Tofu. It’s so… “vegan” isn’t it?

I can’t tell you how many nights of sleep I’ve lost (zero) trying to figure out how to remove the stigma associated with tofu. The problem isn’t the ingredient, it’s the preparation. Think of tofu like a block of white canvas just waiting for you to do something great with it. It can have amazing flavor and texture only IF you treat it with the care it deserves.

Lately this recipe has been one of my favorite ways to prepare tofu in a snap. All we’re doing is coating the tofu in a simple breading of masa harina (the cornmeal used to make tortillas) and seasonings, and then baking it. Baking makes this recipe much healthier than frying, but it also transforms the tofu’s texture into something soft and chewy, like a chicken nugget. The end result is a crispy coating around a dense but moist nugget of tofu. In all, it takes a few ingredients and 5 minutes of prep work to put Ronald McDonald to shame.

Tofu_Nuggets

Makes 12 nuggets

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz block extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 2/3 cup masa harina (cornmeal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Tofu_Nuggets_Pan

Preheat oven to 375ΒΊ F

Step One

Cut the extra firm tofu into little squares (any size between 1-2 inches wide) and approximately 1/4 inch thick. Then press them between paper towels to remove as much internal moisture as possible.

Step Two

Pour a bit of soy milk into a bowl. In another bowl, mix the cornmeal with garlic powder, onion powder, and salt (the exact measurements aren’t important, adjust to taste). Then, simply dip each square of tofu into the soy milk and then into the cornmeal mixture until completely coated. Transfer each slice onto a lightly-oiled baking sheet.

Step Three

Bake at 375ΒΊ F for about 20 minutes on one side, then flip each square and cook for another 15 minutes or so. Allow to cool before serving with your favorite sauce (or perhaps over some cauliflower fettuccine Alfredo). Interestingly, I love these cold as well. Cut into strips and served on a salad? Incredible.

Tofu_Nuggets_Bite