This sunflower seed crusted tofu has a crispy crust with the flavor of roasted sunflower seeds and a hint of garlic.
I've mentioned on this blog before that I'm not much of a summer girl. I generally prefer the cooler days of fall and winter. Summer, however, has its advantages, the food being number one, in my opinion. When it's ninety-five degrees outside I can get a little crabby, but biting into a crunchy farmer's market salad quickly dissolves all that. This dish says summer to me for so many reasons. To name a few:
1. Sunflower seeds. Duh. The name itself has "sun" in it, and the plants resemble the big bright ball in the sky that sustains them. They may be available year round, but you have to admit that the taste says summer.
2. It's quick and easy to prepare, requiring only five ingredients for the tofu. No fuss, no mess, no hot oven to sweat it out over.
3. It's the perfect complement to a plate full of delicious, crunchy summer veggies - whichever varieties you favor, or if you're lucky and ambitious, picked out of your own garden.
When I served this dish I used the tofu as a topper for a bed of arugula and romaine, threw in some scallions and additional sunflower seeds, then dressed the whole thing with a simple oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. This would also be awesome as a wrap, or if you want to make this during the cooler months, serve it over some hot veggies or even take those hot veggies along with your tofu and pile it all onto some crusty bread.
I ended up with some leftovers when I made this, and although it was delicious on day two, it wasn't nearly as crispy as it was initially. If you're feeding fewer than three or four people and want your tofu to be as crispy and fresh as on day one, you could just bread as much tofu as you need and save the remaining breading and tofu for later, without coating or pan-frying until you're ready to eat the rest of your batch. It won't create that much additional work for you, since this dish is so incredibly easy to make.
Sunflower Seed Crusted Tofu
- 1 lb. firm or extra firm tofu drained and pressed for at least 15 minutes
- ½ cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ cup panko
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 flax egg 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp. water or non-dairy milk
- oil for pan-frying
Mix up your flax egg. Allow to sit for ten minutes or so while you prepare your crust ingredients and tofu.
Cut tofu into pieces of desired size...cubes, strips or slabs.
Place garlic, sunflower seeds, panko and salt in food processor. Process until seeds are well ground and everything is blended.
Coat frying pan or skillet with oil. Place over medium heat.
Take each of your tofu pieces and lay each side in your flax egg mixture. Get it to the point where you have some coating on all surfaces, but it doesn't have to be perfect, as flax eggs apply a bit unevenly at times.
Place each side in your crust mixture, and then right into pan.
Cook on each side until crispy and golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side.
Be gentle during cooking and handling of your tofu. Flax eggs are a great vegan binder, but not quite as strong as an egg, so be careful in order to keep the crust in tact!