Almost Vegetarian, for those of us that are decreasing animal proteins in our diet. You don’t have to be a full-on Vegetarian in order to reduce meat in your diet and enjoy the health and environmental benefits of eating vegetarian meals. Whether you only eliminate meat one day a week (such as Meatless Mondays), or you rarely eat meat, find tips, recipes, and restaurant meal ideas here.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Vegan Friendly “Southern Fried” Tofu
A couple years ago, I encountered multiple articles where
doctors recommend that we eat an “80% vegetarian diet”.This means while enjoying animal protein from
time to time, we should get away from meat-driven meals.Animal proteins are the source of
cholesterol, and are more difficult to digest than plant-based foods.So I decided to learn more about vegetarian
and vegan cooking.
I saw American Idol Ruben Studdard on The Wendy Williams
Show a couple years ago, after he had recently embraced a vegan lifestyle.His remark that he still enjoyed Soul Food
and Southern Comfort Food intrigued me.I set out to find recipes for vegan versions of classics like fried fish
and fried chicken.Most use “imitation
meat” products like seitan, tempeh, and tofu.I gathered a small collection of recipes that seemed to have merit.
I found a recipe for “Southern Fried Tofu” from theBookOfYum blog.I don’t think it tasted
anything like fried chicken, but I did enjoy it.The recipe calls for nutritional yeast with
seasonings as a coating for the tofu.The
originator of the recipe loved this fried tofu so much that her family took
nutritional yeast with them to Japan when they moved there, so they could
continue to enjoy Southern Fried Tofu.Her family ate this over mashed potatoes or with sautéed greens.
1 lb firm tofu
Cooking oil such as olive oil
cup brown rice flour, sorghum or white rice flour
cup low-fat non dairy milk (dairy works too)
Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
¾ cups nutritional yeast (Fluffy yellow flakes.At “health food stores” this is in the bulk
Most recipes for frying, baking or “barbecuing” tofu specify
to press the tofu first.This makes for
a more dense texture.It’s really easy
but can be intimidating when you first read it.I have step by step photos for this in my blog post, How to Press Tofu.Alternatively, some sources recommend slicing
and freezing the tofu.This changes the
texture too.Thaw the tofu and use in
Flour Coating, Dipping Liquid, and Seasoning Mix
1- Pour flour into a small shallow dish or pan, like a wide
soup bowl or small pie plate.
2- Pour milk substitute in another shallow dish.Add acid (lemon juice or vinegar) to make
3- Measure nutritional yeast flakes into a third shallow
dish.Add seasoning spices and stir to
combine.Don’t let it stop you if you
don’t have or don’t like all of these spices.Use what you have.
4- Line up your dishes in order:Plate with tofu, flour dish, dipping liquid,
then seasoned coating mix, then frying pan.
Dip, Coat Again, and Fry
1- Place tofu triangles or rectangles in flour one or two at
a time.Turn to coat both sides.
2- Place floured tofu in liquid.Turn to coat both sides.
3- Place tofu in seasoned nutritional yeast flakes.Turn to coat both sides.
4- Place battered tofu in preheated oil in a skillet.
5- Minimize turning to prevent losing coating.Fry 2-3 minutes on each side.Remove tofu to drain on paper towel.Take another towel and pat tops to absorb
The recipe originator said the seasoning mix was more than
enough for two batches of tofu.I went
ahead and cut the recipe in half.I
still had plenty of the nutritional yeast mixture.There would probably be enough for another
small package of tofu.
I read recently that the nutritional yeast gives dishes a
cheesy flavor.I think that’s fair to
say.The finished product actually
reminded me of my Parmesan Chicken.
I was initially reluctant about tofu because I am a bit
fussy about food texture.I found that I
haven’t minded the texture at all in the things I’ve tried so far!I think the pressing helps.With the Southern Fried Tofu, I liked the
texture best after it had cooled off a bit.