Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

227 comments

Are pigs flying?

IMG 6318   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

I think pigs are flying.

Wait, maybe tofu is flying.

I know what you are thinking…Ange is eating tofu?

It all started a couple months ago when my friend Sarah treated me to an incredible sweet and sour tofu dish for dinner. A heavenly sweet and sour glaze coated crispy baked tofu all served over steamed vegetables and wild rice. This meal was all I could think about for days! I haven’t tried a lot of tofu because I always thought that tofu bothered my stomach (I tend to have stomach pains after eating tempeh and seitan, for example), however this tofu meal did nothing of the sort. My stomach was fine and my taste buds were smitten!

A few weeks later, I was in the kitchen making a similar recipe…

IMG 5747   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

Then, I made eggplant roll-ups with “ricotta” cheese and was also blown away.

IMG 5971   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

[Both recipes may appear in a hopeful future cookbook, but if not, I will certainly post them!]

This week, I was struck with an idea to make a crispy breaded tofu to pair with sweet potato fries. I was inspired by a cornmeal tofu recipe in Veganomicon. One of the meals Eric always ate in university was chicken fingers and fries so I was curious if I could make a tofu version that he’d enjoy. It was a stretch, but I figured it would be an interesting experiment! You know how I love my kitchen experiments.

IMG 6295   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

Well, lo and behold it worked…and we both inhaled this meal. Dipped in ketchup and served with roasted sweet potato fries, it was easily one of our favourite easy meals in a long time. I seasoned the fries and tofu with a lovely cinnamon/cumin/chili powder blend which went along nicely with sweet potato fries. I never thought I would see the day when we would both inhale tofu.

IMG 6318 2   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

These crispy strips could turn anyone into a believer…even my chicken finger loving husband.

Print this recipe

Yield: 2-3 servings

Inspired by cornmeal tofu in Veganomicon 

Ingredients:

  • 1 package firm or extra firm tofu (I use organic, non-GMO, about 350 grams)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (use gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder (for a kick of heat)
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 large sweet potato + 1 tsp oil + 1/2 tsp cinnamon + pinch salt + 1/4 tsp cumin

 

1. Press tofu: Rinse the tofu with water and place a couple kitchen towels on the counter. Wrap the tofu with another towel, place another towel on top, and finally several heavy cookbooks on top. Let sit for at least 20 minutes to soak out the water.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together the milk and cornstarch in a shallow dish. In another bowl, mix together the cornmeal, breadcrumbs, salt, and spices. Set aside. Preheat oven to 400F and grease 2 baking sheets with oil. Slice the potato into fries and then coat with 1 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cumin, and a couple pinches of salt. Lay out on greased baking sheet.

3. Slice tofu into 8-9 strips, lengthwise, depending on how thick you want it. With one hand dip the tofu strip into the milk mixture and then into the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture. Use other hand to sprinkle dry mixture all over the tofu. Coat both sides entirely and then place on baking sheet. Repeat with the rest.

4. Bake tofu on middle rack and fries on bottom rack at 400F. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the tofu and fries, and then bake for another 15-20 minutes until crispy. Remove tofu and broil the fries for a few minutes, watching carefully, until golden and charred in some spots. Remove and serve with ketchup!

IMG 6310   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

The first thing I did was rinse and press the tofu. I put down a couple kitchen towels on the counter, then wrapped the tofu in another towel, added another towel on top, and then stacked heavy cookbooks on top. I let it sit for about 20 minutes. This simply soaks out some of the water in the tofu, allowing for a crispier result.

IMG 6290   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

Meanwhile, I got my sweet potato on! I used 1 large sweet potato, added 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp cumin, few pinches of salt, and 1 tsp oil. Mix it all together and lay out on a greased baking sheet. Set aside.

