Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu
Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu is a delightful and flavorful vegan dish that combines the light and delicate nature of tofu with the bold flavors of salt and pepper. This dish features bite-sized pieces of tofu that are coated in a seasoned cornstarch mixture, deep-fried to golden perfection, and then tossed with a fragrant mixture of salt, pepper, and other spices. The result is a tantalizing blend of textures and tastes – crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, and bursting with savory, spicy goodness.
Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu is like tofu gone wild! It’s a super tasty vegan dish where tofu chunks get all dressed up in a crispy, spicy outfit. You coat ’em in a magical mix of cornstarch and spices, deep-fry until they’re golden and crunchy, and then sprinkle them with a flavor explosion of salt, pepper, and more spices. It’s like a party in your mouth!
This dish is a popular offering in many Asian cuisines, particularly Chinese and Thai. Tofu, also known as bean curd, has been consumed in Asia for over two thousand years, with the earliest known references dating back to ancient China. The technique of deep-frying tofu and seasoning it with salt and pepper likely evolved as a way to add variety and flavor to this versatile and protein-rich ingredient. Over time, different regions have added their own unique twists, leading to various versions of crispy salt and pepper tofu.
To prepare Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu, you’ll need:
For the Tofu:
- 1 block of extra-firm tofu
- 1 cup of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
- Vegetable oil for frying
For the Seasoning:
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper (optional for extra heat)
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes (adjust to taste)
- Fresh chopped cilantro or green onions for garnish (optional)
Steps to Prepare Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu:
1. Prepare the Tofu:
a. Drain the tofu and press it to remove excess water. Cut it into bite-sized cubes.
b. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch, salt, pepper, and paprika.
c. Toss the tofu cubes in the cornstarch mixture until well coated.
2. Fry the Tofu:
a. Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan or skillet to 350°F (175°C).
b. Carefully add the coated tofu cubes to the hot oil and fry until they turn golden and crispy, about 3-5 minutes.
c. Use a slotted spoon to remove the tofu from the oil and drain on paper towels.
3. Season the Tofu:
a. In a separate bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, white pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and chili flakes.
b. Toss the fried tofu cubes in the seasoning mixture until they are evenly coated.
a. Garnish your Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu with fresh cilantro or green onions if desired.
b. Serve hot and enjoy!
The total time to prepare Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu is approximately 30-40 minutes, including preparation and frying. This can vary depending on your cooking experience and equipment. It’s a relatively quick and easy dish to make, perfect for a tasty weeknight dinner or a flavorful appetizer for gatherings.
Nutrition Facts for Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu
Note: The following nutrition information is approximate and can vary based on portion size and specific ingredients used.
Serving Size: 100g of prepared Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu
Calories: 215 calories
Total Fat: 13g
- Saturated Fat: 2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrates: 17g
- Dietary Fiber: 1g
- Sugars: 0g
Vitamins and Minerals:
- Calcium: 142mg (14% DV)
- Iron: 2.8mg (15% DV)
- Potassium: 226mg (6% DV)
- Vitamin C: 0.3mg (1% DV)
High in Protein: Tofu is an excellent source of plant-based protein, making this dish a good option for vegetarians and vegans to meet their protein needs.
Low in Saturated Fat: The dish contains minimal saturated fat, which is beneficial for heart health. The majority of the fat comes from healthy unsaturated sources.
Low in Cholesterol: As with all tofu-based dishes, Crispy Salt and Pepper Spiced Tofu is naturally cholesterol-free.
Moderate Calories: While this dish is relatively low in calories, the frying process can increase calorie content, so portion control is important if you’re watching your calorie intake.
Source of Calcium and Iron: Tofu provides calcium for strong bones and iron for oxygen transport in the blood, especially important for individuals following a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Sodium Content: The sodium content is moderately high, mainly due to the salt used for seasoning. Individuals on a low-sodium diet should consume this dish in moderation.
Gluten-Free: This recipe is gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
Remember that the nutritional values provided are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the specific brands of ingredients used and portion sizes. To make this dish even healthier, consider using less salt or opting for low-sodium alternatives, and control the amount of oil used for frying to reduce the fat content.