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This is a riff on a NYT Cooking recipe. I made lots of changes to arrive at this.
Servings: 3
Ingredients
  • Marinade:
  • 1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • ½ cup pickle juice
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  •  
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil for first fry
  •  
  • Dip and Dredge:
  • 2 tablespoons cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder, or dried garlic granules
  • ½ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  •  
  • vegetable oil or canola oil, for frying
  •  
  • Assemble:
  • 3 brioche buns or hoagie rolls
  • American Cheese
  • Olive oil mayonnaise and hot sauce, as needed
  • Coleslaw mix
  • Dill pickles or relish
Steps
  1. Prepare the marinated tofu: Line a baking sheet with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Cut the tofu crosswise into two rectangles that are each about 2 1/2 inches wide and 4 inches long. Slice each rectangle into three 1/2-inch thick slabs and arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet. Cover the sliced tofu with more towels and gently press each piece to extract some of the moisture.
  2. *I might cut these differently. Not sure how to make it 4 sandwiches that way though, I could make it two.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the pickle juice, hot sauce, mustard and red pepper flakes and set aside while you do the first fry on the tofu.
  4. Heat the oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Sear the tofu to form a golden-brown crust, 4 to 5 minutes per side, even on the edges.
  5. Immediately drop the hot tofu into the pickle juice mixture. Refrigerate and let the tofu marinate for at least a few hours, or even overnight. I let it go two days and it was fine.
  6. This would be a good time to make the coleslaw. Mix the dry cabbage mixture with mayo (or sour cream, your choice) and chopped pickles or pickle relish. Season to taste and store in the refrigerator.
  7. Prepare the fried tofu: In a medium shallow bowl or a pie plate, stir the mustard with 1/4 cup water until it’s the consistency of heavy cream and set aside. In a second large shallow bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and pepper.
  8. In a skillet (I used a small omelet pan so that I didn't have to use so much oil), heat 1 to1-1/2 inches of oil over medium heat and set a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.
  9. Remove the tofu from the brine and pat dry. Dip the tofu in the mustard mixture, turning until coated all over, then dredge in the flour mixture. From the flour, dip it again in the mustard then flour until twice coated.
  10. When the oil temperature reaches 350 degrees, carefully place the battered tofu into the hot oil and fry, flipping as needed, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fried tofu to the wire rack and sprinkle with a little salt.
  11. To serve, toast the buns. On the bottom bun, lay the American Cheese. Top with 2 pieces fried tofu, coleslaw and more dill pickles, if you like, and eat immediately.