IMG 6298   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

After pressing, I sliced the tofu into 9 strips (next time I would probably just do 8 so they are a bit thicker)

IMG 6292   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

IMG 6296   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

Then I dipped the tofu into the milk and cornstarch mixture, followed by the cornmeal/breadcrumb mixture.

IMG 62951   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

Place on a greased baking sheet. Now bake the tofu and sweet potato fries simultaneously (tofu on middle rack, fries on bottom), for 20 minutes at 400F. Now flip everything and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Remove tofu and broil the fries for a few minutes, watching very closely!

IMG 6301   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato FriesIMG 6313   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

Amazing, crispy, addictive tofu strips that were made for dipping in ketchup!

IMG 6323   Easy Weeknight Dinner: Crispy Breaded Tofu Strips & Sweet Potato Fries

With the leftovers, I chopped up a couple strips and mixed it into a big salad for lunch. It was a great salad topper with a kick of protein. You could also layer these in a sandwich or wrap too.

If you try it out, let me know what you think!

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{ 227 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 18, 2012

oh how very delicicious!

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Michaela January 18, 2012

YUM! Is the ketchup homemade? It looks like it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

Nope it is Simply Natural Organic brand though!

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AG (Our Lighter Footsteps) January 18, 2012

Thank you! I am going to try this on the weekend, I was missing a meal in our mealplan and you just filled the spot! I am going to try tofu again because tempeh has always bothered me as well but these look too good to pass up!

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Laura @mypurposefullife January 18, 2012

Yum! I’ve honestly always loved tofu, even “raw”, weirdly enough. But this sounds like the ultimate recipe. Cannot wait to try it!

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Ashley @ Taste for Healthy January 18, 2012

Your recipe looks delicious! However, personally I stopped eating tofu after I learned (via the Institute for Integrative Nutrition) that as little as 2 tablespoons per day can negatively affect thyroid function, greatly increase estrogen levels, etc. It’s also one of the most common allergenic foods. However, I am sure it’s fine in moderation. :)

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Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie January 18, 2012

Dippable? Sounds like we have a winner.

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 18, 2012

I’ve made something similar to your Crispy Tofu Strips. They weren’t as crispy as I’d hoped but were still o.k. I’ll have to give your recipe a try. Of course, you can’t go wrong with Sweet Potato Fries. Yum!

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Cammy January 18, 2012

Made them today to see if I could convince myself to like tofu. Better than any tofu I’ve ever had but I’m still not a fan of the curd. Anyone have any killer gotta try these and you’ll be a tofu lover recipes?

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scissors and spice January 18, 2012

That looks scrumptious! And girl, now that you are making things with tofu, you neeeeed a TofuXpress! No more stacking books and mess. I love mine!

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Ann January 18, 2012

Hi, I’m a big fan of your blog. It has really helped me get in touch with my body and conquer my issues with food. I have a few questions: have you ever had buckwheat (kasha)? I’m Russian, so I’ve had it a lot back there. When my mother cooked it, it was always “whole” and chewy. However, here in the states, our buckwheat always turns out mushy and paste like, and doesn’t keep its ‘grains’ intact. I was wondering, if you have had made it before, have you been able to keep it together so that it doesn’t become a mushy paste. Is there a difference between raw buckwheat groats and the toasted kind? (we tried both kinds, both turned out mushy). Thank you so much!

Also, I live in the states, so IDK if they sell this in Canada, but if they do, I was wondering if you have ever tried: http://www.glutenfreepalace.com/Ciabatta-Parbaked-Rolls-p/s9391.htm

Although I don’t have any gluten/wheat allergies, I love these bread rolls as an emergency bread when we don’t have access to a bakery (we don’t buy pre-sliced bread), and despite being gluten free, it tastes great after being cooked in the oven (or a toaster) and has a good ingredient list approved by my family (who have the same food values as you- meaning fresh, mostly organic, whole, local and nutritious foods of the best quality)

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Moni'sMeals January 18, 2012

My kind of meal. I do not use tofu all that much, but enough to give this recipe a whirl!! Thanks Angela. :) Love those fries too. YUM!

