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#1
Old 01-25-2009, 07:54 PM
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How do you make restaurant-style tofu?

When I order stuff like bean curd and broccoli from a Chinese restaurant, or pad thai with tofu from the Thai place, it comes with tofu made in a style I really like. The tofu is really puffy, spongy, and firm, not at all crumby or soft. It absorbs the sauce flavors better too. It looks like this.

I have tried pressing the tofu and freezing it, but neither of these has brought about the texture that I get with restaurant tofu. I've also broiled it, grilled it, and stir fried. Still no love.

Does anyone know the type of tofu I mean, or how to arrive at that consistency? Am I buying the wrong kind of tofu (extra firm in the 1lb. block)? Preparing it wrong? Specific directions on how to make it like the restaurants do would be much appreciated. Thanks for any help on this.
#2
Old 01-25-2009, 08:12 PM
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I'm not sure about the tofu? Maybe the preperation and cooking technique-- Maybe just extra firm tofu, pressed and dried nicely with paper towels, then sliced in large batons/squares, dredged in corn starch/flour, and deepfried in peanut oil to get a nice golden brown crust.
#3
Old 01-25-2009, 08:13 PM
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Originally Posted by devilsknew View Post
I'm not sure about the tofu? Maybe the preperation and cooking technique-- Maybe just extra firm tofu, pressed and dried nicely with paper towels, then sliced in large batons/squares, dredged in corn starch/flour, and deepfried in peanut oil to get a nice golden brown crust.
I haven't tried dredging in corn starch. Could that be the difference? And deep-frying... you'd think I'd know how to do that, but I'm not 100% sure. Can I just pour a bunch of peanut oil in a heavy frying pan and fry 'em up?
#4
Old 01-25-2009, 08:45 PM
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Your picture shows deep-fried tofu, which requires the tofu to be completely submerged in hot oil. Chinese restaurants usually accomplish this by using a large wok. Here's a video I found that explains the process.
#5
Old 01-25-2009, 08:53 PM
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Location: SW Side, Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubystreak View Post
Can I just pour a bunch of peanut oil in a heavy frying pan and fry 'em up?
Yes. You don't need any special equipment to deep fry. Just a vessel that will hold enough oil to submerge the item you are deep frying. A thermometer is also helpful, to let you know when you reach the proper temp for deep frying (usually around 350-375F).
#6
Old 01-29-2009, 02:20 PM
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Rubystreak,

I'm bumping this thread up because I came across a method of cooking tofu that's significantly healthier than deepfrying and may give you the texture you want. I also share the same distaste for my tofu, but love restaurant style tofu.

The method is called dry frying and there are examples of it here and here.
#7
Old 01-29-2009, 07:32 PM
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Thanks-- that tofu looks exactly like how I want it. I will try your recommendation next time.
#8
Old 01-29-2009, 07:48 PM
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Location: Chicago, IL
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Are you using the correct consistency? I pretty much only use silken tofu. I find the firm to be too chewy and crumbly like you describe.
#9
Old 01-29-2009, 08:00 PM
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I buy House brand cutlet-style tofu. It has that "restaurant" consistency and I don't have to muck around with frying it.

http://house-foods.com/Tofu/prod...ail.aspx?id=44
#10
Old 01-31-2009, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by anu-la1979 View Post
Rubystreak,

I'm bumping this thread up because I came across a method of cooking tofu that's significantly healthier than deepfrying and may give you the texture you want. I also share the same distaste for my tofu, but love restaurant style tofu.

The method is called dry frying and there are examples of it here and here.
I had the second link for dinner tonight. It was great. Thanks for the link anu-la1979.
#11
Old 05-20-2013, 10:12 AM
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Location: Catania, Sicilia
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THANK YOU for this posting. I have been trying to figure out how to get my favorite Thai tofu dishes right for months!
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