Waffle makers are very good at getting foods hot and crispy, and that just happens to be how I like my tofu (and my SPAM, prosciutto crisps, and potato cakes). I also like my tofu saucy, and waffled tofu — with its little square cups — holds sauce like no other.
For most tofu (the medium-to-extra-firm kind that comes packed in water), a tiny amount of prep work is needed. As A.A. Newton explains in her tofu manifesto, a simple hot salt water soak is all you need to flavour and firm up your tofu so it doesn’t fall apart during waffling:
Before I do any other ingredient prep, I bring 2-3 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of table salt to a strong boil in a saucepan. Then I cut the heat, slide in my cubed or crumbled tofu, and let it sit while I prepare the rest of the recipe. After 15-20 minutes, I drain off the water and either pat the tofu dry on clean towels or leave it in the colander until I need it.
For waffling purposes, planks work better than cubes or crumbles, but the above procedure works just fine with those. After your tofu is patted dry, set your waffle maker on its hottest setting and press a couple of planks between the hot plates. It will hiss and scream, but that’s good — that’s moisture leaving your tofu, which means it’s getting crispy. Unlike a lot of other waffled delicacies, tofu takes a while to crisp up — about five minutes — but you’d have to fully forget about it for it to burn.
Once your tofu is a pale golden colour, remove it from the waffle maker and decide how you want to sauce it. My current favourites are this chilli oil and a mixture of infused soy sauce and hot honey, but you could drench this stuff in any sauce you desire and it will stay crispy on the outside and delightfully chewy on the inside. (I’m envisioning a McRib style sandwich with smokey BBQ sauce, and I’m kind of thrilled.)
Use waffled tofu like you would any protein. Chop it up and toss it in rice bowl, put it in a sandwich, or use it as the “bread” for a sandwich (perhaps a breakfast sandwich). You can also just dip it in sauce until you’ve eaten an entire block of texturally pleasing tofu waffles, but I wouldn’t know anything about that.