Make this sweet and sour tofu in minutes and forget about the takeout!
It took me a long time to warm up to the idea of tofu. I pretty much thought all versions of it were like the slimy disgusting stuff you find in the warmed up toilet water they call miso soup. Once I realized Chinese takeout is probably not the best barometer for judging a food’s potential, however, the world of crispy pan fried tofu squares opened up.
There were a few mishaps along the way to a decent tofu meal like buying the silken kind by accident instead of extra firm. Or, being lazy and not spending a few extra minutes to press the water out of it before cubing, figuring it couldn’t make that much of a difference. But now I know.
And now, when I forget to take something out of the freezer to defrost for dinner, I almost always have a package of tofu in the fridge as a protein packed, vegetarian backup plan.
The super firm tofu from Wildwood I used for this sweet & sour tofu was one of the best I’ve tried. It’s legitimately firm and almost needed no pressing, and I loved that it’s made with sprouted soybeans. I’m somewhat conscious of the amount of soy and grains I eat and try to eat sprouted varieties whenever possible so this was a definite plus. So while I stand firm in my distaste for miso soup (seriously, I’ll never understand you people who slurp that stuff up), I do love a good sweet & sour Chinese takeout dish which is exactly what I wanted to recreate with this pan fried tofu. It’s sweet from the honey, sour from the squeeze of lime juice, salty from the soy sauce and caramelizes into a delicious sticky coating on the tofu when it’s all tossed together at the end. The trick to the crispiness is to leave the tofu alone once you put it in the pan and the trick to the sticky sauce is a hot pan. Simple enough, right? Serve it over some sticky white rice and you’ve got yourself a way better for you version of takeout.