Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tofu Teriyaki

Peanut oil's the secret.

Frying food in corn or canola oil is fine, but peanut oil has a higher smoke point, so it can fry more quickly and with less oil absorption. When I'm cooking things like chicken cutlets, fried shrimp, and, more recently, tofu, the difference is impressively clear -- everything is crispier and less greasy.

This really comes in handy with tofu, because teriyaki sauce would sog up soft slices of soy -- you need a nice firm texture on the outside before applying any liquids. So tonight I sliced the tofu and drained some of its moisture using paper towels, then I pressed the slices into a plate of black sesame seeds and dropped them into a red-hot peanut-oil-coated pan. There were splatters, sure, but eventually I had myself truly crispy tofu sitting on a rack in a warm oven. I painted on some teriyaki sauce, and dinner was served.

Despite the frying, this is a good light meal and a refreshing change of pace when we're sick of the same old stuff. I always worry that Margy won't find it substantial enough, but fortunately my fears remain unfounded.

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