Crispy tofu is a favourite snack here in our household. To make it healthier, we bake it and not fry it. We don't add any oil to the tofu itself but cover it in crispy panko breading so it has a better texture, it's crunchy and delicious.
I started making these in an attempt to stop my chips addiction. Turns out, it really worked. I love crispy tofu and it works so well as a side dish or just as a small meal on its own. They are also fantastic for when we watch a movie and fancy a healthier but crispy baked snack.
What are crispy tofu sticks?
I came up with the idea when I was making some vegan fish and chips. Seeing how delicious tofu really is when enhanced with flavours, I decided to try and make some crispy tofu sticks. I already made some baked tofu nuggets, which were incredible, so trying panko-breaded tofu seemed like the next best thing.
Crispy tofu sticks are long strips of tofu, breaded in panko and baked in the oven. No added oil as the panko makes them crispy enough.
We serve them with a special chilli sauce for added flavour and fun.
To make this delicious crispy baked tofu you will need to get the following things. Two blocks of tofu, I used smoked tofu but you can go for the natural one as well. I recommend firm tofu, and each block should have 400 g each. Buy it here.
For the sauce, you will need a few more ingredients but of course, the sauce is entirely optional. You will need vinegar (I used rice vinegar), chillies, tomato sauce, olive oil, agave syrup, lime juice, spring onion, cayenne pepper, paprika, ginger and cumin.
Practical items you need for this recipe
You will need a couple of bowls, a baking tray with baking paper to make the crispy tofu. If you decide to make the sauce also, you will need a chef's knife to chop your chillies and spring onions, a good chopping board, a great blender and a frying pan.
Right now, I don't have the fanciest blender but mine does the job just fine. I really like it even though I have to blitz things for a couple of minutes rather than just 30 seconds.
Having said that, the results are always fantastic. When buying kitchen appliances, I always say to go for the most expensive you can afford but never stretch if it's over your budget.
How to make the crispy baked tofu
I recommend starting with the sauce. Slice the chillies and the spring onions and fry them with a little olive oil. Add the spices (cayenne pepper, paprika, ginger and cumin) and fry for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a blender with the rest of the sauce ingredients (water, vinegar, olive oil, tomato sauce, agave syrup) and blitz until you get a smooth sauce.
Set aside the sauce. Whatever is leftover, you can place it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. It goes really well with a variety of recipes including my special massaged kale with plantain salad. It's divine, really!
For the crispy tofu, start by preheating the oven. 180C or 350F. Line a baking tray with baking paper and keep it nearby on the counter.
Grab two bowls. Fill one with oat and water plus the spices (garlic and paprika) and one bowl with panko crumbs. On a chopping board, cut the tofu into long strips. Dip a tofu stick into the oat milk mixture, then cover it in panko crumbs. Place each panko covered strip on top of the baking paper. Repeat with the remaining tofu sticks.
Very important! Make sure the tofu sticks don't overlap on the baking tray. You don't need to lead much space in between but it's paramount they don't touch.
Serve fresh out of the oven with the sauce and enjoy! You can store them in an airtight container overnight but they really are best consumed fresh.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.