This stir-fried chili tofu is the best vegan alternative of chili paneer; but with the silky-smooth texture of tofu, you will still love this chili tofu even if you are not vegan!
Tofu is my new-found love and if you too are on the look-out for new tofu recipe, then I am here to help you today with my sweet & spicy chili tofu recipe. Tofu i.e. soy paneer or cottage cheese made from soy milk is a new entrant in Indian kitchens but the good news is that you can substitute paneer from any paneer recipe with this soy paneer i.e. tofu. I have made chili paneer ample number of times and then I thought I should also replicate this recipe using tofu and make chili tofu which would not only help my vegan readers but also those who are lactose intolerant.
There are various varieties of tofu available in market e.g. firm tofu, extra-firm tofu, silken tofu and many more. For stir-fried recipes like this chili tofu, firm or extra-firm tofu works best as they hold their shape during the cooking process which involves rigorous stirring or tossing on high heat. Silken tofu is best suited for salads.
Like any other classic Asian stir-fried recipe, this chili tofu is also quite quick and easy to make. You only need to prep everything in advance before you start stir-frying as once you start, things need to go into the wok pretty fast and on a high heat. You can use any of your favorite veggies in your chili tofu but don’t miss the classic aromatics i.e. ginger and garlic which lends the beautiful flavors to any classic Asian dish.
You can make your chili tofu as hot as you can handle, so judge the amount of chilies and sriracha sauce as per your liking. The sesame oil adds the classic umami which is inherent to any Asian stir-fry dish, so try not to skip it. This chili tofu is quite a versatile dish; you can serve it dry as a quick appetizer or game-day snack or make a saucy version of chili tofu and serve on top of rice for a restaurant style Chinese dinner at home! Take is yours!
- Firm tofu – 200 gms, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Cornflour/corn starch – ¼ cup
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Green bell peppers – 1, small, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Onion – 1, finely chopped
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Chopped green onions and freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
- Garlic – 6 to 8 cloves, minced
- Ginger – 1-inch piece, finely chopped
- Dry red chili – 2
- Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
- Sriracha sauce – 2 tbsp
- Brown sugar – 2 tbsp
- White vinegar – 2 tbsp
- Corn flour/corn starch – 2 tbsp
- Sesame oil – 1 tsp
- Take the tofu cubes in a bowl and sprinkle the salt on them. Add the corn flour and mix to coat each tofu cube well on all sides.
- Heat enough vegetable oil in a wok for deep frying. When the oil is hot, reduce the flame and drop in the coated tofu cubes. Fry the tofu cubed on medium flame for 2 to3 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Take them out on a plate lined with absorbent paper towel.
- Take a bowl and add soy sauce, sriracha, brown sugar and vinegar and whisk them thoroughly for even mixing.
- Heat the sesame oil in a wok. Once the oil is hot, add minced garlic, chopped ginger and dry red chilies. Sauté them on high for 30 seconds.
- Now pour in the prepared sauce and quickly stir keeping the heat on low.
- Dissolve the corn flour in half a cup of water and add it to the wok. As soon as the liquid comes to boil, it will become thick. Check the seasoning; most probably extra salt will not be required as all the sauces are quite salty.
- Now drop in the fried tofu and carefully toss the wok so that each tofu cube gets coated with the sweet and spicy sauce. Keep the heat on low for better control and keep tossing; it would take a minute or two to completely coat all tofu pieces.
- The liquid should be absorbed mostly by the tofu pieces and the sauce would be in a clinging consistency.
- Sprinkle some chopped green onions and cilantro and serve the chili tofu hot as a quick bite. Enjoy!