Spicy Sticky Fried Tofu

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I found this dish through Maangchi, a Korean food YouTuber, and knew I had to try and make it. This recipe is my take on her’s, however I added a little vinegar for acidity and rice syrup for a sticky sweet finish that makes this tofu so addicting.

Perfect served on its own for a quick snack, or with steamed vegetables and rice as a light meal, this recipe is (somewhat) healthy and very satisfying. I usually make it as a meatless meal during the week.

The key is to fry the tofu until it creates a skin that is dry and crispy. Try to not flip it until it is ready – all you need to do is set it down and let it go. If you have a little time you can further dry the tofu out in advance by taking the block out of its packaging, wrapping it in a paper towel, and pressing it down with a weight (I like putting cans on top of a plate) for 20 minutes.

ingredients

Spicy Sticky Fried Tofu

Makes 2 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 tbs gochujang, Korean red pepper paste
  • 2 tbs sake
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs brown rice syrup, easily found at the Korean grocery store, or honey
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds for garnish, I used a mix of black and white

Step 1: Drain and pat the tofu dry with a paper towel. Cut into 1 cm thick blocks.

Step 2: Heat frying pan on medium high. Add frying oil. When oil is hot (you can test by sprinkling water on the pan – it’s ready when the water sizzles immediately upon contact) add tofu in single layer and shake pan to distribute the cooking oil under the tofu.

Step 3: Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes. Try not to flip them until they start to develop a crispy skin. Check the tofu on the sides and middle of the pan and make sure all pieces are cooking evenly. Reduce heat if needed if tofu is starting to burn.

When all pieces are evenly toasted and golden brown on one side, flip them and cook the other side.

Step 4: While the tofu is cooking, make the sauce. Start with the gochujang and gradually thin it out with the sake. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice syrup, and vinegar.

Step 5: When both sides of the tofu are crispy and golden brown, add the sauce. Reduce the sauce for a couple minutes while coating it on the tofu. When the sauce is thick and syrupy, everything is ready.

Step 6: Serve warm, sprinkled with sesame seeds and chopped green onion.

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Steamed banana bread

steamed banana bread

I stumbled upon a steamed banana bread recipe a few years back and I fell in love with it. Fluffy, mildly sweet and fruity, I liked that it reminded me of the steamed buns I liked in my childhood. Often there is a steamed alternative when it comes to Asian-style bread. In terms of my Vietnamese heritage, I always loved bánh bao, a steamed meat bun.

I have always been a fan of steamed bread. It’s a semi healthier option since it does not need as much fat and you will always have a really fluffy result. However since I have always had more of a sweet tooth, I always pulled the bread part of the bun away from the meat and snacked on it because it was so soft and had a subtle sweetness to it. That was the reminiscent texture and flavor I wanted when I sought out an alternative banana bread version.

Unfortunately I did not note the original recipe from that time a few years ago. However when I noticed a few ripe bananas on my countertop this week, I decided to give it another go. Fortunately, it was not hard to find another recipe that I could base this post off. You guys can see it here.

ingredients

Ingredients

  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 4 teaspoons water
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shopped walnuts (you can use more or less based on your preferences)

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Step 1: Assemble your ingredients while you start boiling 1/2 a pan of water. This recipe will use a bamboo steaming basket that rests over a large saucepan. (If you do not have a steamer, I would recommend filling the saucepan 1/3 of the way, then rest an inverted bowl in the center of the pan. Make sure the water does not touch the top of the raised surface. From there, you can steam the bread in a medium-sized pan that rests on top of the bowl.)

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Step 2: Mix mashed bananas, eggs, sugar, butter and water in a bowl until well combined. Add the flour and baking powder, then mix again. Add in the nuts and stir gently until just combined evenly.

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Step 3: If you want to be able to remove your bread out of the pans, grease and flour whatever you choose to cook your bread in. If you are going to steam the bread in cupcake liners or in individual mugs, you can skip this step.

Step 4: Fill the pans (I used mini copper ones) a little less than 3/4 of the way. Cover your steamer with its lid and cook 10-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. (10 for mini ones, 20 for one large bread.)

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*Quick tip: Want a faster option? You can microwave this recipe. Simply pour the batter in a mug until it is half full and microwave for a minute or until a toothpick comes out clean.