Ginger Fried Tofu

deep fried ginger tofu

This is a vegan take on ginger beef. It’s not a fake beef; it’s using tofu. I didn’t expect the same texture of beef when replacing it with tofu. That’s fine though, because the real key to this dish is in the sauce. And that, my friends, is amazing.

(Random Disclaimer: Amazing but not really healthy. Fried tofu, sweet ginger sauce, over white rice. Yeah probably not my healthiest dish. But every once in a while, a treat like this is welcomed.)

I have made this a couple times now, with different types of tofu, and cut in different ways because I thought maybe it should sort of look like ginger beef strips. I changed my mind this last time I made it.

Here are your tofu options:

Use firm tofu, press it, and slice it into strips then fry it in the deep-fryer. This will have a chewier texture – perhaps one might call it … meatier. This method of frying it was a hit with the meat-eaters I tested the recipe with a couple weeks back.

Use medium tofu, sliced into strips, gently lay it into the deep-fryer basket (medium tofu is very soft and delicate), then fry it. The tofu will be light and airy in some spots but will crisp up quite a lot. It won’t be chewy like the firm tofu but it will be really crunchy if you’re into that texture. Also was acceptable to those I tested it out on.

Use medium tofu, cut into cubes, then fry it in the deep-fryer. The tofu will be softer and have a smooth texture on the inside. The outside – when browned like shown below – will have a nice crunch to it still. The cubes should be light and airy inside and crunchy on the outside.

My favorite is the last. It’s the easiest. And I like the texture of the tofu the best here.

deep fried tofu

Doesn’t that texture look amazing? It’s like what you’d get from the restaurants. So, I’m pretty proud of myself right now. And it’s so easy to fry tofu guys. We have a deep-fryer for things like this, falafels, homemade fries, and pakora. If you don’t have a deep-fryer you can likely find fried tofu chunks in the same area as fresh tofu. I’d throw it on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven to help warm it through and crisp it up a bit. (I feel I need to state the obvious – it won’t be the same as frying it fresh yourself.)

medium tofu

medium tofu – cubed and ready to hit the fryer

Okay so enough about the tofu. I had said the main star of this dish was the sauce. So let’s get right down to it. It’s a super simple sauce. Just a few ingredients, really.

grated carrot

grated carrot for the ginger sauce

carrots, ginger, garlic, green onions

sauteed carrots, ginger, garlic and green onions

ginger sauce

ginger tofu sauce

The great thing about this sauce is it sort of soaks up into the fried tofu cubes once it’s all mixed together. It really is an amazing thing. The tofu cubes don’t get soggy or anything, but just pull in enough of that gingery saucy yumminess to soften any extra crispy bits slightly.

crispy ginger tofu

crispy ginger tofu

(Oh and by the way, the sort of hair-like thing at the bottom left of this picture is not actually a hair. I checked after taking the photo. It does resemble a Sophie hair quite a bit. But no, it’s actually a bit of that fibrous part of ginger that sometimes happens when you grate it. If you don’t believe me, that’s okay too. Dog hair (or my hair, for that matter) in food in this household is not an unusual sight.)

4.0 from 1 reviews
Ginger Fried Tofu
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A vegan and gluten free Asian-inspired ginger sauced tofu dish.
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese/Vietnamese
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 packages medium tofu, drained
  • Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1⅓ cups grated carrots (about 3 large carrots)
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely chopped (about 6 stalks)
  • ½ cup fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Soy Seasoning (or other gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons white wine
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375°F.
  2. Cut each cake of tofu into 1 inch cubes. Gently place into fryer basket and lower into hot oil. Cover deep-fryer and let fry about 10 minutes until cubes are golden brown.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Saute grated carrot, chopped green onion, ginger and garlic for about 5 minutes until carrot begins to soften.
  5. Add Bragg's, apple cider vinegar, white wine, sesame oil, sugar and chili flakes.
  6. Stir to dissolve sugar and allow mixture to simmer for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Add in fried tofu cubes to coat with the mixture.
  8. Serve hot over rice.

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22 Responses to “Ginger Fried Tofu”

  1. October 11, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    This recipe looks amazing! I never fry anything, but I know I’d love this recipe. Maybe I’ll have to try frying for this one! :-)

    • October 11, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

      We rarely pull out the deep-fryer. Well, actually, if Levi had his way we’d be frying up pakora and home fries every night. But for a treat once in a while it is nice to have a bit of crispy fried tofu like the restaurants do it.

