Tofu Fried Chicken
I am a southern girl through and through. My family is from Louisiana, and a Sunday dinner that did not involve fried chicken was not a Sunday dinner at our house. When I decided several years ago that I would switch to a more healthy diet, I eliminated fried chicken from my diet all together. The problem with that was that I really missed it! Enter this recipe for Tofu fried chicken. The saying, “it tastes just like chicken,” is spot on here! Not only does this tofu fried chicken taste just like chicken, but it smells just like fried chicken when you are cooking it too! Vegetarians, Vegan’s, and carnivores alike will love this! Your kiddies will love this tofu fried chicken too! Use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes, and these become the perfect healthy alternative to fried chicken nuggets. I say fried chicken, but the truth is that this is a very shallow fry. You really only need enough oil to coat the bottom of your pan. After a lot of trial and error with this recipe, I learned that the best results come by freezing the tofu. The texture of the tofu becomes more meat like, and it is a lot easier to expel all of the excess water in the tofu after it has been frozen and defrosted. The more water the tofu has in it, the harder it is to get a crispy crust on the “fried chicken.” It is possible, but it takes much longer than I want to be in the kitchen. Freezing the tofu and defrosting it on the day you want to cook it saves you about 20 minutes of cooking time with this dish. I slice the tofu before i freeze it, which makes it easier to press out the excess water. I also use nutritional yeast, which you can find at Whole Foods, a health food store, at this Link on Amazon, or at your local vitamin shop since it is a nutritional supplement. I also use Garlic Gomasio, which is simply sesame seeds, garlic powder, and sea salt in one bottle. If you have these ingredients separately then just use 2 teaspoons of sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and you’ll have a home made Gomasio.
1/4 cup of Garlic Gomasio and 2 additional teaspoons set aside
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast add more if you need to
3-4 Tablespoons of a low sodium soy sauce
1 lbs of extra firm tofu (sliced, frozen in a ziplock bag and then defrosted)
4-5 Tablespoons of grape seed oil or another high temperature oil (canola, safflower) for frying.
Directions for expelling excess water from the tofu:
After the tofu is defrosted, drain the liquid from the bag. Then place each slice of tofu between paper towels and press out all of the remaining water. Be careful not to press too hard, the tofu breaks easily.
Set up a work station, with a plate for each of the ingredients(except the oil). After you have removed the excess water from the tofu. Dredge the tofu slices through each plate, beginning with the soy sauce, then the nutritional yeast, and finally the Gomasio.
Be careful not to let the tofu soak in the soy sauce. You just want to coat both sides of the tofu with the soy sauce, don’t leave it to soak otherwise you’ll have one salty piece of fake chicken. Repeat this process until you’ve coated all the tofu.
In a skillet heat your oil. Add in the 2 teaspoons of Gomasio. once the seeds begin to pop add in your tofu. IMPORTANT: make sure that your oil is hot before you put your tofu in, otherwise you’ll have a grease laden piece of fake chicken.
Cook until both sides are brown and crispy, should only take 3-4 minutes. Place onto paper towels to remove excess oil, serve and enjoy!
Do you have any Tofu recipes? What’s your favorite tofu recipe?
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