Recipe-Lemon Pepper Tofu
Me and sour stuff have a lil' something going on. I will take sour candy over sweet candy any time, any day. There is something so mouth watering about the sensation of sour on your tongue, and the tartness of certain fruits gets me all nostalgic for childhood. It reminds me of seeing how many Warhead candies me and my friends could eat with tears coming out of our eyes, and mixing freshly squeezed lemons with sugar and water to make fresh lemonade on a hot summer day.
As someone who has spent A LOT of time experimenting with non-dairy cooking, I have come to appreciate lemons on a whole new level. They are key in making the most convincing sour cream and bring a bit of much needed brightness to coconut cream based soups and sauces.
For this recipe, I wanted to feature lemon as a main ingredient, so I've got the juice and zest of lemons ALL up in this tofu,
This dish is a great entree, and the leftovers (if there are any) are great cubed and tossed on a salad the next day. Well, that's what I would have done anyway, but the hubs got to them before I did, so I gave him that look.
As I said, I really love sour stuff. If you are not as into that as me, I totally get it, just reduce the amount of lemon juice and zest to 2 lemons instead of 3. If you have the time, you can marinate the tofu overnight for extra flavor power. If not, try to give it at least 30 minutes if possible.
1 log of super firm tofu, found at the local wet market OR 1 block packaged extra firm tofu (about 400g), pressed for at least 1 hour to remove extra moisture
1/2 C white rice vinegar
juice of 3 lemons, freshly squeezed
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)
1/2 C cornstarch
1 C soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 C panko breadcrumbs
1/2 C flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 3 lemons
Oil for pan frying
1. Slice prepared tofu into 1.5-2 inch thick rounds or squares, depending on the kind of tofu you are using.
2. In a shallow dish, mix together the rice vinegar, lemon juice, and maple syrup.
3. In 3 shallow dishes, prepare the breading ingredients. The first one should be used for the corn starch. In the next one, mix together the soy milk, apple cider, vinegar, and pepper. We want to make sure this dish is more peppery so we are adding pepper to the liquid as well as the dry mixture. In the last dish mix together the panko breadcrumbs, flour, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, and lemon zest.
4. Prepare a large pan to set the coated tofu on. Working in small batches, coat each piece of tofu in corn starch, then coat in the wet mixture, and finish with a hearty coating of the panko breadcrumb mixture.
5. Heat pan or wok over medium-high heat and add 1-1.5 inches of cooking oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add your first small batch of tofu to the pan. Cook approximately 2 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown.
I topped the tofu with dried parsley (coz I didn't have fresh) and cashew parmesan. It was so tasty!