Pretty little fried things

Bread it, immerse it in hot oil, and bathe it in a delicious sticky sauce and I’m all over it.  This is why Chinese takeout and I get along so well.

Here is a sad fact, though: as far as I have been able to deduce, there is no decent Chinese takeout in downtown Raleigh. Boo.

So I attempted to copy.  And it was – no joke – better than the restaurant version.

And of course a little healthier, too.  Seriously, I try not to toot my own kitchen horn all that often, but this Sesame Tofu was a home run.  It’s half-fried to give it that delicious golden crust; half-baked, to prevent grease overload.  (And I promise, if you’re half-baked, you’ll inhale this stuff.)

Recipe: Restaurant-Style Sesame Tofu

Lessons I noted while concocting this:

  • Corn starch is good stuff.  It’s definitely what gives the sesame sauce its stickiness and makes it seem like it came right from a little white carton.
  • Whipped egg whites + corn starch are an amazing batter.  I knew this, but it had been a while since I used it.  So light and crispy and delicious.
  • Sometimes, frying is the answer.  Because although I’m sure you could just bake a dish like this, it wouldn’t be the same.

I normally kinda hate leftovers, but I’m genuinely looking forward to eating the other half of this for lunch tomorrow.

Off to fondle my overstuffed belly and see if I can get in on the couch snuggle situation:

Parker (black cat) is recovering from a stint at the vet (and he is fine – thanks for your kind worried messages and tweets!)  Emmy (white cat) is simply a lazy copycat.  They have been napping like this all day.  I kind of love how they’ve used the blanket to erect a makeshift wall.  True siblings, they’ve become.  Our little interracial family.

Today’s EAT: Since I’ve already rambled on about my (seriously fantastic) dinner, I’ll take a moment to give a shout out to breakfast.  Obviously this isn’t a food blog where I document everything I eat, but Megan’s post got me thinking about bars and flavors and such.  And thinking about breakfast, because honestly, cereal or a prepackaged bar is what I eat most mornings.

Eggs?  Just don’t really like ’em…unless they’re accompanied by bacon and pancakes.  Oatmeal?  Huge meh.  Smoothies?  Nah, I just don’t like drinking my meals.  (Unless we’re talking about beer for dinner.)

So my days usually start out sweet.  I’m sure you could point to different options that are healthier, but I like my sugary granola and fake food bars.  Yogurt Honey Peanut or Peanut Butter Balance Bars only – I don’t dig on the chocolate ones.  At least, not first thing in the morning.

And obviously coffee.  That goes without saying.

Today’s DRINK: The massive SNOMG storm that everyone was freaking out about never materialized.  However, Raleigh has now come down with a nasty case of the sleets, which means I am highly unmotivated to leave the house tonight.  And that sucks, because we are dangerously low on staples.

Which is why I’m sipping this embarrassing Rose tonight:

It’s about as impressive as it looks.  Oh well.  This bottle has been sitting in the rack forever.  FAKE SNOMAGGEDON.  The perfect time to use up the swill.

Today’s RUN: A mellow 7.2 miles.  A few flurries were flying and it was actually a really nice evening for a run!  Ran in to Joe and Erin at the tail end  and was tempted to head out for a few more, but resisted.  Gradual return to higher mileage.  Gradual.

Today’s QUESTION: What’s on your daily breakfast plate?


23 responses to “Pretty little fried things

  1. I’m pretty big into oatmeal in the morning. I love using different toppings. I’m also not into smoothies. I need to chew something in order for it to be a meal for me.

    I do love eggs though. YumMY. 🙂

  2. I inhale that TJ’s granola cereal… the vanilla variety, anyway.
    Sleet is what we used to deal with in Mid-MO all the time. I’m sort of glad that all Chicago gets is snow dump after snow dump… at least I’m not as likely to break my butt this way.

  3. Mmm looks delicious.
    So you fried first, then baked?

    My go-to breakfast meal is Organic Granola w/Milk or Yogurt OR Organic Oats.

    • Yes – pan fried them carefully on each side to get that crust, then baked them. (I tried one after just frying and it was fine – obviously you don’t need to cook tofu to a certain temperature or anything – but it seemed some time in the oven would crisp them up a bit more and soften the inside. And it did!)

  4. lifeisbeachykeen

    My breakfast changes every couples of weeks, but I’m currently eating blueberry special K. I have a lot of oatmeal to eat up, so that will be in the next in rotation.

  5. VODKA.

    Glad your kitty is okay! Wrigley got a B-12 shot and a something anti-nausea. We think she might have been faking.

  6. I have never been able to adequately fry tofu. It always sticks to the pan or, if I put on enough oil, gets overly oily.

    Glad your kitties are okay!! Emergency vet visits are the pits. And pricey. Which is really the one reason I’m glad I don’t have kitties.

    • There was definitely some oil involved. But it wasn’t that “squirt in your mouth” level of oily that restaurant fried tofu often has, if that makes sense.

      I can’t believe I just wrote “squirt in your mouth” but I couldn’t think of any other way to describe it.

      I’m gonna shut up now.

  7. I eat eggs or oatmeal almost every morning, since I don’t usually get a chance to snack during the day it needs to tide me over til noon. If I eat cereal I get super hungry and thus cranky in 2 hours. Supposed to be some snOMG up here tonight, we’ll see..

  8. I loveeeee recreating chinese food in my own kitchen. I think I’ll have to try this recipe, but with chicken. I’m over tofu for awhile. Yeah we’re supposed to get a snow “storm” here also. People are freaking. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  9. You might want to try Peace China, if you haven’t already. They are located at Seaboard Station. Wei (owner) is a good guy and works with all my little requests.

    My breakfast this morning was 2 oz. of Boar’s Head turkey on wheat with dijon mustard. Sometimes I have grits, oatmeal, or egg-in-a-hole. It all depends on my mood.

  10. SNOMG-I’m using that. I used to buy the Trader Joe’s Berry Granola but my roommate could not help himself and would eat a box in 2 days. I couldn’t even get mad because he enjoyed eating it so much, and I was just in awe of his rapid cereal intake!

  11. Mmm, that tofu does look REALLY good. I’d need to come up with a different batter though – something without egg whites. I’m sure it wouldn’t be as delicious though. Meh. And I’ve never actually had a Rose before, worth trying? I’m not usually one for sweet wines though…the drier the better for me.

  12. First of all, I used to hate Tofu, but have recently ‘discovered it’ and look forward to attempting that recipe – thanks for the link.

    Secondly, I agree with above that Breakfasts need to be rotated, whether daily or weekly. No matter how much I like a certain breakfast item (or any meal for that matter) overkill makes me never want to eat it again!


  13. I’ve never seen that wine before at TJ’s, I must look for it next time I go.

    I love sesame tofu–thanks for the tips on making it more restaurant like. And keep on looking for places! It took me four yrs to find a decent Chinese place in Charlotte.

  14. that tofu looks delicious, but I have to admit I’m a breakfast person! I never get sick of cereal, ever. I like anything by Nature’s Path, Barbara’s or Kashi. mmm. with blueberries.

    I don’t really like cats, but I like yours. They seem to be quite the characters 🙂

  15. I eat cereal and fruit. I don’t understand smoothies.

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