I was not a fan of tofu, until I made this Indo-Chinese recipe. I used to find it quite soggy and unappetising, but by frying the tofu with cornflour first, this recipe creates a crispy outer coating on the tofu, elevating it to a new level. Tofu is a great source of protein for vegetarians and non vegetarians, also being high in iron and calcium as well as B vitamins. You can buy it from the vegetarian section in all supermarkets. I do not like texture of the more well known Cauldron brand, so I use the Tofoo extra firm brand for this recipe. Broccolini is a variety of broccoli with smaller florets and longer stalks, but just use long stem broccoli if you cannot find it.
Ingredients: (serves 4)
For the tofu:
- 560g Tofu (2 packs of the tofoo extra firm brand)
- A few tbsp of cornflour
- 1 large piece of ginger, about 2 inches, peeled and grated. A tip is to peel the ginger with a teaspoon (see the picture further down)
- 2 red chillis, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- A bunch of spring onions, chopped (save some for garnish)
- 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tsp chilli oil or paste
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 4 tbsp chilli garlic paste (the Chinese brand Lee Kum Kee- if you cannot find this then leave it out)
- Sesame seeds, to sprinkle
For the broccolini:
- 1 pack broccolini or long stem broccoli
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- Sesame seeds, to sprinkle
- Cashew nuts (optional)
- Cut the tofu into bitesize squares.
- Coat each piece of tofu in the cornflour. This will give it the crispy outer coating.
- Heat 4 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Fry the tofu, flipping the pieces occasionally until golden. I did mine in 2 batches.
- Remove the pieces with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Season well.
- If you want to bake it (to make it healthier). Lie flat on a tray (once coated in cornflour and a little soy sauce). Bake on 180 degrees c for 20 minutes (turning half way).
- Once the tofu has been fried, in the same pan, add 1.5 tbsp oil and fry the ginger, chilli, garlic and spring onions for a few seconds.
- Then add the sweet chilli sauce, chilli oil, soy sauce, chilli garlic paste and ketchup. Mix well.
- Add 2 tsp cornflour to the sauce to thicken whilst stirring.
- Return the tofu to the sauce.
- Put into a bowl and sprinkle with the leftover spring onions and sesame seeds.
- For the broccolini, heat up a wok with 3 tbsp of oil. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds.
- Add the broccolini to this and stir. Add a splash of water to the wok on medium heat and put a lid on for 5 minutes or until the broccoli is just cooked.
- Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil to this and stir. Add cashew nuts if using.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.