Follow These Tips To Get Perfectly-Browned Fried Tokwa

Keep these tips in mind when cooking tofu.

IMAGE Patrick Martires

Those who love tofu (tokwa) will be delighted to know that frying tofu is really quite simple, especially when you know the tips and tricks to ensuring you have golden browned tofu every time. Here’s how to fry perfectly browned tofu perfectly every time:

 

1 Keep it dry.

Tofu is stored in water because it’s what keeps it fresh and prolongs its life while in storage. But oil hates water and if the tofu is too wet when added to the hot pan, you’ll get splatters. So take the time to blot out excess moisture with a kitchen towel or paper towels from the tofu before frying.

 

2 Heat the oil.

When frying, the oil must always come to a certain temperature. It’s particularly important when pan-frying tofu. Too hot, and the outside of the tofu will brown too quickly preventing the inside from cooking fully. Not hot enough, and the inside of the tofu will dry out before the outside begins to turn golden brown.

 

Tausi, or fermented black soybeans, make this tofu dish extra flavorful.

 

 

3 Wait for the “golden brown and crispy” stage.

It’s probably the hardest part of being a cook, but patience will be needed to achieve golden brown and crispy tofu squares. You’ll see golden brown spots first before it takes over the white and becomes completely golden brown. Allow each square time to become golden brown before using tongs to each over to cook the other side.

 

4 Drain on a rack.

The enemy of crispy food is the paper towel! While it’s a great tool to blot off excess moisture (aka oil), it’s not the best tool for draining fried food. Sure, the paper towel will absorb excess oil but it also prevents air from drying out the part that it’s on that it the heat will create more moisture and steam the underside of your formerly crispy food. Prevent that by allow air to circulate more evenly throughout the hot food by using a rack that’s elevated. This way, the entire square stays crispy.

 

This take on tokwa't baboy is made even more delicious by using an Ilocos specialty - bagnet.

 

5 Use as desired.

Now that you’ve got your golden brown and crispy tofu, you can use it how you want. Cut up to toss into lugaw, added to a stir-fry like pad thai or a meatless pancit, or served as is, with a simple dipping sauce of sweet chili sauce or soy-calamansi for merienda.

 

6 Freeze it. 

If you find you need to cook all the tofu you have but can't eat it all, the great thing with tofu is that you can freeze it once it's cooked. Just wrap in paper towels, place in a resealable container, and store in the freezer until needed. While it's not recommended to freeze tofu when uncooked, once it's cooked, go ahead and freeze so the next time you have a tofu craving, it's easy to reheat. 

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More from Yummy.ph
A tasty dish rich in soy protein!

 

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Crispy fried tofu with pepper adobo sauce makes for a satisfying meatless dish.

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