

    Regulatory agencies, consumer groups and health associations all have taken a close look at the Teflon® brand. This article highlights what they found — the bottom line is that you can use Teflon® nonstick without worry.

    http://www.fluoropolymer-facts.com/PFOA/content.cfm?ItemNumber=4137&navItemNumber=4040xxx

    I’d truly be glad to share additional information about it if you are interested, and appreciate your consideration of this comment. Cheers, Sara.

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