I’m a chicken wing junkie. That’s right. I said it! Ain’t nobody gotta be ashamed of dat! This “chicken” wing allows me to indulge in one of my pub favourites and prevents the possibility of me going postal when I can’t get me some meat. Allow approximately 2-3 hours to prepare this recipe. Most of that time you will spend just waiting for the tofu to rid itself of as much moisture as possible.
Go get yourself a package of extra firm tofu. Even with the extra firm type, you will still need to press some of the moisture out. Now, I do not have one of those fancy tofu press gadgets, so I made my own. It’s very simple. All you need is paper towels, two baking sheets, and some heavy weights (like a heavy serving dish, or a brick or two, or a large pot filled with water).
Slice your tofu into half inch strips. Basically, the cut tofu should look like the fish-sticks from the 1950’s TV commercials when you’re finished with the slicing. On a paper towel lined baking sheet, line up your tofu strips side by side (don’t let them touch each other). Place a layer of paper towel on top of the tofu slices and top with the second baking sheet. Then add the weight. You don’t want to add too much weight that it damages the shape of your tofu strips, but you do need enough weight to squeeze out the excess moisture. Let this sit for at least an hour. You might want to check every 20 minutes or so and change the paper towels if they existing paper towels are too wet to absorb any more liquid.
In the meantime, prepare the sweet and spicy dipping 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, 1 teaspoon dried chili flakes, and 2 teaspoons ketchup. Simmer for 5 minutes. Next, stir in 2 teaspoons of corn starch. Remove sauce from the stovetop to cool.
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 3 cups of panko bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Mix together. Lastly, you’ll need a small bowl of corn starch as well.
Once your tofu has been pressed for at least one hour, roll the tofu slices 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 strips are a deep, golden brown.
Serve with the dipping sauce, and a side of carrot and celery sticks with blue cheese dip.