600g firm tofu, drained
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2cm piece ginger, finely sliced into matchsticks
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
3 tbsp. white sesame seeds
2 tbsp. mustard seeds
70g panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
2 egg whites
Vegetable oil, for frying
Salad leaves, to serve
Lime wedges, to serve
Arrange the tofu on a plate lined with kitchen paper and cover with more paper towels. Put a large plate on top, add a frying pan or chopping board, then weigh down with heavy cans or jars. Leave for at least 30 minutes. Make the dipping sauce by stirring together the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and chilli. Add 1 tbsp. white sesame seeds and set aside.
Mix the mustard seeds, remaining sesame seeds, panko breadcrumbs and five-spice together, season generously and tip onto a plate. Whisk the egg whites together in a shallow dish until fluffy. Slice the tofu into rectangles approximately 5cm by 3cm.
Dip the tofu slices in the egg white, covering completely, then press into the sesame seed mix, turning to coat all over. Set a large non-stick frying pan with 2 tbsp. vegetable oil over a medium-high heat. Cook the tofu in batches for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden and crisp, adding more oil when necessary. Drain on kitchen paper and season with salt.
Arrange the salad leaves on a platter or board and add the tofu, lime wedges and dipping sauce. Serve immediately.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND PROP STYLING: SUKAINA RAJABALI
WORDS, RECIPES AND FOOD STYLING: SARAH PRICE