Tofu has a reputation for being bland, but it doesn't have to be. This version is full of spice and crunch, with refreshing notes added in the form of spring onion and cucumber. It's a tasty snack or starter as is, but can become a more substantial meal served with noodles or brown rice.
- 1 kg hard tofu (2 blocks of 500gm each)
- Cornflour, for dusting
- 150 gm panko crumbs
- 60 gm gochujang (see note)
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
- 60 ml (¼ cup) grapeseed oil or other neutral-flavoured oil
- Julienned cucumber, thinly sliced spring onion and sesame seeds, to serve
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) grapeseed oil or other neutral-flavoured oil
- 50 ml brown rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 50 gm cabbage kimchi, finely chopped
- 1Place tofu on a tray lined with several layers of paper towel, cover with another 2 layers of paper towel and place another tray on top. Weight evenly with food cans and stand for 1 hour.
- 2Meanwhile, for kimchi dressing, process ingredients except kimchi in a blender to combine, stir in kimchi and season to taste.
- 3Place cornflour and panko crumbs in separate bowls. Stir gochujang and ginger in a small bowl to combine. Dust tofu in the cornflour and brush thickly with gochujang mixture. Press into panko crumbs to coat thickly all over.
- 4Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add tofu blocks and fry, turning occasionally with a spatula (tongs will break the tofu), until golden brown and crisp (5-6 minutes). Drain on paper towels, season to taste, thickly slice and serve drizzled with kimchi dressing and scattered with cucumber, spring onion and sesame seeds.
Gochujang, a Korean chilli paste, is available from Asian grocers.
Drink Suggestion: A can of cold, crisp lager.
Drink suggestion by Max Allen.