Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy + Steamy Kitchen on TV

Steamy Kitchen on ABC7

Last month’s appearance on ABC kinda snuck up on me – I didn’t have time to solicit votes on which blogger dish to cook! Sorry about that, I ended up making Rice & Noodle’s Firecracker Shrimp, a dish that I can practically make in my sleep. Well, I practically cooked it in my sleep – as I had to wake up at 4:00am to get to the station by 5:30am to be on-air at 6:40am. WHEW!

I’m getting better and better each time I go on. There are so many things to remember when you are cooking live on-air – including looking pretty, sounding intelligent, not cutting my fingers off, not burning the food, timing, pacing, not being nervous, more timing (it’s not like they can cut a news story just so I can finish my damn Firecracker Shrimp!), smiling and LOOKING AT THE CAMERA (ahem.).

Wanna see the video?

I know wonderful anchorman, Ken Jefferson accidentally said that I’m from the “Steamy Restaurant!” πŸ™‚ Maybe, one day when I have a few million in the bank, I might think about starting a restaurant just for fun. But gosh. I don’t think I’m built for the restaurant industry! But perhaps Ken is foreshadowing my millions gazillions. In that case, thank you Ken! Santa will be good to you this year!

Come take a look – when you get to ABC’s site, click on the VIDEO LINK right above the photo. The site uses Windows Media Player, so if it doesn’t launch, it could be because you don’t have Windows Media Player.

The finished dish photo and recipe – Firecracker Shrimp Recipe

Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy


Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

Ahhh…finally a tofu recipe. This recipe is from Eric Gower’s The Breakaway Cook, which is a wonderful cookbook if you enjoy global flavors. In fact, it inspired me to start playing with Flavored Salts (that’s Sichuan Peppercorn Salt, Citrus Salt and Matcha Green Tea Salt.

Sidenote: these flavored salts would make great holiday presents Make different batches and package them up in pretty little containers with a bow. Read through the comments on the Flavored Salt post – readers have such great suggestions for salt ideas like Lavender Salt, Kaffir Lime Salt and Chocolate Salt (for popcorn). Its inexpensive and easy to make – the combinations are endless!

For this Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy, I used panko bread crumbs, ginger, orange, lemon, and of course, my Citrus Salt.

Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

Eric uses rice flakes to coat, but I only had panko bread crumbs on hand, which I grounded fine to almost like a powder:

Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

I deviated from Eric’s recipe just a bit. Here is his original recipe. It’s light, tangy and would be great over Mizuna Greens and Arugula for a salad.

Question for my vegan friends – the recipe uses 1 egg yolk to act as a binder, allowing bread crumbs to stick. What would you suggest using to replace the egg?

Question for my Gluten Free friends – suggestions on replacing the panko bread crumbs?


Crispy Tofu with Citrus Soy

Servings: 2-4 as part of multicourse meal Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.57.46 PM

For gluten free - replace with the panko and soy with GF alternatives.


1 large tofu block (firm), drained and wrapped in paper towels
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger (use a microplane grater)
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbl soy sauce
1 tbl mirin
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup panko crumbs, finely ground
salt & pepper
1 egg yolk
Optional ingredients: Citrus Salt, salad greens, Japanese pickled ginger


Combine lemon juice, orange juice, soy, mirin, rice wine vinegar and ginger in a small saucepan. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Taste. Sometimes I like to add a little more zing...and add in just a touch more rice wine vinegar, especially if I'm serving it with salad.

Slice tofu block in half, horizontally, so you have 2 thinner pieces of tofu. Pat tofu halves dry. Arrange in this order: tofu, egg yolk, panko. You can either dip the block in the egg yolk, or use a large pastry brush to brush on a light layer top and bottom. Press both sides of tofu in the panko firmly. In nonstick skillet, heat 1-2 tbl of cooking oil on med-high heat. When oil is hot, but not smoking, carefully slide in the tofu halves. Do not let them touch. Fry each side 2-4 minutes until you have a nice, brown crust. Manage your heat - you may have to turn your heat up or down depending on your stovetop.

Arrange tofu on plates, spoon a bit of Citrus Soy sauce on top and garnish with Citrus Salt and Japanese Picked Ginger. Serve over salad greens if you wish!

