Inspired by the General Tso’s fried tofu sub featured on both Serious Eats and in The New York Times, this is a sandwich for meat lovers. I’ve been cooking tofu a long time, and this method of applying a dry-rub to water-expelled tofu (the latter being one of my tweaks), dredging in a slurry of egg white and cornstarch, and covering in panko before frying is something I had never thought of doing, and it completely transformed the tofu into something abjectly un-tofu-like. Super-crunchy on the outside, sweet, soft and flavorful on the inside, it tastes like an illicit state-fair treat or exotic Asian bar snack, not the humble, flavorless tofu you know. Nestled in a sub sandwich with spicy sriracha mayo, lettuce, roasted onions, and lime juice, it’s almost transcendent. I feel compelled to provide fair warning that this is a project—I made both the sub rolls and the mayo from scratch—but it’s completely worth it. (It should also be noted the original sub, from No. 7 Sub in Manhattan, costs $9.)
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• All-purpose flour: $8.05/400 oz. = 2 cents/oz., 10 cents/cup
• Apples: 78 cents/lb. (about 40 cents per apple)
• Arborio rice: $1.85/lb.
• Bacon: $2.75/lb. = 17 cents/oz.
• Beans (black): 99 cents/lb.
• Beans (navy): $1.08/lb.
• Butter (unsalted): $2 for 4 sticks: 6 cents/T
• Buttermilk: $1.49/quart = 37 cents/cup
• Canola oil: $8.99/160 oz. = 6 cents/oz. or 3 cents/T
• Carrots: 50 cents/lb., 15 carrots/lb. = 3 cents/carrot
• Celery: 99 cents/10 stalks: 9 cents/stalk
• Chicken (and beef) broth base: $6.89/16 oz. = 43 cents/oz., 21.5 cents/T, 7 cents/tsp (1 tsp = 8 oz.)
• Chickpeas: $1.49/lb. = 9 cents/oz.
• Farro: $1.69/lb. = 11 cents/oz.
• Garlic: 25 cents/head, 12 cloves: 2 cents/clove
• Half & half: $2.39/quart = 60 cents/cup
• Lemongrass: 53 cents/6 stalks: 9 cents/stalk
• Milk: $1.99/gallon = 16 cents/cup
• Oats: 25 cents/lb., 1 oz./half cup = 2 cents per 1/2 cup
• Olive oil: $22.79/203 oz. = 11 cents/oz. or 5.5 cents/T
• Onions: 49 cents/lb. (about 25 cents per large onion)
• Parmesan: $2.50/8 oz., 31 cents/oz.
• Pine nuts: $15.32/lb., about $1.30 for 2 T
• Porcini (dried): $4.03/oz.
• Quinoa: $4.29/lb.
• Shallots: 99 cents/lb. (about 87 cents for 1 very large shallot)
• Shiitake (dried): 51 cents/oz.
• Salt (kosher): $1.25/48 oz. = 3 cents/oz.
• Sugar (granulated): 52 cents/lb., 23 cents/cup