Hello hello. I am currently in Bulgaria writing to you from my hotel. I’m on a work trip here in Sofia for the next week, and I am so excited to check out all the city has to offer. The food, the sites, and the culture are so foreign to me, and I feel so fortunate to get the opportunity to see it for myself. I will be doing a wrap up of my adventure after I get back so stay tuned for that!
It’s so crazy that summer is so close to being over meaning those garden parties and beach days are coming to an end. So getting in those last summer dishes is something I think about a lot because come fall, it’s all about warm cozy recipes for me. This panko tofu recipe is one I am loving. When I think about this dish, I think about sitting at a beer garden on a sunny day, drinking a crisp pilser, eating this tofu as I take a sip of beer. I clearly am not dealing with this last days of summer thing very well lol
The first thing I did was prepare the tofu. Tofu has a lot of water in it, so you need to press it out using 4 paper towels. A cheese cloth would be even better if you have one. Place the block of tofu on a baking sheet over 2 paper towels. Put 2 more paper towels on top and then place another baking sheet on top of the paper towels. The weight of the baking sheet will help press that water out of the tofu. Let it sit for about 30 minutes before doing anything with it. You don’t want there to be water in the tofu since it’ll cause the oil to splatter when you fry it.
I used panko as breading for this tofu recipe. Panko is something I had not used before but it’s a very popular ingredient used in fried asian dishes. I chose panko because I like how crunchy it gets when you fry it. However, it doesn’t have a ton of flavor naturally so I seasoned the breading with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Panko Tofu with Black Vinegar Sake Dipping Sauce
- 1 block firm tofu cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 eggs
- 6 cups vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp green onions minced
Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp black vinegar
- 2 tbsp Just Date Syrup optional
- 1 tbsp sake
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 1 tbsp water
- Mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, black vinegar, Just Date Syrup, sake, honey, corn starch, and water in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat for 1-2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. You can tell the alcohol has been burned off if you can't smell it anymore.
- Put 2 paper towels on a baking sheet. Put the tofu on top and cover with 2 more paper towels. Place a baking sheet on top to press all the water out of the tofu. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
- Mix the panko breadcrumbs, pepper, and salt in a large bowl. Beat the eggs in another bowl. Dip the tofu first in the eggs and then cover with panko breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat until it reaches 300 degrees F. Use a deep fry thermometer to help you measure the temperature of the oil.
- Fry the tofu in batches - about a quarter of the batch of tofu at a time. After frying, place them on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Sprinkle green onions on top for garnish.