Tofu cubes are coated in Cajun seasoned cornmeal, pan-fried to a crisp, and stuffed into crusty rolls with veggies and vegan Remoulade sauce to make these mouthwatering vegan po' boy sandwiches.
I didn't even know what a po' boy was until I ordered one at a vegan restaurant that was open very briefly while I lived in Philly. Are you familiar with them? A po' boy is a Cajun sandwich that's normally made with crispy cornmeal coated shrimp, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, and Remolade sauce.
What I remember distinctly about the vegan version was the smell of it cooking. All those spices! It was so nice, and the fact that I had to wait forever for it to show up was pure torture, but when it finally did find its way to the table it was pure awesome.
It's now fifteen plus years later and I'm finally getting around to making my own version of that sandwich. I knew I was onto something while the tofu was cooking and that peppery Cajuny aroma that I remembered started filling my house.
It turned out pretty spot on, and absolutely delicious, which is really no surprise. Can you really go wrong with crispy tofu with Cajun spices in a big, sloppy sandwich? Probably not.
What You'll Need
- Vegan mayonnaise
- Horseradish mustard
- Hot sauce
- Spices (paprika, oregano, thyme, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder)
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Extra firm tofu
- A baguette (or some long sandwich rolls)
- Shredded lettuce
- Pickle slices
How to Make Tofu Po' Boy Sandwiches
Start by making your Remoulade sauce. This is super easy! Just stir together some vegan mayo, horseradish mustard, hot sauce, minced garlic, and paprika.
Now make your breading by mixing cornmeal, spices, salt and pepper together in a small bowls. Make sure your tofu is drained and pressed, then cut it into small cubes. Place a few tofu cubes into the bowl with your breading and gently stir them around until they're coated.
Heat up some oil in a skillet — you want it to be at least about ⅛ inch deep.
Once the oil is hot, transfer your tofu cubes to the skillet. Make sure that they're well spaced apart — this will probably mean cooking them in batches. Cook each batch of tofu cubes for 4 or 5 minutes, flip them, and then cook them for another 4 or 5 minutes on the other sides, until they're golden and crispy.
Don't worry if some of the breading comes off while your tofu cooks. This is totally normal and not a problem as long as most of it stays on.
When the tofu cubes have finished cooking, remove them from the pan and transfer them them to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Proceed with a second batch and repeat until all of your tofu is cooked. Be sure to add oil to the skillet as the level decreases between batches.
Cut your baguette into 4 sections and slice each one open. Now slather the insides with Remoulade sauce and stuff them with crispy tofu, lettuce, tomato and pickle slices. Enjoy!
Vegan Po' Boy Tips & FAQ
- Can these sandwiches be made gluten-free? Yup! Just use gluten-free bread. It doesn't have to be a baguette — rolls, pita, or even tortillas work!
- Leftovers & storage: I recommend storing the components separately instead of assembling and storing leftover sandwiches. Store the bread in a sealed bag at room temperature, and everything else in sealed containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat your tofu, simply pop it under the broiler for a few minutes until it gets crispy again.
- Are these sandwiches spicy? If you follow the recipe they'll be just a little bit spicy. For a milder version, omit or reduce the hot sauce and/or cayenne pepper. For a hotter version, increase these ingredients.
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Vegan Po' Boy Sandwiches
Tofu cubes are coated in cornmeal, pan-fried and stuffed into crusty rolls with vegan remoulade to make these mouthwatering vegan po' boy sandwiches.
For the Remoulade Sauce
- ¼ cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 ½ tablespoons horseradish mustard
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper hot sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- Salt to taste
For the Cornmeal Crusted Tofu
- ½ cup corneal
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) package extra firm tofu drained, pressed, and cut into ½ inch cubes
For the Tofu Po' Boy Sandwiches
- 1 baguette, cut into 4 sections and sliced open (or 4 sandwich rolls)
- 2 small tomatoes, sliced
- 1 cup shredded lettuce or radicchio (I used a blend)
- Dill pickle slices
Make the Remoulade Sauce
Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.
Make the Cornmeal Crusted Tofu
In medium bowl, stir together cornmeal, oregano, thyme, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
Very generously coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil (at least ⅛ inch deep) and place over medium heat.
Add a few tofu cubes to the cornmeal mixture and gently toss until they're very well coated on all sides.
When the oil is hot, add the tofu cubes to skillet in a single layer. Only add as many as you can fit without crowding.
Cook the tofu until lightly browned and crisp on bottoms, about 4-5 minutes. Flip and repeat on opposite sides.
Transfer the tofu to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all tofu cubes are coated and cooked, adding oil to skillet between batches if needed.
Make the Tofu Po' Boy Sandwiches
Slather the insides of the baguette sections with Remoulade, then stuff them with tofu, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles.
Isa @ Never Eat Shredded Wheat says
We are totally in love with these - have been making them every week for the past few weeks, and even started "breading" our homemade chicken nuggets in cornmeal as well. Fantastic!
Alissa Saenz says
Awesome! I love the cornmeal mixture and have been meaning to try it on some other things too. Glad you're enjoying them. Thanks Isa!
How have been making these every week for the past few weeks? She posted this recipe 3 days ago.
Alissa Saenz says
It's actually an old recipe - I just updated it and added new photos last week! :)
Varun Sharma says
Vegan Po' Boy Sandwiches Is just like subway. The taste is so great.
Oh my gosh, I made these tonight and they were beyond delicious. The tofu was crispy and flavorful, the sauce was AMAZING... I dipped my sandwich in it even with it being slathered on the bun. Thank you so much for this recipe! It will be in my regular rotation for sure!
Would it work to bake on parchment paper instead? I'm not supposed to use oil [wah!].
Alissa Saenz says
I wouldn't recommend it. Cornmeal is super dry and I'm never happy with the result when I bake it. You could try a different type of breading with the same spices - maybe adapt a recipe like this one, where you can get away with skipping the oil: https://www.connoisseurusveg.com/tofu-nuggets/
Fanny Thiffault says
Great remoulade! I used vegan 'shrimp' instead. So good. Thank you.