  2. Jackie
    November 3, 2012 at 11:43 pm #

    Tried this out today. Replaced the sugar with agave nectar and it tastes awesome!

    • November 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      Glad to hear it was awesome with agave nectar too. I’ll have to try it that way too. Thanks for sharing!

    • teri
      November 14, 2012 at 1:23 pm #

      how much agave nectar did you use?

      • November 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

        In case Jackie doesn’t see your question to reply, I’ll chime in with what I think might work. I think if I were to use agave nectar I’d use slightly less since it can be a bit sweeter than regular sugar. Maybe start with 2/3 cup of agave nectar and taste for sweetness. As my mom would say “You can always add more but you can’t take it away.” :)

  3. teri
    November 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I don’t have a deep fryer, is it possible to successfully fry tofu in a frying pan? I’ve tried it, but it didn’t work out well

    • November 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

      Frying tofu in a frying pan probably won’t yield the same results. You could make your own ‘deep fryer’ with a dutch oven and oil on the stovetop but that sort of scares me a bit. I know a lot of people probably still deep fry that way but to me, it’s like a giant accident waiting to happen. Probably because I’m a clumsy person and would likely burn the house down.

      I just had a thought! Maybe you could prepare the ginger sauce and place your pressed firm tofu in a baking dish and slather with the sauce and bake it. I bet it would still taste pretty good. I might have to try this tonight and report back soon.

  4. keryn
    November 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    can you offer a non – alcoholic substitute for the wine?

    • November 16, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      I know this might sound tongue-in-cheek or snarky but I promise it’s not meant to … but how about some non-alcoholic wine? :) If you’re just not into that flavor maybe some unsweetened white grape juice might work. The white wine gives a bit of dryness to offset all that sweetness. You could try to omit it completely too.

  5. Ugene
    October 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    Can I use red wine vinegar instead ?

    • October 21, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

      Sure you can … it might change the flavor a bit but I am sure it’ll still be fine.

      • Ugene
        October 21, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

        Thanks I am making it right now. Will let you know how it goes.

        • Ugene
          October 22, 2013 at 12:24 am #

          It was good although a little dry. Used it over brown rice. Thanks for this wonderful recipe

          • October 23, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

            Thanks Ugene. I’m surprised it turned out dry for you. We always have a ton of sauce to spoon over rice when we make this. Glad you enjoyed it! :)

  6. David
    June 17, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    This was delicious! But next time I’ll reduce the sugar by at least half. Too sweet for my family’s taste.

  7. blah
    September 30, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Why is it that all of you Americans seem to have bread makers and deep friers (and what not) in every kitchen in the country? It’s crazy!!! But what’s even crazier is that you’re all so blissfully happy with this stuff that you neglect to tell the rest of the world how to cook tofu properly without a f-ing deep frier. Because nobody in the normal world has one. N-O-B-O-D-Y. Sorry for the outrage but this is outrageous and I feel outraged. Mostly because deep fried tofu tastes so gosh darn good. So sue me. Oh no wait don’t you’re americans you might actually do it..

    • September 30, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

      First, it’s a recipe for deep fried tofu, so what else would I deep-fry it with other than a deep-fryer?!

      Second, since when am I required to tell the rest of the world anything about cooking tofu at all. The thing that’s so great about having my own blog is, that I get to choose what I write about and what I share because it’s mine. And I think that if you look around you’ll be able to see I share an awful lot of good stuff here – for free! And yet somehow I get people who rant and drop the f-bomb in comments because it’s just not quite enough of what you need.

      So here’s all I have for deep-frying without a deep-fryer tips: go fill up a deep pot or deep pan with some oil (probably an oil that doesn’t have a low smoke point), heat the oil to some warmish temperature (probably around 325 deg F) and then drop (I mean, gently place) the tofu pieces in. Stand back, and for the love of all that is holy, don’t burn yourself, don’t start a fire, and don’t blame me when your entire house reeks like oil because you don’t own a deep-fryer like any civilized American should.

      Third, I’m not American. I’m Canadian. So probably I won’t sue you, don’t worry.

      Fourth, you’re obviously just HANGRY. Go eat some kale chips or something and come back later when you’ve calmed down. :)

      Lastly, thanks for making me laugh today.

  8. blah
    September 30, 2014 at 10:41 am #

    Sorry I’m hungry and a fucking deep frier cmon

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