Chinese Crispy Tofu


For the Tofu:
– 1 (14-oz) package extra firm tofu
– 3/4 cup Cornstarch
– 1/4 cup Cornmeal
– 1/2 tsp. Salt
– 1//4 tsp. ground pepper
– Chili Flakes to taste, about 1/4 tsp.
– 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
– 2 cups peanut oil, for frying
For the Sweet Chili Sauce:
– 3 Tbsp Sugar
– 1/4 cup Water
– 1/4 cup Rice Vinegar
– 2 tsp Cornstarch
– 1 Tbsp chili paste, such as Sambal
– 3 garlic cloves, smashed
– 2 tsps. Fish sauce


– Remove the tofu from the package and thoroughly drain in a colander. Place the block of tofu on a cutting board and cut into equal squares and set aside.
– Make the coating: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the cornstarch, cornmeal, salt, pepper, chili flakes, and granulated garlic together. Taste the coating and adjust the salt if necessary.
– Place the cut tofu in the coating mixture and gently toss the cubes of tofu in the coating. Make sure to thoroughly coat each piece. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 1 hour. After one hour, remove the bowl and toss the tofu once more in the coating.
– While the tofu is sitting in the refrigerator for one hour make the sauce. In small sauce pan combine all of the sauce ingredients and whisk to remove any lumps. Bring the sauce to a simmer and dissolve the sugar. Transfer the sauce to a food processor or blender and blend on high until smooth. Place the sauce back on the stove and bring to a simmer once more. Cook the sauce for 10 minutes and remove from the heat.
– Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set aside. Place the tofu pieces in a colander and shake the excess coating off. Fry the pieces working in batches to a golden brown and drain on the paper towels. You can keep the tofu pieces warm in the oven while you are frying each batch.
– To serve: Reheat the sauce and place in a serving bowl and serve the fried tofu pieces alongside the sauce. Or you can coat the tofu in the warm sauce and serve the pieces over steamed white rice.

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