Vietnamese Silk Tofu “Tempura”

*There’s a video tutorial at the end of this post. 

My husband and I just signed a new house lease for the next quarter and began our 10th month living in Hoi An. Both our landlady and we couldn’t believe that it had been that long. We all remembered the first day we met at this house as vividly as it had been some time last month. My husband and I fell in love with the house the moment we saw it. For my husband, it was the beautiful furniture and airy rooms. For me, it was the light-filled kitchen and a garden full of blooming bird-of-paradise flowers. For one, it meant free flowers for me, which was awesome! But more importantly, I somehow believed that if the owner had cared to grow beautiful blooms in the back yard, she must be somebody who would take good care of the house too.
Nine months living in Hoi An and I have come to love this coastal town with all it has to offer – beautiful beaches, kind people and amazing seafood. That’s why it broke my heart yesterday to see Hoi An seafood market as deserted as it had never existed. Mass fish deaths have happened in the central part of my country for several weeks now and people, understandably, stay away from seafood like it’s shooting radiation.

On the bright side, I got to be creative in the kitchen with vegetarian recipes. Yesterday I made these crispy fried silk tofu cubes, which are just like the soy version of cheese sticks.  This used to be my favorite dish to order in restaurants. I thought it was too difficult to make at home and that only professional chefs with restaurant equipment could pull off that wonderful contrast in textures and flavors. The tofu cubes are very crispy on the outside and soft like panna cotta on the inside.

However, it turned out to be really easy. The only challenge of videotaping and photographing this dish was that it was so delicious I couldn’t stop eating while frying the cubes until there were just a few left to plate and photograph.

This dish can be served with soy sauce or hot chili sauce or both. It makes great finger food, beer food, snacks and appetizers. Don’t be tricked by the “vegetarian” label. Great naturally vegetarian food CAN be so good you wouldn’t realize it was vegetarian!

Watch the video below to see how to make it for yourself! Chúc ngon miệng!

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