Did not load Widget Area 5

Comments 46

  1. Suganya

    Exactly what I thought, finally a tofu dish. I love yr flavoured salts idea Jaden and I totally dig this too. Making it vegan, I would mix cornflour with water and dip tofu into it. This is how cutlets are made in India. And they are just fine.

  2. Roscoe

    Your recipe sounds fantastic…but I think you might mean the frying oil should be hot but not smoking…?

    Love the site!

  3. Tanya

    Congratulations! It’s so much fun to watch your career taking off… now if only you taught classes in DC.
    I made your scallion noodles the other night. I wished I had the noodles you called for (couldn’t find fresh ones or thick enough ones), but it was fabulous. I was glad I’d portioned it off in lunch-sized servings before I ate, otherwise… well, let’s not think about that.

  4. LunaPierCook

    Ok, I have to say this for once in here: I can and will do without tofu. Nasty stuff, just so incredibly nasty …

    As for the video … what can I say that I haven’t already? Maybe the “Steamy Restaurant Network” should be the name of a new food channel on cable! πŸ˜‰

  5. Dan

    Normally, I’m not a fan of tofu, but yowza! That looks really tasty. About the only thing I could think of adding would be some green onions because, let’s face it, green onions belong everywhere.

  6. Nate

    Have you tried using rice flour instead of panko? Or, just go ahead and fry them without a coating.

    BTW, well done on the cooking segment. You seem much more comfortable on screen now.

  7. renae

    Looks simple and delicious! For breading tofu, I usually just dip it in soy milk. For this dish, you’d just want to make sure you used a brand that wasn’t very sweet (I make my own so I can control the sweetness).

  8. wmw

    You make cooking look so easy, so easy till I’m gonna try doing the Firecracker Shrimp…one day! I tell ya! One day! Hahaha….

  9. blondee47

    fabulous…such a natural on tv and the screen loves you….i know u think yech…but i am telling u that the television loves you

  10. Marvin

    As per usual, you did a great job on TV. I love how you’re making sure to first tell the audience about the Asian ingredients. And nice tip about nicking the shrimp–I never knew that!

  11. bee

    semolina or bread crumbs will stick to tofu on their own. or a light spray of oil first? for gluten free, i suggest coarse cornmeal. or rice flour.

    wonderful recipe. i will surely try this.

  12. Patti A.

    Wow, that looks good!

    For gluten-free crumbs, Gillian’s Foods plain rice bread crumbs are the closet thing to panko. They are very crunchy. In southern NH, I buy them in Shaw’s supermarket. Whirling your favorite rice in a spice grinder to make a slightly coarse rice flour should also work.

    For vegans, how about flax eggs for the binder? 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds + 3 Tbsp water (or other liquid) = 1 egg

  13. Neece

    I’m not a big tofu fan, but you make everything look delicious! I love the idea of the flavored salt for gifts. Very clever.

  14. Kaykat

    Sounds yummy! I might just skip the egg yolk and just use a splash of water or maybe margarine to get the panko to stick and maybe just bake or grill them.


  15. A scientist in the kitchen

    Can’t wait to share this with mom. My mom doesn’t really cook that much, but for some reason, she is partial to tofu so she’s always the one to cook tofu at home. She has a similar dish like this, but with mirin sauce. I think she’s going to like this one here.

  16. susan g

    Ah! Tofu is only as good as the way it is made, and this looks great. I have made ‘fried tofu sandwiches’ for years, recipe very popular when we had a deli in our natural food store. No egg needed — the moisture in the tofu holds the coating. Mine is 1/2 cornmeal, 1/2 brewers yeast, spices and salt.
    And my ginger discovery (at least until I acquire that microplane): use a good garlic press, put a good slice of the ginger in and squeeze hard.

  17. Zenchef

    What a great recipe! That could be the ‘culinary coup’ that make people start eating tofu all around the world!
    Jaden, after you become a TV celebrity chef you should start thinking about having your statue in all major cities. Steamy kitchen is taking over the world! πŸ™‚

  18. veron

    I’m scared of frying tofu because it splatters too much. I wonder if the bread crumbs will help.

