I think I got closer to mastering fried tofu

I really like the fried tofu with a tough, almost crispy exterior that you can get in various Chinese dishes. And I’ve tried a range of experiments with tofu in the past, but with little luck in getting it out of it’s natural “I am a squishy sponge” state. It’s been a few years since I’ve attempted, so I tried again recently, and had much better luck, which gives me hope in someday mastering the art of fried tofu.

Josh came back from Texas recently with a range of delicious local sauces and rubs to try on meat. One of them, Frog Bones Sweet Mesquite BBQ Rub, tasted a heck of a lot like BBQ potato chips (specifically delicious ones) and I decided it had possibility to rub on all sorts of things.

Tofu + Frog Bones rub

(That picture is fuzzy. My kitchen has low lighting and my cellphone is several versions behind at this point.)

So I sliced up some firm tofu, dumped a bunch of rub all over it, mixed it up, and let it sit in it for several hours.

Pan tofu

At that point, I cranked the heat up to medium, and pan fried them in, uh, pork lard. The “uh” is there because I feel like, in the US, there is very little overlap between “people who like tofu” and “people who like pork.” Welp, I live in that Venn diagram overlap, and tofu lightly fried in some lard is delicious.

Anyhow, I was pretty light on the lard, tossed them every minute or two, until the edges started to brown. I suspect that using a dry rub (versus using sauces, like I’ve tried before) was really helpful. The high salt content may have helped pull some of the moisture out. I think that, back in the day, since I ate tofu covered in sauce, for some reason I assumed it had to be cooked that way as well. In any case, the rub seemed to work well.

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