Or mozzarella sticks… Doesn’t matter what you compare it to, I just call it “M-M-M Good!”
This is pretty simple to make, and you can use any type of tofu, except the silken varitey. If you make it from soft tofu, it often reminds adults of deep-fried mozzarella. Kids tend to like it made from a firmer tofu, and often say it tastes like chicken nuggets to them.
Here’s the setup.
Today I’m using soft tofu, since I had a half-block of it leftover in the refrigerator from another project.
two small bowls
pan for frying
frying tool, such as slotted spoon, pancake turner
1⁄2 block of tofu, any type except silken
1 tablespoon San-J Organic Tamari Gluten Free Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill GF Masa Harina Flour
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon chili powder or 1⁄2 teaspoon of paprika
1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄4 teaspoon Mrs Dash Table Blend
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
canola oil for frying
Drain the tofu and pat it dry. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes.
Mix the water and the tamari together in one of the small bowls. Dip each cube of tofu in the tamari mix, rotating to coat all the sides. Set the cubes on a plate.
Whisk all of the remaining dry ingredients together in the other bowl.
Carefully roll each cube of tofu in the mixture until it’s coated on all sides. Set the coated cubes on a clean plate.
Put 1⁄2 inch or more of canola oil in the pan. Heat the oil over medium low heat until it starts to shimmer and is about 350 degrees. A quick way to test the oil is with a dry bamboo skewer. Insert the blunt end into the oil until it touches the bottom of the pan. Bubbles should appear at the base of the skewer immediately. If you are only seeing a couple of bubbles, or none at all, the oil isn’t hot enough.
Carefully put the first coated cube of tofu into the oil. It should immediately bubble like this.
If all is well, put more cubes into the pan, leaving plenty of room to turn them over.
Fry quickly (it only takes a minute per side!) turning the cubes in the oil as needed.
Drain on a paper towel covered plate.
You’ll notice in the above image that the cubes on the left are well coated and darker brown than the ones on the right. All of the cubes were coated the same way. The problem was that the oil wasn’t hot enough when I fried the cubes on the right. As a result, the breading didn’t seize up fast enough and tended to slough off when I was turning them in the oil! I’m showing you, so you don’t make the same mistake.
A tool like this can help fish them back out of the pan when they are done.
It is a Joseph Joseph Large Scoop Colander. It runs less than $7 on Amazon, and it can withstand temperatures up to 480 Fahrenheit! That means you can use it to scoop things out of frying oil and boiling water. Around here, it’s a main tool that I use almost every time I’m cooking. It actually comes in 3 different colors and two sizes. I have both a large and a small one.
If you’re trying to convince kids to eat tofu, you could cut it into larger, flatter rectangles, so it looks more like “nuggets”.
You can change the spices, or add more, but don’t skip the nutritional yeast. The flavor is completely different without it.
Most people prefer to eat this hot. You can store leftovers covered, in the refrigerator, and reheat when you want to eat it.
Dipping sauces work well with this. Try marinara with the soft tofu, or a honey mustard with a firm variety!
I happen to be a huge fan of crispy fried tofu. It doesn’t need any breading on it at all, for me. But I invented this when I was working with a child who basically thought tofu was “weird”. It passed the “picky eater” test, so I thought I would share it with my readers! Here’s a close up view.
Doesn’t that just make you hungry?