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Five Spice Crispy Tofu

Five Spice Crispy Tofu

Serves 4-6

Dietary: Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients:

  • 1 block of plain tofu
  • 60ml shoyu (good quality soy sauce)
  • a thumb of ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
  • apple juice to cover
  • 2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds (regular or black or a mix)
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Slice the tofu into thick chunks and place in the marinade for at least an hour but up to 3 days. It will taste stronger over time.
  3. Remove the tofu from its marinade, drain on kitchen paper and gently squeeze.
  4. Mix together the corn flour, sesame and spices and press the tofu in the spice mix.
  5. Heat approximately 50ml vegetable or sunflower oil in the wok and heat until hot-test by dropping in a small piece of tofu or bread. It is hot enough when the tofu floats to the top straight away and becomes crispy and golden.
  6. Fry the tofu in 2 batches until golden and crispy.
  7. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper and repeat with the remaining tofu.

Spice Mix

Five Spice gets its name not from the quantity of spices it contains but from the five elements: wood, earth, fire, water and metal. It is easy to find five spice powder in the shops but it is much more fun to make your own. It will keep in a sealed jar for a few months. There is no set recipe for five spice so you can improvise if you like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

Method:

  1. Heat a heavy frying pan (with no oil) add the spices and keep them moving by tossing or with a wooden spoon.
  2. The spices will become aromatic and lightly smoke when they are toasted.
  3. Transfer immediately to a bowl or plate to cool.
  4. Grind the spices in an electric spice grinder.

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