Panko Crusted Tofu with Soy Honey Glaze (두부튀김)
Updated: Aug 21, 2020
We finally got a tripod and decent lighting, so I had some fun with this post... sorry in advance.
There are three things that I buy at HMart, whether I need them or not: Korean radish, Asian pears, and tofu. Each of these ingredients is a versatile staple that's great to have on hand. They hold for awhile in the fridge if you don't use them right away, so there's minimal risk in stocking up (depending on how often you cook Korean food. Also, wrap your radish in plastic wrap and it will keep longer)
Tofu, both of the silken and firm varieties, makes for easy meals in a pinch. We use it all the time in stews and soups. but you can also use it to make a refreshing sandwich, throw it in with your eggs on a Sunday morning, or give it a quick fry and serve it with rice, like I did here.
The tofu itself is simple: Slice, dip in egg wash, and coat with bread crumbs.
The real takeaway from this recipe is the soy honey glaze. It's amazing. I realize that I'm calling my own creation amazing, but facts are facts. I mean look at it:
And it goes great on almost anything. Try it on plain rice, chicken, and pork chops.
IT. IS. SO. GOOD.
The tofu with the honey glaze make a light, crispy, and semi-sweet treat. If you want to caramelize the sauce, pour it on the tofu while it's in the pan.
It doesn't quite hold its own as a main course, though we made it one for the kids. I typically serve this as a side dish or as a snack / appetizer.
Do NOT press the tofu.
I was introduced to tofu by a girl that I dated in college who had hippie parents. I was taught, by her, to press the tofu and squeeze the life out of it before cooking. This is how I have prepared it since. Recently, I encountered a debate on Facebook, where everything I held dear about pressed tofu was called into question. Not pressing it keeps the tofu light, and it holds together much better. Empty out the water, slice, and coat with flour.
1 block of firm tofu (will be enough for 3-4 people)
1 cup of all purpose flour
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup vegetable or other neutral oil
2 green onions, chopped or sliced
For Soy Honey Sauce
1/4 cup of honey
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
1) Slice tofu into 1/4-1/2 inch thick squares and put flour and panko on two separate plates. Crack eggs into a bowl and lightly beat
2) Dredge squares in flour
3) Coat in egg wash
4) Transfer tofu to panko bread crumbs, cover it and lightly press it into bread crumbs to get a good coating
5) Heat a pan over medium heat with enough oil so that the tofu will sit in oil on the bottom. For me, this was 1 cup, you may need more or less
6) Cook for about 3 minutes and flip. Each side should be light brown.
7) Place finished tofu on a wire rack or on a paper towel to drain oil
8) While tofu drains, prep sauce by combining honey, vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seeds in a bowl. Taste, and add more soy sauce if it's too sweet for you. The viscosity should be thicker than water, but not stiff.
9) Plate fried tofu and coat with magic soy honey sauce (see video above)
10) Add green onion and extra sesame seeds and serve