We eat a lot of tofu in this house. I’m a big fan of the stuff, cooked or uncooked, and I love the texture that frying imparts to tofu.
But I have an aversion to deep-frying, for a few reasons:
- Deep-frying is scary. Hot oil can burn skin pretty easily, and it can splatter and splutter everywhere, making a mess.
- It’s expensive. We try to cook with good oils, and it feels wasteful to use quarts of oil to cook one dish.
- If the temperature’s not right, your food can get greasy. Who wants that?
So we panfry. Panfrying also gives the tofu a nicely chewy exterior, and it uses much less oil than deep-frying does. It can still splutter, especially if the tofu goes into the pan wet, but it’s not too bad.
1 tablespoon sunflower or safflower oil
1 block extra-firm tofu, chopped however you want it in your finished dish
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu to the pan in a single layer and cook, without stirring, for a few minutes, until the underside turns golden brown. Stir with a heatproof spatula and cook some more, stirring occasionally, until the cubes are mostly browned on all sides. This can take about 10 minutes. Sometimes a side or two of the tofu doesn’t get browned, but it’s not really a big deal.
Serve with any sauce, or add to a dish like a stir-fry or stew.