tofu opener

I’m not a huge tofu fan, but I have come to learn that my family likes the contrast of crispy fried coating on silky warm tofu. And since tofu has zero fat in it, I like to get our daily butter intake into the dish.


Cut a block of firm tofu into thumb-sized rectangles—they can be any shape or size—I just find this easiest to work with in the oil.

I make a flour coating of blue corn flour, garlic and onion powder, and Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning. I use Tony’s because I am too lazy to put together all the spices that are  in this pre-packaged one. If you are a purist, combine cayenne, white pepper, black pepper, celery salt and paprika to taste.  Also, any flour will work if you can’t find the blue corn flour, I just like the color contrast of the blue flour and white tofu.  Rice flour is a really light alternative that browns nicely.

Toss your tofu in the seasoned flour until it is well coated.  Let it sit while you heat peanut oil in a pan.

When you can drop a pinch of flour into the hot oil and it sizzles and floats your oil is ready for the tofu.

Pull the pieces out and shake off excess.  I let them sit in the oil for a couple minutes before turning them.  You are looking for a light browning, so just keep turning them until you get the color you desire.

When they are done put them on a plate with a paper towel.

Miso Compound butter

1/2 pound unsalted butter

Miso to taste

Ponzu or rice wine vinegar to taste

Throw your butter in a food processor and whip it. Add a dollop of miso paste. Miso is pretty strong, so go light until you taste the combined butter. Add a splash of vinegar.

I will make a half to a whole pound of this and keep it in the fridge to add to other Asian flavored dishes we make.  Nothing in it will go bad so it holds indefinitely.

I put a small dollop of the butter on each piece of tofu and let it melt into the fried coating.

Garnish the whole dish with green onions and avocado.

Serve with rice.

Note: I don’t claim this as my own recipe, it is my variation on a Ming Tsai recipe I came across a long time ago. Here I served it with pulled pork and Korean kimchi sandwiches.


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