Sweet & Sticky Tofu Knots

Whilst I’ve eaten tofu knots in Japan, they are an ingredient I hadn’t thought to cook at home until I read Bonnie Chung’s cookbook Tofu Tasty: Imaginative Tofu Recipes for Everyday. As she explains, they are traditionally added to soups and stews, but in this recipe, she has fried them instead to create a wonderful crisp and chewy texture. The punchy flavours of a sweet, sticky and spicy sauce complete this crowd-pleaser of a dish.

Sweet and Sticky Tofu Knots

Yuki Sugiura

Find out more about the book in our full review of Bonnie Chung’s Tofu Tasty.

Sweet and Sticky Tofu Knots

Sweet & Sticky Tofu Knots

This is my team’s absolute favourite tofu dish, which is totally unexpected given that none of them had ever heard of ‘tofu knots’ before I first made it for them. To be fair, it is probably my favourite recipe in the book, too, and my most requested dish. Pretty, crisp and chewy, it is a show-stopper that delivers the most satisfying bite; nobody can believe that it is tofu. ‘It tastes more chickeny than chicken,’ is probably my favourite quote of all. (Thank you, Teresa!) Tofu knots are often called ‘bean curd knots’ in Asian stores, and can usually be found in the aisle with other dried soup ingredients, as they are traditionally added to bulk up stews with their protein and texture, rather than fried until crispy as I do here.
Author Bonnie Chung

Ingredients

For the tofu

  • 100 g (3½ oz) dried golden tofu knots, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, then drained
  • 100 g (3½ oz / ¾ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 150 ml (5fl oz / 2⁄3 cup) vegetable oil
  • toasted sesame seeds, to serve
  • spring onions (scallions), finely sliced, to serve

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp gochujang
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar, malt vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

Instructions

  • In a bowl, coat the softened tofu knots with the cornflour, until all the knobbly angles and curves are covered. Leave for 10 minutes to let the cornflour soak up the moisture around the tofu.
  • In a frying pan, heat the oil until bubbling-hot and add some of the tofu knots. Be sure not to crowd the pan; you may have to cook them in batches. After 2–3 minutes, flip them over. Some angles will be golden brown and crisping up. Keep turning them until each knot is crispy and golden. Drain on kitchen paper (paper towels). If you are not finishing the dish straight away, pop them into a medium oven to keep them warm and crispy.
  • Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl, then put in a clean saucepan. Place over a medium heat until the sauce bubbles and starts to reduce.
  • Throw the crispy tofu knots into the sweet, sticky sauce and mix to coat, then serve immediately, scattered with toasted sesame seeds and spring onions.

The recipe as given is vegetarian, but can be adapted into a vegan dish by substituting the honey with a natural alternative such as maple syrup, agave nectar or fruit-based molasses.

As a quick and easy recipe that can be pulled together from store cupboard ingredients, this is a great addition to your repertoire.

Sweet and Sticky Tofu Knots Tofu Knots

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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Tofu Tasty: Imaginative Tofu Recipes for Everyday by Bonnie Chung from publisher Pavilion. Photography by Yuki Sugiura.

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One Comment to "Sweet & Sticky Tofu Knots"

  1. Alicia

    oh fab! Thanks! I particularly like that they aren’t fried in loads and loads of oil – I don’t mind deepfrying but sometimes it feels a bit wasteful to heat up all that oil just for one dinner.

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