There are times when we fancy a delicious crispy breaded snack and that's when we turn to the healthy baked tofu nuggets. We don't normally love tofu or use it on a day to day basis even though we are plant-based but every now and then, we can transform the simple bean curd into the perfect snack.
Normally nuggets are deep-fried but we wanted to showcase a healthy baked tofu recipe, which is just as crispy and delicious. Because they are not done with oil, they tend to be a little drier, hence we came up with the perfect accompaniment for them: a super-easy smokey tomato sauce. Honestly, wait until you try and you see it's a match made in heaven.
Healthy baked tofu nuggets
Tofu is a well-known meat substitute and has been consumed in China for over 2000 years. It makes sense because it has the right consistency and can be tamed and spiced the way you like it. When we don't fancy tofu, however, we turn to seitan and we have made, in the past, amazing vegan steaks, vegan sausages and even vegan chicken.
When we fancy chicken nuggets, I find that baked tofu is the best replacement. Especially when covered in crispy breading, baked tofu is a fantastic snack.
Without deep-frying it, it immediately becomes a healthier option too. Essentially, you just have smoked tofu (or normal tofu), a little flour, aquafaba, breading and that's it! No oil, no clogged arteries. Delicious baked tofu snack! Everyone is a winner here.
How to make healthy baked tofu nuggets
The trick to making the best healthy baked tofu nuggets is to pick the right breading. You can use panko too if you prefer but I do like my old school European breading. If you want to go that extra mile you can also make your own. You will need some old, stale bread which is turned into crumbs in a grinder or blender.
I like the breading to be quite fine to ensure it sticks well and it achieves the right crispiness. Normally, to bread something you need egg, but not in this household. We replaced the egg with aquafaba and it works like magic.
Finally, the trick to having an awsome healthy baked tofu is to pick good tofu. We use organic smoked tofu, always. In fact, we only use smoked tofu irrespective of the recipe. We find it way tastier and delicious. We buy ours from a local German shop but I'm certain you can find it in any supermarket.
One more thing to be aware of. These healthy baked tofu nuggets tend to come out of the oven a little dry. So having a dip on the side is a must. You can use ketchup and mustard or you can make your own extraordinary tomato dipping sauce as we will outline below. So let's get started and make these healthy baked tofu nuggets.
You will need: smoked tofu, aquafaba, flour, breading. That's it! I normally open a small can of chickpeas, drain the aquafaba into a bowl and save the chickpeas for later to make chana masala.
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
Add the flour in one small bowl, the aquafaba in another small bowl and the breading in a third small (deep) bowl.
Take one cube of smoked tofu and put it in the bowl of flour. Roll around to have it coated in flour. Put in aquafaba and make sure is fully covered in aquafab. Finally roll it around the breading so it's fully coated. Place on the baking tray. Repeat with all your tofu cubes. This takes between 5-10 minutes.
Important: make sure there is some space in-between your tofu nuggets. You want them to crisp up uniformly.
When ready, bake in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes or until the breading becomes golden and crisp. No need to turn them around but you can do so halfway through the baking. Serve hot with the smokey tomato dip on the side.
How to make the perfect dip for healthy baked tofu
You will need some tomato sauce, a little sugar, liquid smoke, soy sauce and some oregano. I normally open a can of chopped tomatoes and take half of cup of it to use for this sauce. I like it this way because it's chunkier. But you can use passata too.
Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well until the sugar dissolves. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your liking. Add more soy sauce if you want it saltier. Add a little more sugar if you want it sweeter. Add a little more liquid smoke if you want it smokier.
That's it! You are ready to eat the best healthy baked tofu nuggets in the world. Yum.
This recipe has been developed entirely by Yuzu Bakes. Any resemblance with other recipes is purely coincidental.