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Sautéed Garlic Scapes with Crispy Tofu
Deliciously delicate, fried silken tofu is crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. Nestle it on a spinach and pea green bed, top it with a gingery chile and fermented black bean sauce, and you’ll have a dish so tasty, you won’t want to share. If garlic scapes aren’t available, sauté some scallions or even a handful of haricot verts instead.
8 ounces silken tofu
1 tablespoon black bean garlic sauce (we used Lee Kum Kee brand)
1 teaspoon spicy chili sauce (we used the kimchi base Momoya Kimuchi No Moto)
½ shallot, minced
1 (1-inch) knob fresh ginger, (peeled, smashed, and finely chopped)
Drain tofu and wrap it in 3–4 paper towels. Place it on a plate and weight it with a second plate to help draw out excess liquid.
In a small bowl, mix together black bean garlic sauce, spicy chile sauce, shallot, ginger, and 1 tablespoon oil.
Preheat a medium-sized cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat skillet with oil, add garlic scapes, and sauté until softened, 1–2 minutes. Pour in spicy chile and black bean sauce, stir to combine, and remove pan from heat.
Preheat a second medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat; add oil for pan-frying and heat it up. Unwrap tofu and gently cut it into 1½-inch cubes. Mix together rice flour and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Working in batches, gently drop a few pieces of tofu into the flour mixture and toss with your fingers to coat them. Dust off excess flour and gently place tofu in the hot oil. Pan-fry, turning so all sides start to crisp up and take on a golden brown color, about 6 minutes total.
Meanwhile, make a bed of spinach and pea greens on a serving dish. Immediately place fried tofu pieces directly on the greens and spoon warm garlic scape sauce over the top. Garnish with pea green flowers, if available, and finish with just a squeeze of lime juice.
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