Chef's Recipes

Deep-fried tofu, caraway, pickled cucumber and bacon sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for deep-fried tofu, caraway, pickled cucumber and bacon sauce by Pinbone, Sydney.

By Mike Eggert & Jemma Whiteman
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Deep-fried tofu, caraway, pickled cucumber and bacon sauce
"This is just a fun thought we had," says Whiteman. "Tofu is always seen as the only option for vegetarians and vegans, and kind of gets a bum wrap, so we figured we would put it with the most carnivorous thing ever - bacon."


  • 3 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 litre (4 cups) vegetable oil
  • 100 gm cornflour
  • 300 gm silken tofu (about 1 packet)
Bacon sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 200 gm streaky bacon rashers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small onion, cut into 2cm dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400 gm canned crushed tomatoes
  • 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp gochujang (see note)
Pickled cucumber
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers
  • ¼ tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar


  • 1
    For bacon sauce, heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat, add bacon, onion and garlic, and fry until onion is translucent and the bacon begins to caramelise (7-10 minutes). Add tomatoes and stock, and simmer until bacon is very tender and liquid is reduced to a thick sauce (20-25 minutes). Add gochujang, stir to combine and season to taste. Blend sauce, while still warm, in a food processor or blender until smooth. Keep warm.
  • 2
    For pickled cucumber, peel cucumbers and halve lengthways, then scrape out seeds with a teaspoon. Cut into triangular pieces, transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with sugar and ¼ tsp fine sea salt, toss to coat, then cover and refrigerate until for 30 minutes to lightly pickle. Five minutes before serving, add vinegar, toss to combine, then drain.
  • 3
    Dry-roast caraway seeds with 1 tsp sea salt flakes in a frying pan over low heat until fragrant (2-4 minutes), then finely grind with a mortar and pestle.
  • 4
    Heat oil in a saucepan to 180C. Place cornflour in a large bowl. Cut tofu into 8 pieces, then carefully dust in flour to coat, ensuring there are no areas uncovered or it will fry out in the oil, leaving you with an empty shell. Deep-fry tofu, turning occasionally (be careful, hot oil will spit), until crisp (3-5 minutes). Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with caraway salt to taste.
  • 5
    To serve, spread bacon sauce in the base of a serving bowl, and top with tofu and pickled cucumber.


Drink Suggestion: Mioya Shuz “Yuho 55” sake from Black Market Sake, for its delicate acid and sweet honeydew notes. Drink suggestion by Berri Eggert