Meatless Monday: The Source’s Crispy Tofu

Scott Drewno

Scott Drewno

By Kelly DiNardo

As we pay greater attention to where our food comes from, our health and the health of what we’re consuming, even the most carnivorous eaters are taking a break from meat – at least occasionally. Of course, it can be challenging to follow Meatless Monday, the international campaign to eat vegetarian on Mondays, without making it Carb-Lovers’ Monday. So we’ve turned to area chefs for a little inspiration.

Scott Drewno offers this tofu dish as a course on The Source’s vegetarian tasting menu. His goal was to build the five flavors – sweet, salty, sour bitter and umami – into one dish.


Crispy Tofu with Wild Mushrooms and Thai Basil-Chili Sauce


  • 1 package firm tofu
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup scallion nuggets cut into 1/4  inch pieces of the white
  • ¼ cup red bell pepper, cleaned & cut into medium dice
  • ¼ cup assorted wild mushrooms, sliced and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Sambal chili paste
  • ½ cup Shaoxing rice wine
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch mixed with 3 T water
  • 4 cups peanut oil
  • ¼ cups Thai basil leaves
  • ¼ cups cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cups scallion bias cut (green part only)


  1. Heat peanut oil to 350º in sauce pan
  2. While oil is heating, saute scallion nuggets, mushrooms, bell peppers, garlic and ginger in a large saute pan
  3. Do not sauté for more than 2-3 minutes
  4. Add sugar, toss
  5. Add sambal, toss
  6. Deglaze with rice wine, let wine cook out for 3 minutes
  7. Add vinegar, stock and soy sauce
  8. Bring to a boil
  9. Adjust seasoning (may need  more sugar, soy or vinegar)
  10. Add cornstarch mix
  11. Turn heat to low
  12. Dredge tofu in cornstarch and fry until golden brown
  13. Add tofu to sauce/veg mixture
  14. Add Basil, cilantro, and scallion

Serve immediately with steamed rice.

  • Pete

    This article left me craving for some fresh made cookies. I went to Sucre and their vast selection of desserts left my mouth watering.