It sounds fancy, but it’s really incredibly easy. I’m pretty new to the world of tofu. I mean, I’ve eaten it many many times before but have never really cooked with it. I’ve tried to a few times in the past but it never turns out the way it does when ordering it at a restaurant.
But I really do like tofu, so I decided that I needed to learn how to prepare it on my own and actually have it turn out into something other than a big mushy mess. When you buy a block of tofu at the store, it comes packed in water. Turns out, the most important thing about preparing tofu is to get rid of the excess water.
This can be easily done by slicing or cubing your tofu and pressing it between paper towels and placing a heavy pan on top. If you’re pan-frying your tofu, you can also freeze it and the excess moisture will melt away with the heat (thanks for the tip, Erin!).
When I stumbled across the recipe for Hazelnut Crusted Sweet Chili Tofu, I knew it would be right up my alley. I dreamed of the crispy exterior with a creamy inside, and that’s exactly what I ended up with. I made this as a snack, but it can transition into a main course by serving alongside some sushi rice and snow peas.
Hazelnut Crusted Sweet Chili Tofu – from Como Water
- 1 Block Extra Firm Tofu
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1/3 Cup Hazelnuts (or your nut of choice), ground or finely chopped
- Store-Bought Sweet Chili Sauce (found in the Asian section of the grocery store)
- Canola oil, for frying
Remove tofu from package and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place a few paper towels on a plate and add a layer of tofu. Cover with another layer of paper towels, followed by more tofu and more paper towels until all of the tofu is layered and covered. Place a heavy pan on top of the tofu layers and let sit for about an hour.
Combine flour and hazelnuts in a shallow bowl. Brush the tofu slices with sweet chili sauce, then dredge through the hazelnut/flour mixture on both sides.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Without moving the tofu from where you set it in the pan, let fry for 3 minutes, then flip and fry for another 3 minutes until tofu is golden brown. Remove tofu from skillet and drain on paper towels. Repeat until all tofu is cooked. Serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.