Chile Crusted Tofu

And we’re back… sorta. I have been moving and establishing my new life so like every other  american that means I have been making a lot of quick foods and dining out. Tonight I couldn’t bring myself to eat another tostada so I decided to dig in my sort of  stocked pantry and pick out something to make. A box of firm tofu and some spices? hmm. I dug through one of my favorite cookbooks and spotted a pretty easy recipe. Chile Cornmeal- Crusted Tofu. Sounded easy enough and most of the ingredients were spices. Oops I didn’t have cornmeal.. but I did have a box of panko bread crumbs. My soymilk was vanilla flavored and I definitely do not have lime zest. Hunger kicking in I decided to just go for it and fill in the gaps. I figured even if my dinner came out terrible hopefully the act of cooking would get me back in the groove.

Chile Crusted Tofu
vegetable oil for frying
1 lb extra firm tofu, drained
1 cup soy milk
2 tbs cornstarch
1/2 cup flour
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbs chile powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 tsp salt

Cut tofu into 16 triangles

In a shallow bowl mix soy milk and cornstarch. Dissolve the cornstarch in the soymilk and set aside. Fill another bowl with your flour. In your third bowl mix bread crumbs, chile powder, cumin, cayenne and salt.

Heat about a 1/4″ of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Usually set your burner around medium-low heat. (My method to getting the right oil temperature is making the oil just hot enough that I feel like I am going to burn down the kitchen, but not hot enough to actually burn it down.)

Take tofu, dip it in your soymilk, into your flour, back into the soymilk and then cover with breadcrumbs. Fry until it is crispy.

Side notes: Frying is something that once you get the hang of is a pretty quick way to cook some dinner that will meet all of your greasy desires. I was feeling a little crazy so I added some garlic powder, onion powder and turmeric into my breadcrumbs and a little bit of liquid smoke into the soymilk. I’m not sure it helped much…

Review: Eh. Fried tofu always leaves me wishing I had baked it instead. The crispy breading is good, but what breaded and fried food doesn’t taste good? The tofu usually tastes like… tofu and I end up over salting and dipping it in bbq sauce. So a potentially healthy dinner (tofu) goes quickly down the tubes. I couldn’t taste much of the seasoning so after about 3 pieces of greasy tofu I was full and feeling gross. Maybe someday I will figure out the best fried tofu recipe.

Update: After sitting uncovered in my fridge for two days eating these cold and dipped in goddess dressing is pretty good… or maybe I’m just hungover.

Original recipe can be found in Veganomicon. P.125. I highly recommend you buy this book. Almost everything I have made out of it has been awesome.

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