China meets the American South in these tofu, bacon, and scallion fritters from Saveur contributor Mei Chin.
Yield: makes about 3 1/2 dozen
2 (12 1/2-oz.) boxes soft or silken tofu
1 (12 1/2-oz.) box firm tofu
2⁄3 cup panko bread crumbs
1⁄3 cup flour
1⁄4 cup sesame oil
5 scallions, finely chopped
4 slices cooked bacon, finely chopped
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Canola oil, for frying
Place all the tofu on a bed of about 6 paper towels on a baking sheet and cover with 6 more paper towels and another sheet. Place a cast-iron skillet on sheet to weight it down; let sit until tofu is drained of most of its liquid, at least 6 hours or overnight, in the refrigerator. Transfer pressed tofu to a large bowl; mash coarsely with a fork. Stir in bread crumbs, flour, sesame oil, scallions, bacon, eggs, and salt and pepper until evenly combined.
Pour oil to a depth of 2″ in a 6-qt. Dutch oven and heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Portion 2 tbsp. of the tofu mixture and shape into a miniature football shape using two spoons; repeat with remaining tofu mixture. Fry until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and serve immediately, with a dipping sauce, if you like.