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TeenyLittleSuperChef January 18, 2012

Well it looks like I know what I’ll be having for dinner tonight! I adore tofu and I have a love affair with sweet potatoes so I have a feeling this meal will quickly be added to the weekly rotation. Thanks for the great recipes, Angela! I love the fact that you go old school with how to press tofu. It seems like everyone else has those fancy-shmancy tofu presses but the towel-book method still works just fine.. not to mention it’s much more economical :)

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Sarah January 18, 2012

Do you think you could use oat flour or flax flour instead of cornmeal?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

ground flax might work?

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Erin Brown January 18, 2012

I haven’t scrolled through all of the comments, but just in case this hasn’t been said already, you must get a tofu press!! I have yet to get one because of the budget i’m on right now. But it squeezes all of the water out without having to wait :-)
here is the link: http://www.tofuxpress.com/

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

Thanks Erin!

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luminousvegans January 18, 2012

Those look delicious. They remind me of breaded fish sticks but of course these are better for you and the planet.

Thanks for the simple recipe!

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Lindsay@Peas.Love.Balance. January 18, 2012

I wish I had seen this an hour earlier! I was searching for tofu recipes for dinner and wound up just making my usual marinated/pan fried tofu – yours looks terrific! I will be trying this very soon :)
And those pictures of the glazed tofu & eggplant roll ups – woah. I can’t wait to see them in your cookbook!

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Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco January 18, 2012

Why do I have to be off of soy this week?!? I think I am intolerant to something I’m eating, but I hope it’s not soy because these look tooooo good to miss out on. ;)

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Jennifer January 18, 2012

I’ve found that tofu is cooked at extremes. It either turns our absolutely amazing, or its horribly inedible. Unfortunately, I can’t eat tofu anymore (soy is one of many things that irritates my spastic bowels), but I have seen a recipe for burmese style tofu I’ve been wanting to try. Thanks for giving me the motivation to go get the ingredients and go for it.

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Casey @ Insatiably Healthy January 18, 2012

Hehe love the picture of the “light reading” pressing the tofu. At least I now know my uni textbooks are good for something else!

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Andrea January 18, 2012

I bought a package of tofu [never tried it!] with absolutely no idea how I was going to use it. It is extra firm silken tofu.. could I use it in this recipe? Does the “silken” part matter even though it says extra firm?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

I’m not sure Andrea! Maybe a tofu pro knows?

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kell January 18, 2012

HI Angela!!
let me start by saying how much i appreciate you and your blog!! …you are really a burst of sunshine for me every morning :)
i have a lot of food allergies and cannot follow all of your recipes, but usually they are so easily adaptable because you mostly stick to whole, real foods. and honestly, i love that you have been a vegan blogger that rarely uses soy . . . not only do i have a severe allergy to it, but i just dont think it is as healthy as everyone thinks it is.
the wellness mama just had this post which gives a ton of good info on the darker sides of soy if you are at all interested??
http://wellnessmama.com/3684/is-soy-healthy/
anyway, im not going anywhere, i am still a loyal fan :) thank you again for everything and whatever you choose to do, i respect you girl …just promise me this wont become “Oh She Tofu’s” :) !!
peace!!

t

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

heh this definitely isn’t going to become a tofu based blog! I don’t see myself eating it a great deal, but it’s a fun change.
As to soy, I’ve read pros and cons on both sides. From what I’ve read, the trouble with soy is a lot based on “soy protein isolates” when it’s highly processed. But yes I think moderation is key. You won’t see me eating soy more than a few times a month.

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Sarah @ The Healthy Diva January 18, 2012

Omg this looks so good!!! sweet potato fries are my fave. Classic comfort meal!

