The normal way to make crispy tofu is to fry it in a lot of oil. And that actually tastes great! Unfortunately, that method makes an otherwise very healthy food not so healthy. There’s got to be a better way.
Turns out there is. With this recipe I have left out the oil and at the same time managed to up the flavor.
You can cut the tofu into cubes, like I did this time around, but you can also just as easily slice it. That way it can be a great filling for sandwiches.
Tofu is completely bland on its own. The good news, however, is that it will readily take on whatever flavors you throw at is.
In this recipe I have kept is fairly simple, letting the umami flavors in shiitake mushrooms and nutritional yeast shine through. You could choose to add a bit of smoked paprika and some fresh or dried herbs, if you’d like a bit more oomph. Rosemary, thyme or oregano will all work well.
I serve these oil free crispy tofu bites as part of a meal and usually with a smoky dip on the side. I make this dip with blended silken tofu, unsweetened almond milk, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a bit of salt and pepper. Nothing fancy but it works very well with these little nuggets. Dip recipe included in the recipe card below.
If you have any left over tofu bites then they are great thrown into a salad the next day.
Oil Free Crispy Tofu
- 400 grams firm or extra firm tofu (not silken)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon miso paste (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon shiitake mushroom powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Ingredients for a simple smoky dip:
- 100 grams silken tofu
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond or soy milk
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel and place something heavy on top. A chopping board with a couple of cans on top works well. Leave for 20 minutes before continuing. This will rid the tofu of most of the water it contains.
- Turn on the oven and set it to 200º C/400º F. Cover a baking sheet with baking paper.
- Unwrap the tofu and cut it into cubes. Transfer the cubes to a bowl.
- Mix the milk, mustard, soy sauce and miso paste (if using) in a small bowl and pour it over the tofu. Turn to coat the tofu cubes well. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the tofu to absorb some of the liquid.
- In a separate bowl, mix the nutritional yeast, cornstarch, shiitake powder and garlic powder. Add it to the bowl with the tofu and mix everything well. Make sure the tofu pieces are evenly coated.
- Transfer the tofu to the baking sheet. Space them out so they don't touch each other.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning over after about 15 minutes.
To make the dip:
- Using a blender or an immersion blender, blend everything together and transfer to a serving bowl. Any leftovers will keep for up to five days, refrigerated.