F&W Best New Chef 2017 Yoshi Okai, of Austin’s Otoko, makes these crisp fried doughnuts with a combination of silken tofu, sugar, flour and salt. The texture is not that of a traditional doughnut; instead, it’s more like mochi, with an appealing chew. The creamy, sweet and smoky mezcal sauce is a most excellent accompaniment.Okai’s crisp fried doughnuts have an appealing chew, almost like mochi. He says, “At Nishiki Market in Kyoto, Japan, there is a tofu shop where they’ve been making tofu for over 50 years and tofu doughnuts for 25 to 30 years. I was a teenager when I ate them, and I re-created the recipe later because I was kind of homesick. I don’t have a recipe for them from Nishiki, but I made them from memory, and I think they came out pretty good.”
Slideshow:More Doughnut Recipes
4 ounces silken tofu, drained
2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon mezcal
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
Canola oil, for frying
1 medium orange—peeled, supremed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
Shichimi togarashi, for garnish
How to Make It
In a medium bowl, vigorously whisk the silken tofu with the sugar until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Form the dough into 16 balls and transfer to a parchment paper–lined plate; freeze for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, simmer the mezcal over moderate heat for about 3 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and cook, stirring, until the mezcal sauce is hot and smooth. Let cool.
In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of canola oil to 365°. Add half the tofu balls and fry over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until puffed and browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining tofu balls.
Spoon 4 small dollops of the mezcal sauce onto each of 4 plates. Place a warm tofu doughnut on each dollop, then top with the orange pieces. Drizzle each plate with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and garnish with shichimi togarashi. Serve right away.
The uncooked tofu balls can be frozen overnight. Let stand for 15 minutes before frying. The mezcal sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before using.
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