I've got this recipe written on the back of an English conversation worksheet from when I taught middle schoolers in Japan several years ago. One of the Japanese teachers brought this (Japanese) cookbook into the teachers' workroom and of course I asked to borrow it for a few minutes. I wrote this recipe down during a break, thinking I'd make it soon, and "soon" turned into about four years. But it was worth the wait.
I love me some fusion food. Bring it on! The crunchy fried tofu pairs with the cool balsamic-infused tomatoey salad so well that it makes me want to do a bit of a salsa. Eat it and see what happens in your dining room. Maybe a Latin dance set to shamisen music. Funky happens.
1 cake momen (firm) tofu
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
10 cherry tomatoes
1 branch parsley
1 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 T. soy sauce
3 T. olive oil (for salsa) + 1 T. for frying
1. Wrap tofu in paper towel and press to extract water.
2. Wash tomatoes in cold water, drain, and quarter. Rinse parsley, drain, and pluck off leaves. Peel onion, and chop onion and parsley finely. Rinse basil and dry.
3. Mix vinegar, soy sauce, and 3 T. olive oil in a bowl, then add parsley and onion and mix well.
4. Cut tofu in half. (I cut it in half horizontally and then vertically as well to make 4 pieces. I figure the more surface area for frying the more crunchy bits you'll get to enjoy. That's my theory, anyway, and it worked for me.) Wipe again before frying. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Heat 1 T. olive oil in frying pan over medium heat. Fry both sides of tofu till browned.
6. Arrange tofu on a plate and pour sauce over. Garnish with basil leaves.
7. Grab your partner and do the funky tofu salsa.