One of the hesitations I had about “going vegan” in January (veganuary) was having pieces of “stuff” to nibble on. I like to have something to chew, besides a bean or veggie in my Asian stir fries and in my tacos. I’m not a huge fan of chicken nuggets, but do like a little “something” in my salads, too. Tofu is an easy substitute that fits the bill for all of these.
I can crumble and marinate/spice the heck out of it and it goes well with any type of meal I cook. But what about when I want something to just dip? Could I make a tofu nugget that would satisfy that craving?
Yes. The answer is yes.
They’re pretty easy to make, super easy to customize, depending on the spices and method of cooking you use. Because I don’t deep fry at home, I won’t provide the cooking directions for that.
- Firm or Extra firm block of tofu – frozen, then defrosted works best. If you don’t have time for this, then just press it between towels for a good 20 minutes or so. (Rest something heavy on it)
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ¼ cup flour
- 1-2 Tbsp bread crumbs (unless you are extra dipping at the end, then you need more)
- Spices of choice (about 1 tsp of each) – I use garlic, onion. cayenne, oregano, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast.
- Oil spray
- Press tofu to remove extra moisture and cut into sticks or squares or rectangles.
2. Mix vinegar into non dairy milk and let sit to form a “buttermilk” type consistency.
3. Put the cornstarch into one bowl with about half the spices.
4. Put the flour and bread crumbs in another bowl with the rest of the spices.
5. Mix milk into a bowl with flour. (or if you don’t want it wet, you can keep milk and flour separate)
- If doing an extra bread crumb dip, put these into a bowl with some more spices.
6. In assembly line fashion, dip tofu into cornstarch, wet flour mixture and then place on a parchment lined baking tray.
- Another way to do this is to dip into cornstarch, milk, then flour mixture and then directly onto baking sheet/air fryer tray
- If you’re using the extra bread crumb method, dip into cornstarch, milk/flour mixture, breadcrumbs and then directly onto baking sheet/air fryer tray
7. Spray breaded nuggets with cooking spray and bake:
- At 385F in air fryer for 10 minutes, flip (remove parchment paper) and spray and then cook at 400F for about 5 minutes
- At 400F in regular oven for 10 minutes, flip (remove parchment paper) and spray and then cook about 5 minutes more.
Note: If you are making buffalo nuggets and want them extra saucy, you can add 2-4 Tbsp of sauce to the milk mixture, reducing the milk by that amount.
Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (BBQ, buffalo, ranch, honey mustard, thousand island, etc.) or chop and put over your favorite salad (vegan Caesar is awesome!).
This is how it looks with the bread crumbs after the wet mixture.