  19. nicole

    I’m definitely planning to make flavored salts as gifts this year and was wondering … what kind of salt is appropriate? Kosher salt? I’ve seen ‘sea salt’ listed in recipes but is it too fine? Or maybe it depends on personal preference … Great-looking tofu recipe!

  20. SteamyKitchen

    Sea salt or kosher. Sea salt is pretty expensive – but comes in different textures, fine and coarse. Just look at the packaging. Most flavored salts are used as “finishing salts” meaning you don’t really cook with them, but sprinkle them as the last finishing touch. That’s why you want to use the best quality salt.

    If cost is an issue, use kosher salt – it is fine as well. But I think at the regular supermarket, brands are becoming more aware of sea salt’s popularity – and prices have come down.


  21. Hillary

    Jaden! That crispy tofu dish is a masterpiece! I don’t usually like tofu but I imagine this tasting wonderfulllll. Great job.

  22. A scientist in the kitchen

    I just remembered, my mom uses egg white as binder to the panko bread crumbs instead of egg yolk.

  23. Passionate Eater

    Well, at least he got the “steamy” part right. And maybe your family technically dines at the “Steamy Restaurant,” so I guess his error is mildly forgivable.

  24. Melinda

    So many Tofu haters, I wonder why? It takes on flavours so nicely and I think the silky texture is gorgeous.
    Didn’t you go to the fish guts place with Luna Pier Cook? Who took you there? Tofu is much better than fish guts any day!
    I am digressing. Lovely recipe, by the way, Jaden.

  25. ZenKimchi

    I was ambivalent about tofu, even though I did like the braised tofu on many American Chinese restaurant menus, mostly because it was the most affordable entree.

    In Korea, I have learned to love tofu. Yet it seems that tofu tastes different here. And it all depends on how you make it. The people who hate tofu have had it poorly made. It also has the reputation in the U.S. as some hippie granola health food.

    In Asia, particularly in Korea where I live, it’s a major part of the diet and lifestyle. It’s not considered a health food. There’s actually a tradition that when someone is in trouble with the law, he eats a block of tofu when he gets out of jail.

    Loved the video. I do wonder… did the anchor ever move his head up to look you in the eyes? Heh, heh….

  26. Peko Peko

    Matcha Green Tea Salt! Mizuna (we are brainwashed here that Mizuna will only grown in Kyoto) and Panko. You can get all the Japanese ingredients there!

    How about Kikuna?

  27. Mae

    OMG!!! Jaden, thank you so much for mentioning me!!! OMG! My shrimp is famous! And for a split seconds, I am famous! I watched it like, 100 times! I can’t stop rewinding it! I am so happy! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I’m so going to show this to my friends! You’re a star! You’ve just made my day!

    Ok, i’m sorry for all the exclamation marks. I am just so happy! And if ABC wishes to meet your friend ‘Mae Gabriel’, i am so ready! Haha.


  28. Barbara

    Cool! The firecracker shrimp look delicious and you’re right they look so easy to make! I think I’ll try these next time we have friends over.

  29. Brian

    I am SO proud of you! Incredible job. Perhaps you should consider video tutorials for not only cooking, but styling, presentation and photography as well.

    Would anyone besides me pay for a subscription to that type of “premium content”?

  30. Ashley

    i made this tofu wednesday night and it was great! i loved the crunch, and the bright flavors in the sauce. my husband doused his tofu in the sauce before trying it and it kicked his ass! thanks for the recipe and the laugh πŸ™‚

  31. Lori

    Wow! awesome recipe. As a vegetarian I am always doing something with Tofu. This recipe sounds wonderful! I will definitely be trying it minus the egg. πŸ™‚

  32. Pingback: Crispy tofu with citrus soy « got no milk

  33. Pingback: Vegan Recipe Roundup | The Messy Vegetarian Cook

  34. AiDiSan

    Hi Ms. Jaden,

    Coincidentally, I just cooked crispy tofu this morning for my kids’ breakfast. You gave me an idea how to make it more delicious by accompanying it with citrus soy.

    I am glad I stumbled upon your blog. Reast assured I am a regular reader and follower of your blog.

    Happy Cooking:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *