Marinated tofu is battered and fried to a golden crisp to make these mouth-watering “chicken” style fried tofu sandwiches. Top with creamy dairy-free Buffalo slaw for a scrumptious vegan comfort food meal!
First thing’s first: these are actually fried. Sometimes I post recipes for things that look like they’re fried but aren’t. This is not one of those times. And I know I’m going to get a bunch of questions on how to make this without frying. My answer is to try a different recipe. How about some delicious baked tofu nuggets?
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’m assuming you’re still here because you’re ready to live on the edge and fry some stuff. I’m happy to help you out with that.
I’ve been playing around a bit with ways to make tofu not taste so much like tofu. Not that tofu tastes bad! I’m one of those weirdos who actually likes the stuff right out of the package. But can it be better? Yup! And can it actually be tasty to people who think they hate tofu? Heck yeah!
I used a couple of tricks to make the fried tofu for these sandwiches taste amazing. First: the marinade. Drench your tofu in a super savory marinade that tastes chickeny, and your tofu will taste pretty chickeny. It’s probably not going to fool anyone, but it is delicious and perfect for satisfying savory cravings.
Second, I froze the tofu first. Freezing tofu changes the texture, making it spongy so it has a nice bite and soaks up the marinade. More marinade means more flavor and some juiciness, which conveniently gets locked into your tofu when you dip and fry it.
So, start by freezing your tofu. Make sure you freeze it solid, and then thaw it out. Whip up your marinade and cut your tofu. Ideally you want a nice square slab of tofu, so your best bet for making four sandwiches is to use two packages. Cut about a third off of the end of each tofu block, so you’re left with a nice thick square, then slice the square in half thickness-wise.
Do that to both packages and you’ll have four slabs, plus some leftover tofu, which you can save for another use. Freeze it again if you’d like. (And then make these tacos!)
But feel free to divide your tofu up however you like.
Soak the tofu in the marinade for a bit.
Next you’ll be mixing up a non-dairy milk based batter and a dry flour-based mixture for dredging.
First dip the tofu in the flour mixture, then the batter, then back into the flour.
Fry for a few minutes on each side, until crispy and golden.
Top with spicy Buffalo slaw. Devour.
Tips for Making Amazing Fried Tofu Sandwiches
- Always be super careful when cooking with hot oil. Keep a close eye on the pan, and if it starts to sputter, turn down the heat. Also make sure you have a lid handy to put out a grease fire should one occur.
- Don’t pour your leftover oil down the drain. It can clog it up. Instead, pour it into a sealable container (ideally something that you’re throwing out anyway), and trash it. You can also save it for later.
- Use a really tasty vegetable broth! Since the goal here is to make these sandwiches taste like chicken, pick a broth that tastes like chicken.
- Feel free to play around with the seasonings in the breading mixture. I kept it simple with some cumin, garlic and onion powder, but you can switch things up with Cajun spice, taco seasoning or savory dried herbs!
- Plan ahead and don’t forget to freeze the tofu! I like to keep a couple of packs stashed away in the freezer at all times for recipes like this.
- How do the leftovers keep? As with most fried foods, the tofu patties have a tendency to lose their crispness over time. Your best bet is to cook them right before serving, but if you do end up with leftovers, try sticking them under the broiler to re-crisp for a few minutes.
- Can this recipe be lightened up? Not really. It is what it is, which is fried and delicious and what I consider a treat. Your best bet for reducing the fat/calories is to try a different recipe. These tofu nuggets could easily be made larger and served as sandwiches. You could even incorporate the freezing and marinating steps form this recipe.
"Chicken" Fried Tofu Sandwiches with Spicy Buffalo Slaw
Marinated tofu is battered and fried to a golden crisp to make these mouth-watering "chicken" style fried tofu sandwiches. Top with creamy dairy-free Buffalo slaw for a scrumptious vegan comfort food meal!
For the Spicy Buffalo Slaw
- 3 cups shredded cabbage (red, green or both)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1/4 cup vegan mayo (more if you like)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons Frank's hot sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Marinated Tofu
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 (14 ounce) packages extra firm tofu, frozen and thawed, then drained and patted dry
For the Batter
- 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Flour Mixture
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- About 1 cup canola oil, or high heat oil of choice
- 4 kaiser rolls
To make the slaw, stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
To make the marinated tofu, stir the broth, nutritional yeast, soy sauce, cumin, onion powder and garlic powder together in small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
Take one of your blocks of tofu and cut about a third off of the end, so you're left with a square shaped block. Now slice the block in half, thickness-wise, so you have two large square slabs. Do the same for the other block of tofu.
Place the square tofu slabs in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Save the leftover end pieces for another use.
Allow the tofu to marinade while you prepare the other ingredients, or for up to 12 hours.
Stir the batter ingredients together in a small bowl.
Stir the flour mixture ingredients together in another small bowl.
Add the oil to a medium skillet (preferably cast iron). You want it to be about a half inch deep. Place the skillet over medium heat. Give the oil a few minutes to heat up.
When the oil begins to shimmer, grab one of your tofu slabs and dredge it in the flour mixture. Transfer it to the batter and dip both sides to coat. Then dip it back in the flour mixture and cover it with a second coat.
Place the tofu slab in the skillet. You can coat and cook a few more slabs at the same time, but be sure not to crowd them.
Cook the tofu for about 5 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy.
Transfer the cooked tofu to a paper towel lined plate.
Repeat the process until all of the tofu slabs are cooked.
Stuff the tofu into buns and top with slaw, and any other toppings of choice.