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This is a guide ("recipe" feels strong) to making deep-fried tofu, because I never actually found one on the internet and I would like to have one for myself. This was developed over months of experimentation.
I don't provide a recipe, but typically I eat tofu with some kind of sauce over rice. Aside: literally like 90% or more of the flavor profile of Chinese food is from soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, so if you make a sauce containing those three ingredients it will automatically taste Chinese. Easy!
Open the tofu (this often needs a knife; tofu packaging sucks). Pour and/or squeeze out all the water from the container.
Wrap the tofu brick in a minimum of 12 paper towels. Put this on a plate or cutting board and press under the heavy object. If necessary, put a plate or something on top to protect the heavy object from getting wet and distribute its weight more evenly. The goal here is to press more of the remaining water out of the tofu.
Let stand for 20 minutes. You can do things in this time like prepping frying oil or cooking sauce.
Unwrap the tofu and cut it into chunks. I usually do 24 roughly-cube-shaped chunks.
dust all 6 sides of each piece in cornstarch, to make it crunchier. This should be very light, as if it's too much then you'll have a variety of problems (pieces will stick to each other, it'll get too crunchy, whatever).
This is very hard to do correctly if you don't have any kind of dusting equipment (cornstarch is clumpy), and basically any amount you try to add could wind up being too much.
Heat the oil in the pan to about 375 degrees.
If you don't have a thermometer: the correct stove setting on my coil electric stove is about 7 ("medium high"). You can tell when it's hot enough by putting a little piece of tofu in; it should be bubbling pretty rapidly. It takes several minutes for the oil to get hot enough.
Put all the tofu in the oil and let fry for 7 minutes. It's best to add it slowly, as if you dump it all in at once it will splash, and that's bad when you have hot oil. If you added too much cornstarch (which you probably did; I usually do), then you'll need to stir almost constantly to keep pieces from sticking to each other; if you didn't then you can get away with stirring only once-twice in that time.
Remove the tofu from the oil and let it stand on paper towels to drain and cool; you want it to cool for 5-10 minutes before eating so the interior can cool down.
Put the tofu in sauce and serve it.
Comments? Questions? Email me at email@example.com!