Marinated tofu (卤汁豆腐 or 蜜汁豆腐) is a famous Chinese snack, using tofu. Sometimes, it is called as tofu bacon. The tofu is firstly deep-fried and then with a thick sauce, either sweet, savory or even with a mala flavor. If you dried this marinated tofu in oven or naturally, the marinate tofu will be further made into Dougan (豆干) after drying. If you love the savory and sweet flavor, I highly recommend trying this one.
We make tofu in the previous post and this is one of the series about how to make your tofu yummy and delicious. Soft tofu can be simmered or stir fried. The most delicious version in for me is Mapo tofu. Regular firm tofu has a more stable texture and can be cooked with more shapes. Firm tofu can be sliced, pan-fried or toasted with spices.Extra firm tofu can be marinated, giving it a profound flavor and further made into dried tofu. The purpose of deep-frying is to remove extra water of the tofu slice so the flavors can be well absorbed. I know this might seems to be weird, you will be amazed by its flavor after the first bite. I get lots of unknown dishes, getting large amount of positive comments.
The first deep-frying can remove extra water in tofu slices and consequently they can absorb more flavors inside. If you don't want to use deep-frying, you can use shallow frying. In additional, this can be made as mala flavor by reducing the sugar and skip the honey, then add mixed spices at the very end. It can be a very unique and yummy side dish.
Cut the firm tofu into slices and then drain completely.Heat oil until there are small bubbles around the chopstick. Place the tofu slices in and fry over medium fire until golden brown. You can also use shallow fry for this step, taking a little bit longer time. Strain the oil.
Add the dried tofu slices and all of the spices and seasonings expect honey. And then add water to cover the tofu slices. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Then turn off fire and let the tofu slices soak in the marinating sauce for at least 30 minutes. If you are not in a hurry, soak for a longer time.
Then turn up the fire and cook until the sauce become thickened and well attached to the tofu slices. Turn off the fire, add honey and mix well. Discard the Sichuan peppercorn and fennel seeds and serve either hot or cold. You can serve this as a side dish or snack.
You can feel the strong sweetness from the honey firstly and then comes the spices and aroma of soy sauce. I love the different layers of flavors very much and serve this as a side dish to my summer meals since it can be served cold directly.
- In summer days, you can make large batches and then sever them as snacks among meals. Or those tofu slices can be further dried by air.
- Cut tofu into thin slices and then fry until golden brown on both sides. Remember to stir the first batch of pieces to avoid them sticking to the bottom.
- Soaking tofu among the simmering can help the slices absorb more flavors.
- Watch out at the end of the thickening process as the sauce may get burnt easily. Slightly slow down your fire and keep stirring.
- Honey is optional! But it make the sweet flavor much stronger. Remember to turn off fire before adding honey. Or you can simple skip honey and add mixed spices or hot chili oil to make a mala flavor.
- 500 g firm tofu , or you can use pressed tofu
- oil for deep-frying or shallow frying
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce , low salt
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- ½ tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 1.5 tbsp. rock sugar
- hot water to cover the tofu slices
- 2 tsp. honey , optional
- 2 slices of ginger
- 1 star anise
- 1 tsp. Sichuan peppercorn seeds
- 1 tsp. fennel seeds
- 1 bay leaves
- Cut the firm tofu into slices and then drain completely.
- Heat oil until there are small bubbles around the chopstick. Place the tofu slices in and fry over medium fire until golden brown. You can also use shallow fry for this step, taking a little bit longer time. Strain the oil.
- Add the dried tofu slices and all of the spices and seasonings expect honey. And then add water to cover the tofu slices. Let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the fire and let the tofu soak in the sauce for 30 minutes. Then turn up the fire and cook until the sauce become thickened and well attached to the tofu slices. Turn off fire, add honey according to taste and then mix well.
- Discard the Sichuan peppercorn and fennel seeds and serve either hot or cold. You can serve this as a side dish or snack. It can be served cold too, no need to re-heat for next serving.