Spicy Barbecue Tofu

Tofu tends to get a bad rap. If it's not prepared properly it can feel like eating an old sponge and taste of absolutely nothing. On the other hand, when treated well, tofu can be a scrumptious treat for the senses as well as powerful nourishment for the body.

I first fell in love with tofu through my local Chinese takeout. They have deep fried tofu with sauteed vegetables. Deep fried tofu has the perfect chewy exterior and pillowy soft center. It tastes of all the vegetables, oil and soy sauce from the wok.

I've experimented with cooking tofu at home. I don't really deep fry. But there are other great ways to prepare tofu as a main protein. I like to broil it. I use a classic meat eaters method to give it flavor. I brush it with a glaze before and mid cooking. It works brilliantly both in terms of flavor and texture.

It's totally vegan.

1 package extra firm tofu
4 tbls olive oil
2 tbls hot sauce
2 tbls sriracha
1 tbl apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp…

Crispy Tofu Recipe

There was a time I didn't think that crispy tofu was even possible. I had tried various cooking methods and not gotten the crisp I sought.

The key to crispy tofu is in using the right kind of tofu. It has to be firm or extra firm. Extra firm is best. It also must be thoroughly drained.

I've found the best way to get tofu really dried out is to use refrigeration.

Discard the packaging liquid. Lay the block on a plate layered with thick paper or regular towels. Rest in the fridge uncovered for several hours. Wring out the towels once or twice during the process so they can continue to absorb more moisture. Also turn the block over half way through.

The refrigerator will do most of the drying with its cool, moisture evaporating environment.

Coat a baking sheet with non stick spray. Slice the dried out tofu into 1/2 inch thick slabs. Arrange evenly in a single layer on the sheet. Salt generously. This will further help to dry out the tofu.

Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, turning over the slices at the halfway point.

Remove from oven. Brush with olive oil and season with additional salt on both sides.

Set broiler to high. Broil the tofu until a crispy, crunchy exterior is formed on the top. About 7 minutes. Turn over and repeat.

Brush with a little more oil after you take them out of the oven. Season with black pepper. Allow to rest for 10 after it's come out of the oven.

The tofu will have a very crunchy, very crisp outer layer and the middle will be tender, yet a little bit chewy. The seasoning and the oil will give the crunchy outer layer lots of flavor. A hint of the oil and seasoning flavor will have penetrated to the center. If you've been successful the tofu will snap like a chip or cracker when you break it or bite into it, but it will  have a pleasingly soft and chewy middle.