At Musha, a Tokyo-style izakaya in Santa Monica, tofu gets turned into slender fries served with wasabi mayonnaise and sweet chili sauce. Cookbook writer and cooking teacher Andrea Nguyen gives the fries an Indian twist—the gingered ketchup.
8 to 10 oz. extra-firm tofu
1 in. unpeeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons ketchup
Canola oil for deep-frying
About 1/2 cup rice flour
How to Make It
Cut tofu into batons about 1/2 in. thick and 3 in. long. Arrange on a non-terry dish towel or triple layer of paper towels set on a plate. Let drain 10 minutes, then blot dry.
Meanwhile, grate ginger with a Microplane, then press through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Measure 1 tsp. juice into a small serving bowl and stir in ketchup.
Heat 1 in. oil in a large wok or wide, deep pot over high heat and insert a deep-fat thermometer. Meanwhile, blot moisture from tofu. When thermometer registers 325°, dredge tofu in flour to coat well. Shake off excess and set on a plate until oil reaches 360°.
Fry tofu 6 or 7 pieces at a time, gently stirring with chopsticks or a slotted spoon so they fry evenly and without sticking, 1 minute, or until crisp (they will still be white; it's fine if they get a little golden, but they'll burst if cooked too long). Return heat to 360° between batches and drain fries on paper towels. If any fries have softened, refry 15 seconds. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately, with gingered ketchup.