The 3-Ingredient Weeknight Tofu I Always Turn To

My mom made this for me all the time and now it’s become a staple on my dinner table.

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July 12, 2022

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Photo by: IzaLysonArts / 500px/Getty

IzaLysonArts / 500px/Getty

Making a quick (and absolutely delicious) weeknight meal night after night is no easy feat. And on days when I’m out of inspiration, I always find myself coming back to what my mom made for me growing up. As I’ve learned to cook through her dishes, I’m always surprised, and relieved, to learn how simple, easy and fast it is to cook some of my favorite foods.

One of them? My mom’s pan-fried tofu. Whenever I need protein on my plate, I turn to her three-ingredient take. And honestly, it’s so good I sometimes eat it several nights in a row. I crave it all the time!

All you need for this weeknight staple is a block of extra-firm tofu (or any firmer tofu that works well for stir-frying or sautéing), sriracha and hoisin sauce. Press the tofu for a few minutes to get rid of excess water, and then cut into bite-sized rectangles. Heat a non-stick pan to medium-high heat, add a thin layer of oil and then place the tofu pieces into the pan, being careful not to overcrowd. After a few minutes, flip each rectangle to the other side for another few minutes. You’ll know when to flip when the block comes off the pan easily (if it sticks, it’s not ready!). The surface of the tofu should be a nice golden brown – with a slightly crispy layer.

After lightly pan-frying both sides, let your tofu cool for a few minutes on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb any excess oil. While it cools, mix one-part sriracha and one-part hoisin sauce, and adjust to taste.

That’s it! No extra seasoning needed. Just dip your tofu bites in the (magic) sauce for a satisfying, plant-based protein. I usually eat it alongside a quinoa salad, or with a spread of white rice, stir-fried Tomato and Eggs (another Chinese weeknight staple) and sautéed gai lan. Thanks, Mom!

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