Vietnamese Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce
A dish enjoyed as an appetizer or sometimes as a main dish. A neighborhood Vietnamese Restaurant I frequent makes their version topped off with dried shallots and crispy fried garlic. Feel free to substitute with your favorite dipping sauce.
1 (20 oz.) block firm tofu, drained
4 TB all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
vegetable oil, as needed for frying
3/4 c. coconut milk
1 TB Thai chili paste
2-3 TB peanut butter
1 tsp. patis (fish sauce)
1 tsp. white vinegar
2-3 TB palm sugar
water as needed
1 TB roasted peanuts, ground
Cut tofu lengthwise in half, then each half into 1/3-inch slices. Place in a colander; place weighted (I use a 15 oz. canned good or large cup filled with water) plate on top of tofu. Allow to drain 1 hour. Discard liquid. In a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat; heat oil for deep frying. Into shallow dishes; place flour and beaten egg. Dredge tofu slices with flour. Dip into beaten egg. Deep fry 1-2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain on a paper towel. Sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat; warm milk. Add chili paste, peanut butter, patis, vinegar, and sugar. Taste for seasoning; adjust any ingredients. Add water as needed to bring to desired consistency. Top sauce with peanuts. Serve fried tofu with peanut sauce while still warm. Serves 3-4.