I love tofu and I try to eat it between one and three times per week. There is a fair amount of anti-soy hype, which much like the anti-gluten hype, I mainly just ignore. I believe in listening to how our individual bodies respond to what we feed them and following that “internal advice” first and foremost in all things. Of course, I do read assorted health and nutritional studies, and I am very careful to buy non-gmo and organic as much as possible.
I’ve been eating tofu since I was 16 and have found a ton of really satisfying ways to prepare it. This crispy baked version is one of my favourites. I used to use an egg bath prior to applying the coating, but eggs aren’t something I consume anymore, and I now use a chickpea batter in their place.
- Vegan BBQ Sauce, teryaki or other sauce you enjoy
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Agave Nectar
- Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- Liquid smoke (optional, but delicious)
- Any other flavours which appeal to you (be creative, it’s your mouth that’s going to be eating this)
How to Marinade:
- Cut some pressed tofu (pressed under a heavy object for 20 minutes to remove extra water) into slices, cubes, triangles or whatever shape most appeals to you, then place in a container with a lid.
- Mix the marinade ingredients together until they reach a flavour profile and texture which appeals to you.
- Pour the marinade over your pressed tofu and leave marinade for a minimum of twenty minutes (I usually marinade overnight)
- Chickpea flour
- Wholewheat flour
- Cornmeal (optional)
- Brown rice flour (optional)
- Sea salt
How to Make the Chickpea Bath:
- Add chickpea flour to one cup of water and whisk until it is the consistency of runny pancake batter or whisked egg. This usually takes about 1/8 of a cup of the chickpea flour, but it’s really an intuitive process and you should be able to tell by feel how you’re doing.
- Add any seasonings you with to the bath (I used a touch of sea salt and a touch of Chinese Five Spice in mine).
- Set aside.
How to Make the Breading Mixture:
- Add equal parts of wholewheat flour, and bread crumbs to a bowl, mix in your cornmeal and brown rice flour if you’re using them.
- Add any seasonings you wish. I just added some fresh ground pepper and a touch of sea salt.
- Pour well mixed ingredients onto a plate and set aside.
How to Put it all Together:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment.
- Drain tofu of marinade.
- Dip each tofu piece into the chickpea bath, shake off excess bath.
- Dip and roll each piece in your breading mixture.
- Place pieces one by one onto cookie sheet.
- Spray each piece with a fine mist of cooking spray or oil (I have a refillable oil misting bottle).
- Cook in oven 15 minutes, turn over, spray again then repeat cooking for an additional 15 minutes.
As you can see, my cooking process is usually quite intuitive, which makes recipes hard to share, but once you figure out the basic techniques, there is so much fun to be had with creating new meals.
I served this with brown rice steamed with both dried and fresh diced mushrooms, a vinegar marinaded cucumber salad (marinade is 1/8 c rice vinegar, a splash of agave, a touch of sea-salt, 1 cup water and a bunch of dill), and a pile of stir-fried carrots and zucchini. A very simple but very satisfying meal on a summer day. Tofu prepared this way is reminiscent of baked chicken, without the cruelty and cholesterol.
Tofu is rapidly becoming one of the things I cook which my mom looks forward to trying. A year ago she would run the other way if I told her I was serving tofu.