Breaded Tofu Cutlets

Course : Chinese
Serves: 6
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2 pounds firm or extra-firm tofu -- frozen (see note)
5 cups water
1/2 cup fresh ginger, finely minced
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry or white -- flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
2 tablespoons soy or other vegetable oil -- for frying
1/2 pound soft tofu
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 recipe tofu tartar sauce -- (recipe, follows)
1 bunch fresh parsley

Preparation / Directions:

To defrost tofu, place plastic bag filled with frozen tofu into bowl of hot water. After about 15 minutes, drain bowl and ad more hot water. Repeat process until tofu is soft. Remove tofu from plastic bag, rinse, and then squeeze out excess water by placing cakes between two plates and pressing plates together while tipping out water. Cut tofu horizontally into 1/2 inch thick slices. In large shallow pot, combine water, ginger, and soy sauce. Simmer sliced tofu in the marinade for 20 minutes. With large spatula, remove tofu. Gently squeeze out excess liquid by pressing tofu between fingertips. Set aside. To make dip, combine soft tofu, 1/2 c water, and 2 Tb soy sauce in blender or food processor; pour this batter onto large flat plate. Place whole-wheat flour in a second flat plate and cornmeal on a third. Dredge each slice of marinated tofu first in flour, then in batter, and last in cornmeal. Heat oil to sizzling in large skillet and deep or shallow fry (as you prefer) each cutlet until both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with dollop of tartar sauce and sprig of fresh parsley. Note: to freeze tofu, place in plastic bag, seal, and freeze for a minimum of 48 hours before thawing. The color of frozen tofu will be a light amber, and when cooked, its texture will be pleasantly chewy.

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