Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Weekly Eat - Chicken-Fried Tofu

This recipe is so flexible, you can make it a ton of different ways:

Vegan, replacing egg with egg replacer (redundancy dept. of redundancy)
Gluten free, by dredging in GF all-purpose flour first, using GF breadcrumbs second (I make it this way most often because the crust holds up superbly, even between slices of tomato and lettuce!)
Healthy, by drizzling with olive oil and baking rather than frying (directions below)
Parmesan, by mixing some cheese into the breading mix and stuffing with a little more, plus herbs
Sesame, by adding seeds to the breading mix and drizzling with sesame oil when baking

Last night, I made it just veg - the recipe's below. Check out that golden, crispy crust:

This either ends up next to a pile of roasted garlic mashed potatoes and collards, or in a big ol' club sammich, like so:

Pretty killer. And, honestly, best right out of the pan. I've been known to go through a third of a block of tofu just standing at the fry station! With fakon, onions, tomato, lettuce, plus mustard and mayo, you've got something between a BLT and a Club Sandwich - yeah, you might pull a muscle opening wide enough to get that whole thing in your mouth BUT it'll be well worth it.

Classic Chicken Fried Tofu
serves 3-4

1 block extra firm tofu
1 cup hot water mixed with dash garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, dash sesame oil, dash Bragg's
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp salt
Fresh black pepper
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup panko
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 eggs mixed with 1 tablespoon water, beaten

Corn or Vegetable oil, for frying

Slice your tofu shortways into 8 pieces and marinate in the water+garlic+salt+Bragg's for 30 mins.

On a plate, mix your flour, salt and pepper. On another, mix your yeast, panko, onion and garlic powders.

Scramble your eggs in a bowl big enough to fit a piece of tofu.

Straight from the marinade (let a tad drip off) dredge the tofu first in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, being careful not to rub the coating off as you go (wash your fingertips between tofu slices - accumulated egg/flour will mess with your coating). Set aside on a dry plate or cutting board. Repeat until all slices have been dredged.

Heat your oil to medium-high and put out a plate lined with paper toweling. Three at a time is what fits best in my 10 inch skillet, but break up your batches as you see fit! They'll need less than a minute a side, then carefully flip, another minute, remove to toweling to drain.

The only bummer about frying these babies is that the oil collects a fair amount of refuse, which you then have to skim off/strain out. Baking them in the oven is cleaner, but makes for a drier slice (if you decide to go this route, bake them in a preheated 375f oven for 20 minutes each side, until the crust nicely golden and firm to the touch).

Try this on your "I don't like Tofu" pals and convert them. Or make it for your inaugural spring picnic this weekend, perhaps?


  1. Oof, this looks awesome. I have yet to master the art of frying tofu -- mine never looks quite like yours. Hoping this method will help me get there.

    Great sandwich fixins, too. Looks great.

  2. This is absolutely gorgeous. Thats all......and I just happen to have some tofu sitting in my fridge....hmmmmm.

  3. Yummy. The sandwich is enticing me...beguiling me. I should like to have it. ;)

  4. Oh, I totally used to make mine like this all the time - you've reminded me how good it is! And with country gravy... Oh my gosh!

  5. @fresh - thanks love :) Years of practice.

    @tiff - delish and pretty! Hope you try. Maybe I bring you some nutritional yeast, the stuff is awesome.

    @Charissa - it wants to come hang out in your belly for a short while, it told me so.

    @jessica - I know! there's like a secret fried tofu recipe that EVERYONE uses permutations of. I wonder if it was a PPK recipe first? Or a katzen recipe? Hmmm...

  6. Is the nutritional yeast required? I have all the ingredients, but do not the yeast. Is there something I replace it with?

  7. @anon - it isn't required, but is a big part of the taste and healthfulness of this prep. But yeah - you can just use the same amount of breadcrumbs, doubling the onion and garlic powders, upping the salt by 1/2 tsp.

  8. Fantastic! I love the idea of crispy chicken fried tofu, and that sandwich looks delectable.

  9. Thanks Lauren! Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

  10. no no no... department of redundancy department. Firesign Theatre, 1970 - Don't Crush that Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers!!

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  11. You parental units can be soooooo critical. <3

  12. This. Is. SO. GOOD!!! I love how the crust makes a "pocket" around the tofu. Really stands up to being flipped (carefully) and moved around, too. We loved it hot, we loved it cold the next day...well done, my friend! Well done! (And worth the potential hazard of a chicken ad on ze page, methinks.) :)

  13. I just made this for lunch... Delicious!! Thank you!

  14. This is probably a dumb question but what is Braggs?

  15. An amino a soy sauce but vegan

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