fried tofu with sesame almond dipping sauce

Ermagerdddd. As I started writing the title, I realized that I never wrote down how I made this sesame peanut dipping sauce. Jeeeeez. I'll have to reach deep in my chaotic memory to pull that one out so hopefully it comes out the same.....

You may have noticed that I have a fairly large handful of recipes involving tofu. I want to clarify why this is. I am not a vegan, or a vegetarian, or a meat hater. I actually LOVE all sources of fish and meat. Shrimp, steak, chicken, any fish ever, you name it and I'll eat it. BUT....I am also just like a lot of you other mid 20's something (kind of) who are living life on their own in a new job and don't have all their shit together. And to be honest witcha tofu is just a million times easier, cheaper, and more convenient majority of the time. Plus, if you cook it right then it tastes amazing and provides protein! Win win in my book. 

If you are a vegetarian, this recipe is perfect for you. If you are a vegan, it's a no go. Eggs and flour involved. 

Seriously, I have had this cutting board for far too long and have NEVER noticed that the bottom left says Joyce Chen. Huh. I literally just had to go check it to make sure I wasn't going crazy. Anyway, start by wrapping how ever much tofu you are using (I used about half a block) in a paper towel to let the liquid out. Then cut into squares. Or strips or cubes or whatever you want.

Alrighty now let's see if I can remember how I did this sauce :) I'm pretty sure I used:

-2 tblsp almond butter
-2 tblsp tamari
-1 tsp rice vinegar
-1 tblsp sesame oil
-1 dash agave nectar
-1 tblsp chopped cilantro (you can use stems too)
-a little bit of warm water (to mix easier)

I popped all of this into a food processor to blend. If it's still a little thick you can add more water. Top with chopped cilantro and toasted black sesame seeds. And don't worry, all of these flavors are so yummy. If it isn't exactly how I made it originally it's hopefully just as tasty. 

Flour, whipped egg, and panko bread crumbs. So simple. I mixed 1 tsp paprika, a few dashes of cayenne, and 1 tsp chili powder into the flour for some extra flavor.

Start about 3-4 tblsp of oil in a pan. I used grape seed oil because it's good for frying, or so I hear. Dip each piece of tofu first in flour, then the egg, then completely coat in panko bread crumbs and add to the pan. Cook about 3 minutes on each side or until brown and crunchy looking. 

Top with extra cilantro because why not?

MMMM crunchy and tasty. Just the way I like it.