Three weeks ago when I left Sweden for the Sunshine Coast of BC to marry off my sister, Emily, I made the decision to not lug my beast of a laptop with me. Though barely over two years old, my computer seems to me now like a clunky chugging station wagon; the kind with fake wood paneling on the sides and those oh-so safe rear facing seats in the trunk. I’m tired of lugging it around. I’ve dragged it back and forth between Vancouver and Stockholm no less than six times in the last 18 months, and I schlepped it all around Costa Rica this past December. No more! Thinking I was clever, I uploaded pictures for a few posts onto the server so that while I was away I could use any old computer with which to blog, as surely everyone but me would have brought their computer with them to the coast. I planned to post at least twice in the two weeks I was in Canada. Ha!
Clearly I didn’t. As I suspected, there were laptops a plenty, but other than email checks on my iPod, I pretty much unplugged for the two weeks I was away. And I don’t regret it. I’ll try to wrangle through my photos this weekend and post some of them with a recipe next week so you can see what it is I was doing while I was busy not being here. For now, here I am, back on my clunky beast of a laptop, clinging to the remaining shreds of summer.
There is something summery and picnic-y about this crispy skillet tofu. Its double dipped in a savory coating with a nutritional yeast base, then pan fried until nice and crispy. For those of you who are new to nutritional yeast as an ingredient, it is a non leavening strain of yeast that is grown on molasses. It has a pungent, cheesy flavour, and is rich in B vitamins. I am so addicted to nutritional yeast on my popcorn, and also use it frequently in sauces and gravies, or just sprinkled straight up on some steamed veg.
The trick to a nice crispy crust on the tofu is threefold; make sure your tofu is good and dry, double dip into the coating, and don’t hold back on the oil. Without enough oil in your skillet the coating will be dry and crumbly and not good at all. Think about how much oil would be used if you were deep frying rather than using a shallow skillet, relax, and enjoy your meal.
I like this tofu best straight up hot out of the skillet. It’s also great on a salad, in a sandwich, or chopped up and put in a wrap. It’ll never be quite as crispy as when you first made it, but will still be delicious as leftovers.
Crispy Skillet Tofu Recipe:
I season the coating in this recipe with Old Bay Seasoning, which I first bought forever ago for an attempt at home made seitan I never got around to trying. I adore it on popcorn with nutritional yeast, so the pairing seemed logical here also. If you can’t find it try another spice blend, paprika, cayenne, pepper, or whatever strikes your fancy.
1 250g block extra firm tofu
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp Old Bay, or other seasoning
oil for skillet (I used olive oil)
Remove tofu from packaging and drain. Wrap in a few layers of paper towel, and set on a plate or cutting board with another heavy plate on top. Let sit and press for about 10 min. Slice into 1-2 cm thick slices, and set aside.
Whisk egg in a shallow bowl.
In another shallow bowl, toss together flour, nutritional yeast, and seasoning.
Heat a skillet over medium heat, and cover the bottom with oil. Dip a slice of tofu first into the flour / yeast mixture to ensure the outside is really dry, then into the egg, then back into the first coating. Place coated tofu directly into hot pan. Repeat with all slices. Fry until golden brown on one side, then turn over until golden on the the other side. Remove from the pan onto a plate lined with paper towels. Serve immediately for the crispiest tofu.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2011