Chili Lime Ginger Sauce with Fried Silken Tofu

This is one of those recipes that always impresses. The flavors are perfect together and I always feel like I have never made enough—especially when my son comes back for thirds!

If you have ever eaten Sweet and Spicy Silken fried tofu from a traditional street vendor in Asia you’ll appreciate this recipe, as it utilizes the same cooking techniques to bring you a wonderful rich flavor.

Quick and super easy, once you gain confidence making the sauce you will become a pro in no time—which is good because if your family is anything like mine, they will be asking for it often. 

Yield: 
12–14 large pieces of fried tofu
Cooking Time: 
20 Minutes
Prep Time: 
10 Minutes
Ingredients: 

Sauce:

  • 2 thumb-size pieces of young ginger cut into very thin long strips
  • 3 large fresh garlic cloves, diced (not minced)
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp chili sauce or sweet chili sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime

Tofu:

  • 2 x 15 oz blocks of silken tofu
  • Flour for dusting
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
Instructions: 

Sauce:

  1. In a small pan, gently fry the sliced ginger and diced garlic in the sesame oil until soft and aromatic; do not burn your garlic. Lower the heat before adding the soy sauce, rice vinegar, water, sugar, tomato paste, chili sauce and lime juice. Stir well and let simmer for a few minutes. Taste test. If it’s too intense add a little water, if it lacks flavor, add some more soy sauce, then let simmer for another minute. 

Tofu:

  1. I use rice flour or plain flour but I’m sure you can use other flours if you want to experiment. Choose a sensible silken tofu as some are so soft that they are not meant for cooking.
  2. Slice the tofu into thick slices; I like to cut them about ¾-inch thick so they don’t fall apart.
  3. Place the sliced tofu on a paper towel and pat off excess liquid. Dust the tofu pieces with the flour to form a light coating.
  4. In a large non-stick pan or iron skillet (my preferred choice), heat 2 Tbsp of sesame oil. Place your tofu in the sesame oil and fry over medium heat for 2 minutes on each side or till golden brown and crispy.
  5. Drizzle the dressing over the tofu while it is still steaming hot. Serve with your favorite steamed Chinese greens or bowl of grains.
  6. This dish is best eaten right away while it is still hot.

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