Today’s recipe of spicy fermented soybeans fried tofu is for soybean lovers. I am pairing fried tofu with fermented soybeans, along with spicy sauce that has soy sauce in it. So triple soybean food product in one delicious recipe :)
How to pan fry tofu
Before frying your tofu, be sure to drain them really well. I start this process by wrapping my one block of firm tofu with paper kitchen towel, sandwich it between two plates, then put a heavy object on top. Just leave the tofu in this configuration for 30 minutes to 1 hour to drain out the liquid. Once properly drained, cut into 12 equal squares, and they are ready for pan frying. The easiest way is to use a non-stick frying pan, but I prefer my cast iron skillet. To ensure no sticking on your cast iron skillet, just heat it first on medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce to medium, add oil, then the tofu. If you do it this way, they shouldn’t stick to the cast iron skillet at all.
Quick 5 minute sauce
Once the tofu is pan fried, you can literally cook the sauce in under 5 minutes. You can use the same pan that you use to fry the tofu to make th sauce, so less pan to clean later. Simply add a bit of oil if there is none left after frying the tofu, along with garlic, fermented soybeans, white part of scallions, and chilies. Once fragrant, add Shaoxing, soy sauce, pepper, sugar, and sesame oil. The moment the sauce bubbles, add cornstarch solution to thicken. And finally, return fried tofu along with green part of scallions to pan, gently toss to coat, and you are done.
Spicy Fermented Soybeans Fried Tofu
- 1 firm tofu block (1 lb / 450 gram)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoon fermented soybeans
- 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch sections, separate white from green
- 3 to 8 dried red chilies, seeded
- 2 tablespoon Shaoxing
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- cornstarch solution from 2 teaspoon cornstarch + 3 tablespoon water
- Drain tofu by wrapping with a paper kitchen towel, sandwich it between two plates, and place a heavy object on top of the plate. Set aside for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until you see plenty of liquid pools around the tofu.
- Once the tofu is drained, cut into 12 squares.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to medium. Add about 3 tablespoons of oil, then add the tofu. Don't stir the tofu, but let them sit on the skillet until a golden brown skin develops (~ 4-5 minutes), then flip to the other side, and cook again for another 4-5 minutes. Remove fried tofu from skillet.
- If there is no more oil on the skillet, add another 1 tablespoon of oil. Then sauté garlic, fermented soybeans, white part of scallions, and red chilies for 1 minute.
- Add Shaoxing, soy sauce, sesame oil, ground pepper, and sugar. Stir and cook until boiling.
- Thicken sauce by adding cornstarch solution. Stir.
- Once the sauce is thick, return fried tofu along with green part of scallions to the skillet. Gently toss to coat.
- Turn off heat, transfer to a serving plate, and serve with steamed white rice.