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Recipe Thu Jan 29 2009
Here's a quick way to turn ordinary plain tofu into a dirty and deeply spicy, heavily seasoned and juicy dish. Pan fry square-cut pieces of tofu in plenty of hot oil, thick hot sauce, and then when they're halfway cooked and have darkened on one side, splash on soy sauce for a rich, salty goodness.
I started the whole thing off sautéing slices of quartered onions until they softened with a diced green chili from Wiki Wiki Market. I doused in plenty of oil, enough to cover the slices of the two chopped onions, on top of which I carefully put down my tofu squares. I nearly blanketed the pan with Co-op Image's hot sauce, which I like for its thick spiciness and localness. After a few minutes on medium to high heat, the sauce had thickened on top of the tofu. A quick flip of the squares seared in it. The hot pan was now a thick mess of onions and darkened tofu, which a good dousing of low-salt soy sauce quickly infused into.
This dish turned out to remind me of an old roommate's pan-cooked tofu: well seasoned and spicy. The tofu cubes should be thin, so the flavor can quickly absorb and allow a very succulent feel all the way through. They can be a bit wide, say an inch and a half square, just not thick. I like to start by cutting my one-pound block of Mu Tofu into thin sheets, say half to one-quarter inch thick, and then stack those surfaces to cut them into cubes.