Tofu Fried "Chicken"
Updated: Oct 26, 2020
A quick and easy to way to make a vegan "chicken" sandwich using tofu! I love TOFU!
Here's a simple and easy way to make a vegan chick'n sandwich! The only thing time consuming is freezing the tofu. When we freeze it, the texture becomes more "meaty" and complex. I like to have revolving blocks of tofu in my freezer so I can have something like this whenever I need. You can either thaw it at room temp for 4 hours, or if you don't need it right away, you can thaw in the fridge and use it whenever you wanna!
For this recipe, we're gonna slice a block of tofu length-wise. We'll then trim each slice to mimic a round patty shape. You can use the trimmings to fry as nuggets though, don't let 'em go to waste!
There's also a copy cat recipe for the Chick-fil-a sauce. I used Bee Free Honee but they sadly are defunct. However if you weren't lucky enough to buy one of their jars before they went under, you can use maple syrup or agave, tastes great either way!
A few tips for Fried Chick'n:
Get a deep fry thermometer. You can use a different one if you fry in a pan, but for my money, the deep fry thermometer has been a big help. I like to fry at 375 degrees.
Use a cooling rack after frying. The reason for this is, if you just put your chick'n on a plate, or paper towel, it's gonna steam itself and get soft. With a wire rack, it'll stay crispy.
Don't use olive oil to fry. You need to use something with a high smoke point, I usually fry with peanut oil, but vegetable or canola work fine too!
If the recipe calls for a vegan buttermilk, really let the plant-milk and vinegar sit for a good 5 -10 minutes. I have found that different plant-milks will thicken more or less. I personally use Ripple most times, and it works the best. You really want the wet mixture to be thick enough that it will stick to the chick'n and bind the breading. If it's not thick enough, add some more vinegar.
Shake off the excess flour and batter when you dredge.
Make sure you press the flour into the chick'n so it sticks!
And lastly, one thing I like to do is take a fork and dip it in the wet mixture, then flick it in the dry mix a few times and then whisk that together. That will help you get more craggly texture!
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Makes about 2 Chick'n Patties with extra bits for Nuggets.
Fried Tofu Chick'n
14 oz block of medium firm tofu (frozen and thawed)
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp Mrs. Dash Chicken seasoning (or seasoning of choice)
1/3 cup plant milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp hot sauce of choice
1 Tbsp pickle brine
2 Tbsp vegan mayo
1 Tbsp vegan honey (or agave, maple syrup)
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce
1/2 Tbsp mustard
Dash of smoked paprika (optional)
Combine all ingredients for the sauce and set aside in the refrigerator.
Gently press your tofu for 20 minutes in a tofu press.
Slice the tofu lengthwise in half. Trim off the corners to give it a patty shape. Don't throw away the trimmings, we're gonna make nuggets with them.
Bring a pot of oil to 375 degrees.
While oil is heating up, let's prepare our dredging station.
Combine the plant milk, hot sauce, pickle brine and apple cider vinegar in one bowl, let it sit for 5-10 minutes to form the buttermilk. Make sure it's thick enough to stick to the chick'n, if not, add more vinegar. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and seasoning in another bowl. An extra step, you can dip the fork in the wet mixture and flick it a few times into the dry, then whisk to form little clumps. This will help give you more craggly texture.
Once oil is up to 375 degrees, dredge your patty and nuggets first in the wet mixture, then dry, and then repeat to double dredge, shaking off any excess flour and batter. Press the flour into the chick'n gently to ensure it sticks. Place carefully in oil and let it fry until golden brown. Let it rest on a cooling rack.
Carefully fry all the pieces until golden brown. Don't crowed the pot though!
Once fried, let them rest on a cooling rack.
After they are cool enough to handle, make some sandwiches with the patties and dip those nuggets in some sauce!