I’ll be the first to admit that Asian food is not my favourite, but even though I struggle with Asian flavours I love that so many Asian dishes are loaded with vegetables and so I have tried over the years to come up with a few Asian inspired dishes that I really love. My biggest secret to eating a big stir fry full of veggies is to make my crumbled tofu! I absolutely love this tofu and get excited every time I make it. I love to pair it with all my stir fries and it makes me enjoy them a whole lot more!
There’s nothing very Asian about this tofu recipe. In fact, I first made a version of this to replace chicken nuggets but it goes well with everything and is absolutely delicious. The taste resembles the chicken schnitzel my mum use to make when I was a child. I used to be a very fussy eater and actually really struggled to eat meat. Chicken was one of the only meats I enjoyed (the only other meat I ate was fish). I’ve since discovered that it wasn’t really the meat that I enjoyed but rather the crumbed crispy texture that came along with chicken schnitzel or a crumbed fillet of fish and chips. This crumbed tofu is not identical but it does come close and I get just excited about eating it as I used to when Mum made schnitzel as a child.
Almost every tofu recipe that I’ve seen begins by instructions on how to press tofu. This recipe is not one of those! I’ve tried pressing tofu before and I literally can not tell the difference? So I’ve stopped doing it. I’m no expert and yes I do enjoy cutting corners when I can but for me, I don’t see the point in pressing my tofu and so I never do. (Besides I’ve seen ready pressed tofu available to purchase) Instead, I just begin by patting my tofu dry with some paper towel to get rid of any excess moisture and that’s it! Lately, I’m really enjoying cutting the tofu into triangle shakes but you can cut the tofu in whatever shape you like. I used to make just long strips which were just as good. I’ve also made cubes and nugget shapes. I find the best results when I keep the tofu pieces thin (about 1/2 cm) otherwise they’re not very flavourful.
For the crumbing mixture try and source the best quality ingredients you can find. There is a huge range of delicious bread crumb variations on the market now so keeping this tofu gluten-free is very easy. I don’t personally struggle with gluten so I am not too fussed on the breadcrumbs I use but I try to get as good a quality as I can. Also, try and make sure the dry vegetable stock is all natural and free from any nasty additives like msg (which is common in stock). You can of course always make your own breadcrumbs and dry stock if you have the time and then use them on lots of other goodies as well! This recipe is also oil-free. I’m not against oil by any but it just so happens that this recipe doesn’t need oil. I sometimes spray a tiny bit of oil on the baking tray but its unnecessary as the tofu doesn’t stick to the base.
This tofu is best eaten fresh. I have also eaten leftovers the next day after popping them in the fridge and they were still delicious but the texture changes dramatically from crispy to very chewy!
Like I have mentioned before, soy and tofu can be a great addition to the diet to help balance hormones. Soy can help improve PMS and regulate periods and prevent against breast cancer. It’s a wonderful addition to the diet for estrogen balance in general, but it is crucial make to use a good quality whole bean tofu and not one that is made with protein isolate. Most tofu’s are quite processed and so will lack nutritional benefit as well as be quite inflammatory in the long run. I always make sure to read the ingredients even if the tofu is organic! I’m always so surprised to see how hard it is to find good quality tofu (although things have improved over the years).
I found it difficult to photograph the tofu on its own so instead, I’ve added it in a stir fry and buddha bowl form in the photos below. These are a couple of the ways I like to eat this tofu but you can eat it however you want. It actually makes a great snack on its own (toddlers and kids love it too). Enjoy!
|Easy Baked Crumbed Tofu Recipe
- 1 block firm tofu
- ½ cup bread crumbs (gluten-free if necessary)
- 2 TBSP dried vegetable stock
- 1 TBSP sesame seeds
- soy milk for coating
- Pat dry tofu and cut into triangle shapes or whatever shape you like (about ½ cm thick)
- Mix breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, and vegetable stock together in a bowl
- In a separate bowl pour a little bit of soy milk. Enough to dip tofu pieces
- Dip the tofu pieces in the soy milk and then in the breadcrumb mixture making sure they are evenly coated
- Spread tofu on a baking tray and bake at 180 C for about 30 - 40 minutes until tofu is crispy but still soft on the inside.