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recipe: fried tofu with sweet chili sauce

Directions for sweet chili sauce:
1/2 c rice wine vinegar
1/2 c sugar
2 tblsp hot clili paste (sambal)
1 tblsp minced garlic
1 tblsp cornstarch
2 dashes of fish sauce or to taste
1 tblsp cilantro, chopped fine
2 tblsp roasted peanuts, chopped (divided)
1 green onion sliced for garnish

1. Place vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over med-heat until sugar devolves. Stir in chili paste and garlic.

2. In a separate bowl, stir 3 tablespoons cold water and cornstarch. Add to vinegar mixture and whisk until sauce thickens—about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

3. Stir in fish sauce, cilantro and 1 tablespoon peanuts—save the remaining peanuts to garnish—and set aside.

Directions for the tofu:
6 oz firm tofu, drained and cut into wedges
1 qt vegetable oil

1. Pre-heat oil in a large heavy pot over med-high heat. Use a candy thermometer to make sure the oil temperature is 375°F. Once oil is hot, carefully place tofu into pot and fry until golden, about 8 minutes.

2. Carefully remove the tofu from the oil and let it drain on paper towels. Serve warm with sweet chili sauce and sprinkle with peanuts and sliced onions.

Adam’s hints:
—make sure to remove as much of the liquid from the tofu as you can.
—in a bowl or on a plate, place tofu on top of a few paper towels and with a few towels on top, gently press to remove moisture.
—replace paper towels and put a plate on top to squeeze out as much as you can, about 15 minutes should do it.

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