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

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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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{ 223 comments… read them below or add one }

LG January 19, 2012

I keep thinking I should get a tofu press for this sort of recipe, but then it’s just another gadget. :0)

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Melissa January 19, 2012

You need to get a Tofu Xpress! It really changed my whole view on tofu.

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Eve Gotch January 19, 2012

I serve my sweet potato fries with a sauce that’s half veganaise, half ketchup and a good amount of cayenne pepper. We call it “atomic sauce”. It’s not exactly low fat.. but hey, at least the fries are baked! ;)

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kaila @ healthyhelper January 19, 2012

JUST BOOKMARKED THIS! Baking tofu is my FAVORITE way of eating it!!! SO GOOD!

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes January 19, 2012

I don’t know what my deal is that I’ve never actually made fries out of sweet potatoes! I need to get on that.

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Kelly January 19, 2012

I’m making this recipe this weekend! Thanks!

BTW – You were mentioned on Greatist.com as one of the 60 Must-read Health & Fitness blogs! WOO HOO!! I hope the publishers you talk to see this great press you receive and how many of us adore you and love making your recipes.

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Alisha January 19, 2012

Those look amazing! Just wondering, what brand of tofu do you use?

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hannah alehandra January 19, 2012

Wow Angela, you’ve outdone yourself!! This looks soo good. I want some tofu now. Send some to England for me, please? :)

http://hannahalehandra.blogspot.com/

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Lindsay January 19, 2012

My husband and I just started a 21 day vegan diet. I’ve been trying lots of different tofu recipes- but this looks so good! I love the idea of adding a crust and baking it. yum!

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Evie January 19, 2012

This is an amazing idea!
I love tofu! I’m so glad you enjoy it too!
Tofu easily adapts to lots of different tastes and textures. I like to use the softer kinds of tofu as an egg substitute (for quiche, scrambled egg substitute, etc). Tofu dessert is really yummy too! It’s almost like a light pudding depending on what you do with it!

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Nicole @ giraffelegs January 19, 2012

Sweet potato anything is like a little party in my mouth.

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Carly January 19, 2012

I made this for lunch today. I like tofu but I found that the flavours weren’t very strong, so next time around I think I would put more spices in. The Sweet Potato Fries were awesome though!

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Lindsey @ happyhoneycrisp January 19, 2012

Oh my gosh those crispy tofu strips look delicious! I would have never thought to bread tofu like that, what a great idea! I’ve recently discovered that I love sweet potatoes (I used to hate them) so I am very intrigued by the sweet potato fries. Thanks for posting these great recipes! Hopefully I can try them soon!

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Jonathan January 20, 2012

This looks amazing! Your ingredient list speaks directly to my soul. :) Thank you so much for sharing your journey into the realms of tofu-love.

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Sherlock January 20, 2012

Bookmarked. I have the ingredients on hand so I’m going to make this for lunch tomorrow. I know my three year old will love them. Thanks!

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suzanne January 20, 2012

This looks SO good – and kid friendly! My guys love tofu cut in little pieces and stir fried in a little olive oil til very crisp – bet they will like this so now I will have 2 ways they’ll eat it – YEAH! Thank you – thank you- thank you!

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suzanne January 20, 2012

PS- I LOVE sweet potatoes and my kids love the SP fries! Whoo – hoo!

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Stacey January 20, 2012

These tofu tenders look very similar to the ones I make with the exception of I using a dark beer instead of milk to get a “pub feel” and the spices are a tad different too. Actually as far as the spices go I can never remember exactly what I put in, its usually always different, I just start dumping;) I’ll have to try with milk sometime. Cheers!

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Jenny January 20, 2012

Hey, Ange! Can I call you Ange? Haha. I’ve been reading your blog for such a long time I thought it was time to come out of the shadows. You are such an inspiration- humble and always working on personal growth. And you have good taste(buds!)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

Thanks for your comment Jenny! And thank you for reading :)

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Emily January 20, 2012

Tried this last night! Just as good as it looks – and easy too! I think you have supplied the recipes for most of my meals for the past several months…thank you thank you thank you :) It’s such a treat to pull up your site everyday – abolustely can’t wait for the cookbook!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 20, 2012

Thank you Emily, you are too kind!

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Morgan L January 20, 2012

Made these tofu sticks for dinner and they were amazing! Thanks so much for the recipe and your blog, such an inspiration :)

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Sherlock January 20, 2012

I enjoyed the crunch and texture but the seasonings didn’t cut it for me. I found the cinnamon to be an odd addition. I’ll still use the method but use another combination of spices.

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Katie G January 21, 2012

I made these last night! THEY WERE FABULOUS! :D thank you SO MUCH for the recipe, no more processed, soy fake-chicken-fingers for me! And I have leftovers for lunch today, so happy!

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Isaac January 22, 2012

I just made these Tofu Strips for my wife, and we loved them! Looking forward to making them again already and maybe adding some jerk seasoning to the breading this time.

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Emily C January 22, 2012

I think I’m gunna try these sometime this week. I’ve been searching for a new tofu recipe to try, and these look great!

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Sarah January 26, 2012

Okay I have made the perfect veggie burger and husband L-O-V-E-D them!! No more store bought veggie burgers for us. Tonight I’ve made the tofu and it smells and looks awesome! I am going to try and make every recipe posted on this site. I am also VERY hopeful there will be a cookbook or there is a cookbook. I will buy it for myself and I will become a full blown vegetarian. My sister has been for years and I’ve played around, but these recipes make me think I could do it. Thank you Angela!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 26, 2012

Thank you Sarah!

