Fool your kids with a meat-free tofu chicken nugget dinner, reminiscent of the favorite finger food they love to dip in ketchup, barbecue sauce, or ranch dressing. In this recipe, extra-firm tofu is coated with a seasoned panko breadcrumb mixture. Then, just like chicken, it's baked or fried to a crispy, addicting perfection.
If you're squeamish about cooking with tofu, try this nugget recipe before you shun it, as the flavors mimic the taste of real chicken. Just make sure to follow the directions carefully, taking care to press the tofu before cooking for better consistency and taste. Then, decide on a cooking medium—for all-out flavor, go fried or for a low-fat preparation, go baked. Whatever way you choose, tofu (not) chicken nuggets make a perfect snack or dinner for picky kids and vegan eaters alike.
- 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, well pressed
- 1/3 cup soy milk or another non-dairy milk substitute
- 2 tablespoons mustard
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley or Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons high-heat vegetable or coconut oil
Like most tofu recipes, this one will taste best if you press the tofu first. This allows the tofu to expel additional moisture so that it can absorb the seasonings for better flavor. It also helps the tofu retain its shape during the cooking process.
Pressing the Tofu
- Remove the tofu from its package.
- Pat the block of tofu dry and place it in between two layers of paper towels.
- Place a small cutting board (or flat-surfaced item) and a weight— like a pot or a brick—on top of the tofu.
- Let the tofu sit for 30 minutes, replacing the paper towels when they become saturated.
Prepping the Tofu
- Once your tofu is pressed, slice it into 1-inch cubes or nuggets (about the size of a frozen chicken nugget).
- In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together the soymilk, mustard, nutritional yeast, and spices until smooth
- Place the panko breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.
Cooking the Tofu
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.
- Take one piece of tofu and dip it in the liquid mixture, and then carefully dip it in the breadcrumbs until well coated. Add it to the pan and repeat the process.
- Fry the pieces of tofu, turning them often, until golden brown on all sides.
- Serve your vegetarian tofu nuggets with ketchup, barbecue sauce, or Sriracha hot sauce, and enjoy.
Alternative cooking method: For a low-fat alternative, bake your tofu nuggets on a prepared baking sheet at 350 F for 25 minutes, turning once, until golden brown.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|