It took me a while to come up with this method of cooking silken tofu
and I was pleased with the flavour
, and appearance
. You really need a teflon pan to make it this way. If you use cast iron or stainless steel it will stick to the bottom of the pan and make a terrible mess
. The total cooking time is perhaps five minutes, maybe less. Bear in mind, you’re not really cooking the tofu, it’s already cooked. All you’re doing is changing the texture and flavour.
I made some sauté
ed silken tofu earlier to add to a noodle soup
and wrote this as I was making it. The measurements I’ve used here made enough tofu for one person.
You’re going to need a little of sensei
’s An Easy Way to Make Not-so-good Food Much Better
sauce. Put two teaspoons of it in a cup or a bowl and dilute it with one teaspoon of water. Swirl it in the cup to mix it and set it aside.
Rinse a square of fresh silken tofu and then cut it into (approximately) six one-inch cubes. You can cut it smaller or larger if you want to. Heat one teaspoon of grapeseed oil in a teflon pan to a medium-high temperature. The oil will probably want to pool on one side of the pan, rather than coating the bottom, but don’t worry about it. Now pick up the tofu in rows by sliding the blade of your knife under it and support it with your hand as you carry it to the stove. Gently slide the cubes off the knife and into the pan. Repeat until you get all of the tofu into the pan. Now lift the pan and swirl it to distribute the oil. The idea is to let the tofu cook until it begins to deepen in colour and becomes firmer. It should be allowed to cook until it becomes golden (not brown) and has a slightly pockmarked appearance. Using a thin spatula or egg flipper, (whatever you call it), turn the tofu and allow it to cook on each side. This doesn’t take long, so don’t take your eye off of it. Swirl the pan now and then to distribute the little bit of oil you’re cooking with.
Pour the diluted sauce into the pan. Don’t worry about trying to coat the tofu, just get it all into the pan. Then pick up the pan and swirl it to ensure that the undersides of all of the pieces are coated with the sauce. Return the pan to the heat and let it cook for a moment to set it. Then gently flip the tofu and swirl the pan again. Continue to swirl and flip, keeping the tofu moving while the water in the sauce evaporates. The sauce will adhere to the tofu and will give it an even coating without burning. You don’t need to wait until absolutely all of the sauce evaporates. I cook it until the tofu is evenly coloured, and remove it from the heat when just a few drops remain to prevent it from burning.
The reason for cooking the tofu in a diluted mixture is because shoyu (soy sauce) poured directly into a hot pan tends to quickly turn into tar or even burn and doesn’t taste at all good.
Note: you can add a few drops of chili oil or sesame oil to the sauce to make it a little more lively.