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Lauren January 27, 2012

I’m usually pretty tame with my tofu, either pan frying it or buying it already fried from the Japanese grocery, but this recipe looks fantastic! It might just have to be my Saturday night dinner. :)

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Meaghan January 27, 2012

These were amazing! My normally picky 4 year old even devoured them. As a side note-they were really yummy for lunch the next day in a whole wheat wrap with spinach, broccoli slaw, red pepper strips and some sirracha! Yum! Love ALL of your recipes!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 27, 2012

yay! :)

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Heather January 29, 2012

From a Tofu-phone……that was POSITIVELY “the” best meal I ever made with tofu! My husband, the meat eater, will never eat it thus letting me have two more delicious meals! Thank you for this recipe! :)

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Karen January 30, 2012

YUMMMMMM!! Ate them last week and again last night for dinner!! My hubby and I loved them!! thank you! We also sub’d panko crumbs and unsweetened coconut milk.. It was delish!

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Susan January 31, 2012

I made this for supper last night. Baking the tofu with a cornmeal crust certainly made it nice and crispy – although at the end of the day it still tasted like rather bland tofu so not sure I’d make it again, but it was fun to try – and my kids each ate one piece so I guess that is success. The sweet potatoe fries turned out perfect so would definately make them again! We aren’t fans of ketchup so i served the fries with a dip made from yogurt, mango chutney and curry paste and the tofu with a half half mixture of chipolte BBQ sauce and hot mustard.

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Michelle February 4, 2012

Hi Angela,
Those eggplant roll ups look amazing! Did you happen to post a recipe for them yet? I wasn’t sure if I missed it.

Thanks,
Michelle

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 5, 2012

Hi MIchelle, Not yet…but it will either come in the book or on the blog at some point :)

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Becky March 14, 2012

I’m sad. This didn’t work for me. The tofu kept falling apart and was just…wrong. :-( Don’t know what I did wrong.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 14, 2012

Hey Becky, Did you use extra firm tofu and drain it beforehand?

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lisa March 16, 2012

I use these in a spelt wrap with some hot sauce, vegan ranch, and salad mix. Yum!

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Ellie April 15, 2012

I just made these sweet potato fries and they were so amazing, I had to tell you! I’ve been trying your recipes and am really enjoying the progress I’ve made as a cook and the food itself! Keep doing what you’re doing!!!! Please!

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Jessica April 21, 2012

Just made this and it tasted fantastic! Can’t wait to see more tofu recipes! :)

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Christine June 2, 2012

I just made the crispy breaded tofu for lunch for my husband and me……I made do with a couple of minor variations, e.g. unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and Penzey’s Arizona Dreamin’ for chili powder. I had to make bread crumbs, and also cornmeal from yellow popcorn in my VitaMix. It was perfect!!!!! This is a fabulous recipe!!!!! Not one piece left…..this opens a whole new world for us for tofu, and satisfies that “need” for crispy “meat” to dip in ketchup. Next time I will use the sprouted organic tofu I just bought–even higher protein, and the package is 8 ounces bigger. This recipe made more than enough crumbs and dipping “milk” to handle the larger package. THANK YOU! I am passing this link on to my friends!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 2, 2012

Thanks for your review Christine! So glad to hear that :)

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Shannon June 14, 2012

Thanks for a great recipe! I have made it 3 times now…. Whenever I get sweet potatoes in my CSA box I know what I’m making… Delish! If I could only get my 3yr old to eat the tofu like we do…

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Marie @ Substance of Living June 18, 2012

Angela,

The Tofu Sticks were really good. They were firm and crispy. Thank you for sharing. In fact, I’ve linked to this on my “10 Delicious Tofu Recipes”.

Yummy! :-)

Marie

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 19, 2012

Thanks for the link Marie :) So glad you enjoyed them!

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Erica June 26, 2012

Sorry this is so long but there is so much I’d like to say! I don’t even know if you check old recipes for comments anymore, even.
I just wanted to say, your blog was the #1 procrastination technique I used during finals this school year. I’ve been experimenting with being vegan and everything on your website looks SO good. Well, now that school has ended, I’ve been cooking a recipe of yours pretty much every other day! (date bars, apple muffin tops, these, and more). Today my best friend and I made the tofu and the fries and we were blown away. The spices were so addicting and the tofu was so crispy and every ingredient was readily available… it was perfect! I even tried it with ketchup and generally I am repulsed by ketchup, but this time I enjoyed it. Next year, I am going to make a huge batch of this every month and freeze them for my school lunches! I just want to say that your recipes are AMAZING and your devotion to wellness has inspired me to take better care of myself. I went through some diet issues this year but your blog has shown me that it is possible to enjoy food as a fun activity and a rewarding, healthy meal instead of just a set of numbers and nutrition facts to be burned off later.
OKAY, that’s all for now ^_^ Thanks for this blog!
~Erica (age 16)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 27, 2012

Hey Erica,
Yes I read my comments on old posts! Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so happy to hear that you are enjying everything. Take care!

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Alimakessoap August 10, 2012

Yum, yum, yum! I cut the tofu in thirds and make nuggets- my kids love them and we fought over the last one last night, so I had to make more tonight! I also add some nutritional yeast to the breadcrumb mix which seems to give it a little extra something.

The sweet potato fries are perfect! I just have to be more careful when I turn it to broil. Burned a whole batch last night :-(

Thank you for your beautiful blog and delicious recipes!

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