This Braised Tofu features golden pan-fried tofu squares simmered in a deeply savory Chinese-inspired braising liquid. The tofu soaks in all of these gorgeous flavors, leaving you with a gourmet, yet weeknight-friendly dish!
– Extra-firm tofu – Kosher salt – Neutral-flavored oil – Chinese chile oil – Scallions – Ginger – Light soy sauce – Chinese black vinegar – Chinese five-spice powder – White pepper – Cornstarch – Sesame oil – White sesame seeds – White rice or brown rice
Pan-fry the tofu pieces in a single layer until golden brown on the bottom. Flip, then continue cooking until the bottom side is also golden brown.
Meanwhile, make the braising liquid by shaking the ingredients together in a jar or whisking them in a bowl. Transfer the fried tofu to a paper towel-lined cutting board to drain. Wipe out the excess oil from the pan, then add the Chinese chile oil.
Heat the chile oil before adding the scallions, garlic, and ginger. Toss until they’re fragrant. Add the vegetables and briefly stir fry. Pour the braising liquid into the pan. Simmer until it’s thickened a bit.
Once the sauce has thickened, pour the cornstarch slurry into the pan. Whisk until the sauce is thickened, but still pourable. Add the fried tofu into the sauce and toss to coat.
Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer until the liquid has thickened into a sauce that sticks to the tofu. Take it off the heat. Scoop the sauce-covered tofu over rice and garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil, sesame seeds, and scallion greens. Enjoy!