Who doesn’t love a warm batch of french fries? Any fool who dare utter sacrilege and assert disdain for our beloved sizzled spud is hereby BANNED from this post! (But please do return on Monday for our next dish). French Fries are one of those comforting vices that we always seen to turn to a few times a week. Whether it be home-made in the kitchen or an extra large order at a convenient drive-thru, fried or roasted potatoes with a side of ketchup always make our bellies happy. To give this universally loved finger food a more protein packed advantage than using the average russet potato, we’ve turned to TOFU to help bring a healthier excuse to our justify our vice of eating fries about 2-3 times a week.
TOFU?! Yes, we’re sharing the love of tofu and the JOY of SOY to everyone whose ever frowned at this delicate and often misunderstood block of white beauty. When sliced into thin strips or cut into chunks then fried, tofu’s texture and crisp outer crust very much resembles that of fried potatoes. Perfect! It’s the healthier, lower carb/calorie option (minus the oil for frying) for anyone who already loves tofu, wants to try it for the first time or anti-tofu activists who needs a little help and tasty convincing to cross over to the “other side”. We guarantee that for those meanie weanies who have ever frowned at tofu will have a change of heart when they try these frites and mojos.
Staring with a firm block a tofu, these are so easy to make as an accompaniment to sandwiches to even eaten as a main course, like we often shamefully indulge in. Slicing them in thin 1/8″-1/4″ strips fries up nicely to create the tofu frites or if you want something heartier, cut them in thicker pieces and dredge in egg and flour to make your tofu Mojos. In making our tofu mojo’s, the delicious finished product often resembled chicken tenders and so many other dishes that came to mind. Here are some new names to pen this dish to: Tofu Tenders, very thinly cut Shoestring Tofu, slice thicker then dredge in egg/flour to make Seasoned Tofu Fries, cut them into rounds to make Tofu Chips and cut them in criss-cut-cross shapes to make Tofu Waffle Fries! Add a spicy & tangy home made Asian ketchup to these, don’t tell your guests and no one will ever know that they’re eating soy curd!
DESCRIBE YOURSELF via Tofu Frites or Tofu Mojos
So, what’s your preference/style? Are you the thin, chic, lightly seasoned and delicate “frites” type that can elegantly lace a plate or are you the type that enjoys the thicker, hearty, messy flour and egg dredged “Mojo”? Or you can be like us…frite’s by day, mojo-ing by night.
TOFU FRITES & MOJOS Recipe with Asian Ketchup
Choosing a Very Firm or Extra Firm tofu in crucial, especially when making the frites because the small strips of tofu will break apart easily for anything other than the firm tofu. The plastic wrapped blocks of tofu normally found at Viet markets do not work very well with frites because of the many air pockets in these blocks of tofu that cause the thin strips to crumble. The best best for both the frites and mojo’s are the square, firm tofu packed in water.
We like to serve them with our Asian Ketchup (recipe included).
This is the quick version of our Asian Ketchup. This recipe will only take about 30 min. of cooking compared to the hours to make ketchup from fresh tomatoes. We will do the full version with the fresh tomatoes this summer when we either have a harvest or can find them cheap and good. We use what we call "devil peppers" or the what Vietnamese call "ot hiem" translating to "mean pepper" These little devils have great flavor but also serious spice, often besting habaneros in spiciness. Use whatever peppers you like to suit your taste.
Tofu Frites Ingredients
- 1 package Extra Firm Tofu packed in water
- Oil for frying
- Seasoning Salt : (use all , any or mix your own personal blend)
- 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of dried parsely /oregano/marjoram /thyme
- 1 teaspoon of garlic salt (for you salt lovers!)
Asian Ketchup Ingredients
- 2 – 15 oz cans of good Tomato Sauce
- 1/2 Sweet Onion, finely diced
- 1 Devil Pepper (ot hiem), finely diced
- 1" fresh Ginger, grated
- 1 T Sesame Seeds, toasted
- 1 t Mustard Seeds
- 1/2 t Celery Seed
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1/2 t freshly ground Black Pepper
- 1/3 c Brown Sugar, packed
- 3 T Soy Sauce
- 1/4 c Apple Cider Vinegar
Tofu Frites Directions
- Remove tofu from package. Cut into 1/8″ – 1/4 ” slices. Blot dry with paper towel. Slice lengthwise again into 1/8″ -1/4″ strips.
- Mix seasoning salt ingredients together in a small bowl. Dredge tofu slices in seasonings.
- In large pot or fryer, heat about 3-4 inches of oil to about 350 degrees. Carefully lay tofu strips into hot oil. Work in small batches, do not allow tofu strips to touch each other in hot oil. They will stick to one another while frying.
- Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oil and blot on paper towel to remove excess oil.
Asian Ketchup Directions
- Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 min., stirring regularly (covering with a splatter screen will help keep cooktop clean.)
- Puree in a blender or food processor, then strain through a china cap or equivalent. Store in fridge for up to a month, or in freezer for longer storage.