It might be the last day of Veganuary, but it’s not the end of us sharing delicious recipes to inspire you hold off the meat a little while longer. These incredible sweet and sticky tofu knots from Bonnie Chung’s second cookbook ‘Tofu Tasty’ are a show stopping alternative to any meaty side dish and work perfectly as a party food too.
by Bonnie Chung
This is my team’s absolute favourite tofu dish, which is totally unexpected given that none of them had ever heard of ‘tofu knots’
before I first made it for them. To be fair, it is probably my favourite recipe in the book, too, and my most requested dish. Pretty, crisp and chewy, it is a show-stopper that delivers the most satisfying bite; nobody can believe that it is tofu. ‘It tastes more chickeny than chicken,’ is probably my favourite quote of all. (Thank you, Teresa!)
Tofu knots are often called ‘bean curd knots’ in Asian stores, and can usually be found in the aisle with other dried soup ingredients, as they are traditionally added to bulk up stews with their protein and texture, rather than fried until crispy as I do here.
For the tofu
100g/3 ½ oz dried golden tofu knots, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then drained
100g/3½ oz/ ¾ cup cornflour (cornstarch)
150ml/5fl oz/2⁄3 cup vegetable oil
toasted sesame seeds, to serve
spring onions (scallions), finely sliced, to serve
For the sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp gochujang
3 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp rice vinegar, malt vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1. In a bowl, coat the softened tofu knots with the cornflour, until all the knobbly angles and curves are covered. Leave for 10 minutes to let the cornflour soak up the moisture around the tofu.
2. In a frying pan, heat the oil until bubbling-hot and add some of the tofu knots. Be sure not to crowd the pan; you may have to cook them in batches. After 2–3 minutes, flip them over. Some angles will be golden brown and crisping up. Keep turning them until each knot is crispy and golden. Drain on kitchen paper (paper towels). If you are not finishing the dish straight away, pop them into a medium oven to keep them warm and crispy.
3. Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, then put in a clean saucepan. Place over a medium heat until the sauce bubbles and starts to reduce.
4. Throw the crispy tofu knots into the sweet, sticky sauce and mix to coat, then serve immediately, scattered with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.