A few weeks ago after a late night Muay Thai class (not where we usually go), we stopped at Whole Foods for dinner. The nearest Whole Foods is 45 minutes away from us, so it was kind of a treat. I saw chicken fried tofu at the hot bar and clearly had to try it. Funny thing, I also had some simmered beef thing that was really good. The sauce from the beef on the tofu was deeeelicious. They should consider making it a new dish.
I became mildly obsessed with the idea of chicken fried tofu. I had to make it. And honestly, I think my version is better. If only because mine wasn't sitting on the hot bar so it was still freshly crispy. But the spice blend I used to season it is really good, so that helps too. I do think their version is vegan, whereas mine is vegetarian. Maybe I will come up with a vegan variation next time.
Moroccan Spiced Chicken Fried Tofu
1-1 lb block extra firm tofu
1 large egg
1/2 C buttermilk
about 3/4 C flour
about 1/2 C coarse ground cornmeal
salt and pepper
oil for frying (I used vegetable)
Portion tofu into 4-6 slices, depending on how thick you want them. I think 4 is best, cut from the long side of the block. Place tofu between paper towels in a clean dish cloth. Put a cutting board and something to weigh it down on top, a 28oz can of something works well. Let press/drain for at least 45 minutes.*
Liberally season with Moroccan spice blend. The blend I have doesn't have a lot of salt, so I can coat things pretty well. Just be careful with different brands.
Combine egg and buttermilk.
Combine flour and cornmeal. Salt and pepper the flour mixture (about 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper).
Coat tofu slices with flour, then egg mixture, then flour, egg, flour.
Fry in a shallow pan w/ about 1/3 inch of oil heated over med/med-high heat for about 3 minutes on the first side and 2 on the second. Drain on paper towels.
*Some people say it is better to press/drain the tofu, freeze it, then drain it again by placing it between paper towels while it is thawing. I tried this technique and it did dry out well, but I think just pressing/draining it well the first time is good enough.