Mark Bittman's Spicy Ketchup Braised Tofu

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Recipe for Mark Bittman's Spicy Ketchup Braised Tofu.


  • 1/2 cup peanut oil or other neutral oil like grapeseed or corn
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds firm or extra-firm tofu, cut into 8 slices and squeezed tightly in order to remove excess water
  • all-purpose flour for dredging
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • cayenne to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice to taste


  1. Time: 20 Minutes
  2. 1. Put about 1/3 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, dredge the tofu slices lightly in the flour and add them, one at a time, to the skillet.  Do not crowd: you may have to cook in batches.  Sprinkle the tofu with salt and pepper as it cooks.  As the pieces brown, turn them and brown on the other side; total cooking time per piece will be 4 to 6 minutes.  When the pieces are done, transfer them to a plate.  Wipe out the skillet.
  3. 2. Add the remaining oil to the skillet over medium heat; immediately add the minced garlic.  Cook for a minute or two, until fragrant but not colored, then add the ketchup and some cayenne (start with about 1/4 teaspoon).  Cook, stirring, fr about 5 minutes, until the sauce bubbles, thickens, and starts to caramelize around the edges of the pan.  Taste and add salt, pepper or cayenne as necessary.
  4. 3. Return the tofu to the sauce and turn until evenly coated; add lemon juice to taste, stir, and serve.