Crispy Tofu with Peanut Lime Dressing

It must be tough being tofu. So many people see tofu in a recipe and run the other way.  On it’s own, it’s pretty bland, but it easily takes on all kinds of flavours. You can bake it, fry it, stir-fry it, and even make vegan whip cream out of it. This versatile food is a staple for me, providing a delicious source of protein.

This recipe is based on the crispy tofu at Fresh restaurant in Toronto (found in this cookbook). I changed it a bit to make it a little lighter and spicier. The marinated tofu can also be grilled or eaten on it’s own, but I love this crispy coating. These tofu bites are perfect on a salad or in a wrap, and especially delicious topped with peanut lime dressing.

The original recipe calls for frying these crispy little bites, but more often than not I like to bake them. While the fried ones taste great straight out of the pan, the baked ones tend to stay crispier for longer.  How you cook them is totally up to you; either way, they are delicious!

Marinade

1 block tofu

4 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp chili flakes (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it)

1/2 cup tamari*

2 cups water

Crispy Coating

1 cup flaked nutritional yeast**

1/2 cup wheat germ

1 tbsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper

*You can find tamari near the soy sauce in the grocery store. If you can’t find it, use low sodium soy sauce, but use 1/4 cup. Add 1/4 cup more water

**You can find nutritional yeast in the bulk section of most grocery stores. My favourite brand is Red Mill

 

Peanut Lime Dressing

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

3 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp creamy peanut butter

 

Directions

Cut tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices, and cut each slice into 4 triangles.

Combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add tofu and marinate about an hour.

Combine crispy coating ingredients. This recipe makes enough for 3-4 batches of tofu, so put the extra coating in an airtight container (keeps 2 months). Dredge tofu triangles in coating.

To fry, heat about 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Add tofu in batches (usually takes two batches to cook them all) Cook on one side 3-5 minutes, flip and cook until golden and crispy. Add more oil as needed after each batch.

To bake, preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake tofu triangles 10 minutes, flip, and bake another 5-7 minutes until crispy on all sides.

To make dressing, blend all ingredients (I use my immersion blender but a normal blender, a food processor, or even a whisk and your arm muscles will do)

I served this on baby spinach with carrots, zucchini ribbons, and some peanut lime dressing.

Whether you bake them or fry them, these little tofu triangles are tasty enough to impress even the biggest tofu haters. Hooray for humble tofu!

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