Fried tofu in ginger, soy and butter sauce

Photographer: Adam
Makes around 20 bite sized nibbles; or a good sized snack/entre for six

Easy to make, and very easy to eat – even managed to convert the boyfriend (favourite meal steak) to this delicious protein. The secret is to bleed the excess moisture out of your tofu prior to frying so you get a nice crispy shell.


450g tofu block – I prefer soft tofu, but firm also works well for this recipe
4 spring onions, finely diced
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 shallot, finely diced
juice of one lime (approx 2 tbsp)
zest of half a lime (approx 1 tsp)
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp sake
3 tbsp mirin (sweet sake used for cooking)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp butter
1 spring onion, finely sliced (to garnish)


It is important to press the moisture out of your tofu to achieve a crispy shell when frying. To do this, simply wrap the block of tofu in a couple of paper towels or a clean tea towel and place something heavy (a chopping board or recipe book works well) on top. Leave it for half an hour for the liquid to absorb into the paper towels – you’ll be surprised at how much there is.
1. Combine the spring onions, ginger, garlic, shallot, lime juice and zest, soy sauce, sake, and mirin in a shallow dish.
2. Cut the tofu into desired sized pieces – anything between 3 and 5 cm cubes – and marinate for between 20 minutes and half an hour.
3. In a large, heavy-based pan heat the sesame oil and 1 tsp butter. Add the tofu pieces and fry in one layer, turning to achieve an even golden-brown shell. Once cooked, remove the tofu and drain on a paper towel.
4. Add the remaining teaspoon of butter and the leftover marinade to the pan, and cook on a medium-high heat for a further couple of minutes, until the spring onions have softened, the shallots have gone clear and the sauce has thickened.
5. Place two or three pieces of tofu on a plate, spoon over sauce, and top with a sprinkling of sliced spring onion. Serve hot.