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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{ 226 comments… read them below or add one }

Emily August 10, 2012

This is the first tofu meal I’ve actually liked. I’m inspired to try more!

Reply

Kayti October 16, 2012

This recipe was my FIRST success in getting my two-year-old to eat tofu. lol. Sooooo tasty.

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Jennie December 13, 2012

I just made these breaded tofu strips for dinner as my kids were having chicken strips, and they were a hit! My 9-year old daughter even had 2nds instead of the chicken (she enjoys the little ‘kick’ the cayenne pepper gives it!) I will be putting these in my recipe box. :)

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Gina January 6, 2013

The husband and I just finished this and it is our new FAVORITE. Before going vegan, chicken fingers and fries were my weakness. This was an excellent substitute! So quick and so easy! We couldn’t believe how crunchy they were on the outside and chewy on the inside. Thanks!!!

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Sandy January 7, 2013

Hi Angela, this looks amazing. Couple of days I grilled tofu, you have to try this ……you can just imagine how good it tasted when my children almost left me without lunch he he. I slice tofu as you did and i prepare marinade on the side. Marinade goes like this, 4 tbsp of soy sauce , 2 tbsp of ketchup manis ( it is the name Indonesian use for sweet soy sauce and we Aussies learn from them), 1 clove of garlic grated , 1 small piece of ginger grated. I stir that and I left tofu in it for 10 min and I grill that on girdle pan. It was so yummy you have to try it and let me know do you like it.

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Jonathan Moore January 9, 2013

I tried this recipe. Now I like tofu. Amazing! I accidently combined all the spices for the breading and then put that on the sweet potato too. It didn’t matter… it was wonderful!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 10, 2013

yay! so glad to hear that :) I used to hate tofu and now I go crazy for it.

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Eloïse January 20, 2013

I tried this recipe today and I liked it a lot! I did not have corn meal so I used oatmeal that I passed in the blender first. My tofu was firm, not extra firm but I turned out ok! My meat eating hubby liked it! Can’t wait to make this again with the right ingredients! The fries were delicious! I gave the left overs to my grat Dane… He LOVES sweet potatoes!

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Camellia Beigh-Gacad February 6, 2013

Angela,

I have been a long time fan of your recipes (I look at many vegan blogs and NO ONE compares to yours). I just recently tried this recipe (one of many that i’ve tried from you) and finally decided to tell you how good it was.

My boyfriend has become a healthy vegan 6 days a week since we moved in together 6 months ago. He has lost 35 lbs so far. This has become one of his favorite recipes. They taste like Van De Kamps Fish Sticks! We just made them last night and it brought us back to our childhoods.

Keep these wonderful recipes going!
P.S. Our other regular recipe that we often love to make are the Tripple Almond Cherry Bars (I think that’s what they are called).

Thank you!
Camellia Beigh-Gacad

Reply

Angela (Oh She Glows) February 6, 2013

Hey Camellia, Oh wow thank you for this lovely comment! I appreciate it so much. All the best to both of you, Angela

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Ashanti February 7, 2013

I know this is an ubber late response, but this recipe rocks! I’m newly vegan and am the mom to a beautiful 3 year old little girl. This is the first full vegan dish she ate without complaint! Winner winner tofu dinner!!!! Thanks so much :)

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Alishia February 19, 2013

Tried this. Devoured it. Next time I’ll make it more spicy by adding a bit more cayenne pepper.

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Robin February 21, 2013

This was wonderful!!! I got the extra firm tofu, and did the whole towel and book
thing. I used panko bread crumbs and white corn meal.
My husband loved this too! The cinnamon was really good on the sweet potatoes.
Thanks for the great recipe.

Reply

Meagan June 4, 2013

We had this Saturday night because it looked really easy and I hoped my husband would love it (he’s a meat eater). And he LOVED it! We both agreed to raise our kids vegetarian until they can make a conscious decision, and I think this recipe made him happy in the “finger food” department. We called them tofu tenders! hahaha

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Andrea July 18, 2013

I love that whenever I need a new recipe, I can always find something new on your blog! Can’t wait to make these tonight!!

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Meghan November 3, 2013

I just tried this tonight, my favorite tofu recipie I’ve made so far! I didn’t know baking could make it so crispy. Thanks for sharing :)

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Terri November 11, 2013

Angela you are a genius with tofu! :) Not only did I love this recipe but my hubby and kids loved it too. My son says to me, “mom, are you sure this is not chicken?”, “these are really really good”. I know have another quick meal for our crazy weeknight dinners. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Terri

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Robin January 20, 2014

I just made this last night after a long weekend away from home and it was DELICIOUS. I’m new to the vegan world, and I was really pleasantly surprised with this recipe. I’m having a really tough time not eating the whole thing in one sitting :)

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Paige Kenzie April 20, 2014

Make sure that it wasn’t something else in the seitan or tempeh that hurt your stomach besides the soy! Personally, I’m allergic to millet. I didn’t think twice when I picked up a package of tempeh at the store, until later that night I was in agony from stomach pains. Later, I looked at the package more closely and found the culprit- millet!

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Stephanie July 29, 2014

I know this is an older recipe but I just ran across it and HAD to try it out. I try to avoid processed corn so I wanted to share my method in case anyone wants to try this while keeping (possible) GMO corn out of their dinner.

I used NO cornmeal or cornstarch.
I used a flax “egg” wash instead of the cornstarch almond milk (1.5 TBSP ground flax + 1/3 cup non-dairy milk, let sit for 10 min until “egg” like consistency).
I simply increased the (spelt) breadcrumbs to replace the cornmeal and added the spices. I used cayenne, smoked paprika, nooch, dehydrated poultry seasoning/ spice (VEGAN) and gave it a whirl in the dry vitamix container as my breadcrumbs were very coarse.

It turned out amazing, the coating stuck REALLY well and crisped up perfectly! Thank you for the inspiration.

Reply

Cyrena September 21, 2014

I tried your basic technique for baked tofu here, and it was a huge hit in my house, even with my mil who had never tried tofu and was hesitant! It turned out so crispy and yummy. I added some different spices and marinated mine for a bit before baking and served it with stir fried veggies. Thanks!

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