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Ingredients:

Tofu Bites

  • 1 package extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 cup freshly diced pineapple (can substitute with a canned variety if you prefer)
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • Toasted sesame seeds

Let’s get started on the tofu.  Even with the extra firm type, you will still need to press some of the moisture out.  You can read how I do this in a previous blog post.  Once the tofu is ready, crumble the tofu into bite-sized pieces.  I did this so that the tofu bites would look more like actually sweet and sour pork rather than, well, tofu.  Plus, the crumbling allows for more nooks and crannies which provides more crunch when you apply and fry the coating.

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Next, in a mixing bowl, whisk 3 eggs.  You will use these eggs as a binding agent for the bread coating on the tofu.  In another mixing bowl, add 2 cups of panko bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.  Mix together.  Lastly, you’ll need a small bowl of corn starch as well.

Roll the tofu bites in the corn starch and shake off the excess.  You want the tofu to be as dry as possible to help the other ingredients to stick to it.  Next, dip the tofu slices in the beaten egg and then roll into the panko mixture.  Lay the coated tofu slices out on a baking sheet to set.  Deep fry, flipping once, until the tofu bites are a deep, golden brown.

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Next, prepare the sweet and sour sauce.  In a sauce pan, bring to a boil 1 cup of water and 1 cup of vinegar.  Next, stir in 1 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger root, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and 2 teaspoons ketchup.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Next, stir in the pineapple and the red pepper.  Simmer until sauce thickens.  If the sauce is not thick enough for your particular tastes, add one tablespoon of cornstarch to one tablespoon of water and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved.  Return your sauce to a light boil and stir in the corn starch mixture.  Stir constantly.  Reduce heat to a simmer.

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In the mean time, steam chopped broccoli and cook the rice according to package directions.  At this time, you can also toast the sesame seeds.  To toast sesame seeds, place a non-stick sauté pan on medium heat.  Add the sesame seeds and allow them to slightly brown.  Remove from the pan immediately as the seeds will continue to cook and will burn very easily.

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Now, you’re ready to serve.  In a large mixing bowl, add the tofu bites and the steamed broccoli.  Ladle as much of the sweet and sour sauce as you deem necessary and toss together.  Serve the mixture atop a bed of steaming, hot rice and top with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

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