Dry frying is a great way to prepare tofu. It removes the moisture from the tofu, enabling it to soak up the flavors of a marinade or sauce. Rather than often soggy texture and bland flavor of tofu, you will have created firm sponges that will take on flavors beautifully.
Here are easy instructions showing how to dry fry tofu.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time Required: It takes about 10 minutes to dry fry 3/4 pound of extra-firm tofu cut into 16 triangles.
- Equipment: Non-stick pan or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet. Stovetop burner. Strainer for draining before frying. Spatula for pressing during frying.
Here's How to Dry Fry Tofu
- Drain (press) 3/4 to 1 pound of firm or extra-firm tofu. If you're going to dry fry, extra-firm tofu is the best choice as it will hold its shape better and brown better during dry frying. Do not use silken tofu for this technique.
- While the tofu is draining, prepare a marinade or sauce for the dish you are going to cook using the tofu.
- Cut the tofu into triangular pieces about 1/2 inch thick. You can also cut the tofu into cubes but, you will find that triangles are the easiest shape with which to work.
- Place the tofu triangles in a non-stick frying pan on medium heat, making sure they are laid out flat. They should also be well separated and not touching. If your pan is too small to allow this, cook them in batches.
- Cook the tofu until it is golden brown, pressing down firmly on the tofu triangles with a spatula during cooking. You will hear hissing and see the water coming out of the tofu as it cooks.
- Turn the tofu triangles over and dry fry the other side, pressing down with the spatula and cooking until golden brown. It takes about 10 minutes total to dry fry 3/4 pound of extra-firm tofu cut into 16 triangular pieces.
- Remove the tofu from the pan. Add the dry fried tofu to a sauce or to a marinade. Allow it to sit in the sauce or marinade for 30 minutes to absorb the flavors. Or, use it in a stir fry or dish without first adding it to a sauce.
You can store the dry fried tofu in the refrigerator if you are not going to use it immediately.
Using Dry Fried Tofu
You can now use the dry fried tofu in stir fries and it will take on the flavors of your sauce without having the soggy and mushy texture that many people don't enjoy. You may like allowing it to soak up the sauce, or you may want to add it to the dish as you cook it instead. It will depend on the dish and your personal taste.