Meaty Dry Rubbed Tofu
Crispy tofu is a little tricky to achieve, but all it really takes is patience. As Alton Brown is so fond of saying, "Your patience will be rewarded."
Still, texture is only part of the equation. We still need flavor. Tofu from the package has less than zero flavor.
I came up with a dry rub that makes it taste, for lack of a better word, meaty. It's a handful of fairly common spices and then you just cook it up in a frying pan.
However, working with tofu does require some prep work ahead of the cooking process. As many already know, tofu often needs to be drained and dehydrated. For crispy tofu this is essential.
It's no big deal. Drain the liquid. Wrap the block in a kitchen towel. Place it in a bowl or tray in the fridge for a few hours with a light weight on the top of it.
For my crispy, meaty tofu we cut it into like sized cubes and then we toss it in the spice mixture.
Once evenly coated cook the tofu in a large frying pan over medium high heat. A little oil in the pan helps the browning process, but is not critical to the flavor and texture. You can do it with a dry pan.
Cut the drained tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and toss in the spice mix to coat.
Spice Mix for 1 Block of Tofu
1 tbl salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp cayenne
Cook over medium high heat on one side until browned and crispy. Flip to opposite side with a spoon and continue cooking until that side is also crispy.
For a full block of tofu you'll have to cook it in 2 batches if using a typical large frying pan. Do not overcrowd the pan with the whole block at once.
Enjoy hot and juicy straight from the pan. Store cooled leftovers in a loosely covered container in the fridge. Make sure that moisture can escape.