Chicken-Fried Tofu

March 2011
Chicken-Fried Tofu

by 9 people

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We made thisSouthern classicusing firm tofu thatturns golden-brownon the outside andsilky in the center,and we covered it incashew gravy (lightbut still creamy!).We snuck in tonsof disease-fightingbroccoli, too!

Makes: 6 servings

Prep: 35 mins

Cook: 20 mins

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 bunches broccoli, cut into long spears
  • 6 cups plus 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup seltzer, room temperature
  • 2 12.3 ounce packages  firm silken tofu, each piece cut crosswise into 6 slices
  1. In a bowl, combine the cashews and 1 1/2 cups water; let soak for 2 hours. Using a blender, puree the cashews, 2/3 cup soaking water, the lemon juice, 1/2 clove garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees . Place the broccoli on a baking sheet. Grate the remaining 3 1/2 cloves garlic on top. Drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil; season with salt and pepper. Toss and spread evenly. Bake until beginning to brown, 12 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup flour, the cornstarch, chile powder, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place the remaining 1/4 cup flour in a shallow bowl.
  4. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the remaining 6 cups oil over medium heat until it registers 360 degrees on a deep-fry thermometer. Whisk the seltzer into the chile-seasoned flour. Coat the tofu slices, 1 piece at a time, in the plain flour, then dip in the seltzer batter. Using a fork, and working in batches, add the tofu to the hot oil and cook until golden-brown and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Transfer to plates and drizzle the cashew gravy on top; serve the broccoli on the side.