I’m going to be honest and tell you that I did not want to cook anything tonight for dinner.
I woke up this morning with a stuffed up nose and throbbing headache. I forced myself to work today and when it came time for dinner, I didn’t know what to do. I felt guilty about the 1/2 package of tofu I knew was sitting in the fridge for the past few days, so decided to muster the energy and make use of it.
When I opened the refrigerator I discovered an unopened bag of pea shoots staring back at me, begging for release from its confinement.
So, I decided not think about how tired I felt or how yucky I looked. I put on my happy face and threw up a pot of rice to begin cooking. I also started a cast-iron pan with about an inch or so of vegetable oil in which to deep fry the tofu.
Fried tofu is something we order quite often while dining out. My favorite is when it’s fried then tossed with garlic, jalapenos, and plenty of salt. It’s crispy, salty, and spicy … very tasty.
I used firm tofu and sliced it into 1/4″ slices then patted dry on paper towel. I cracked an egg into a bowl and whisked it with a tablespoon of water. On a plate, I placed about 1/4 cup of flour to dredge the pieces of tofu.
While I waited for the pan to heat up, I sliced a jalapeno and green onion for garnish. The oil looked about ready and I dropped half of the green onion (white part) and a few pieces of japapeno into the oil to season it. I then dipped each piece of tofu into the egg mixture, then into the flour. I coated it generously with flour then shook lightly to remove any excess.
Carefully place tofu into the hot oil. Fry for several minutes on each side until it is golden brown. Remove from pan and place onto paper towel to drain.
Next, I moved on to the pea shoots. We find them readily available in our Asian market. As the name implies, they are the small shoots of a green pea plant, tender and crisp with a sweet pea flavor. I absolutely love them.
I rinsed and drained the pea shoots. Normally, we stir-fry the pea shoots but I didn’t want to mess up another pan. Instead, I tossed them with a drizzle of soy sauce and sesame oil. I like this combo as a simple dressing. You could also add a bit of rice vinegar, minced garlic or ginger.
I placed the salad and a scoop of rice on a plate, then topped with the tofu. I sprinkled the tofu with the sliced jalapeno, green onion, and some salt. I stood there and looked at the final product and it instantly made me feel better. After a bit of photography, I took my first bite. The light, fresh pea shoot salad balanced the fried tofu, so it didn’t feel heavy. I missed not tossing the tofu with a bit of garlic, but it was good regardless.
You’ll find an instructive and fun video on frying tofu from the White On Rice Couple. Todd and Diane walk you through the steps and also show you how to make tofu fries and mojo tofu! They are definetly my latest ‘food blog crush’.