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Kari @ bite-sized thoughts January 19, 2012

I will definitely be trying this recipe :) I love tofu anyway but I think this may just take it to new, even flying, heights ;)

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Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com January 19, 2012

Thanks for this recipe, Angela, it’s exactly what I feel like!

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Sarah January 19, 2012

Short time reader, first time commenter. Just wanted to mention, for all the tofu-phobes – I thought I hated tofu too until I realized I was only ever getting the soft junk. Find the firmest you can, and things finally get good. Our Trader Joe’s sells “Super Firm”, it’s the only kind I can work with. Usually I sauté it with almond butter, soy sauce, garlic & veg broth & serve with wok’d veggies & quinoa.
Otherwise I have to have, nay, *need* to know the recipe for the tofu triangles in the top photos. Looking forward to seeing it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

I wish we had Trader Joe’s here!

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cammy January 19, 2012

Thanks for the tip Sarah- Kansas City just opened up a TJ this summer so I will look for the super firm type and see if I like it any better. I made this yesterday for lunch but I used the jiggly kind

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WonderLust January 19, 2012

Even though I generally dislike tofu, this recipe looks mighty tempting! Maybe it’s the sweet potato fries… but I’ll definitely try this!

WonderLust

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Michelle January 19, 2012

Salivating. This looks AMAZING!

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carla January 19, 2012

Angela, this sounds wonderful! I will try this, I have everything in my pantry for it! Thank you

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Hayley @ Oat Couture January 19, 2012

This is such a good idea, I also always thought I hated tofu until I had in one day in a restaurant and am now hooked!! :) However when I tried to make it at home it was a massive fail! :( Might try this recipe and see if I can turn my tofu luck around! :)

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LizAshlee January 19, 2012

Yum…and so simple!!

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Rebecca @ Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous January 19, 2012

Sweet potato fries are my go to side! So easy, delicious and healthy!

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Kristy Doyle January 19, 2012

I always put tofu/cauliflower ricotta in my lasagna. I think it tastes better than using regular old ricotta. And it’s healthier!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

great idea!

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Ashley January 19, 2012

Oo yum this sounds delicious! I love tofu.

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers January 19, 2012

Hmmm, I don’t know about tofu, but if your going to try it, I guess I will, you haven’t posted a dish I haven’t liked!

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Merrython January 19, 2012

These look really great! I like to bread my tofu with nutritional yeast but I haven’t tried baking it. Will do so now! Thanks for another lovely recipe.

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Jasper Naomi January 19, 2012

May I please come visit you in Canada and you prepare this dish for me yin your beautiful home!!!!!! wow Angela! this looks yummy!

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Dena @ 40 Fit in the Mitt January 19, 2012

I am a tofu addict and I will be making this asap!

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 19, 2012

The tofu looks amazing! I just got Veganomicon and need to set aside time to read it- I’m sure it’s full of amazing recipes. Anything I’ve ever made of hers has been a winner!

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Dana January 19, 2012

Thanks for this fast and easy tofu recipe…and, for all your recipes! I whipped this up for dinner last night and it was a hit with me and the Mr. As an alternative to ketchup, we used apple butter for dipping. Wellesley(a local company) makes an amazing apple butter with no sugar and it’s available at Loblaws for under $5! We both loved the crunch to these tasty morsels, but I think next time I would make them in either stick or nugget form-to up the crunch factor! BTW- I have to let you know that since discovering your amazing kale salad and dressing recipes, I’ve been making kale salads on a weekly basis. Thanks for re-inspiring me to get my kale on!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 19, 2012

Glad to hear that Dana!

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Amy January 19, 2012

I’m all for trying new things and stepping out of my comfort zone, but I don’t eat tofu because of my thyroid issues. The fact that you don’t use a lot of soy in your cooking is what keeps me coming back! Other sites rely on it too heavily and it makes it difficult. I hope you’re not totally on the bandwagon and you still keep the soy to a minimum or at the very least provide easy non-soy options/subsitutions. I’m sure this was yummy though.

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