Crispy Coconut Crusted Tofu
Whether you've been eating tofu for years or you've never even laid eyes on it in real life, you are sure to love this version! Great on sandwiches or even as a main protein with some sides at dinner!
I was originally asked to create this recipe for Ottawa Magazine based on the new Canada food guide that came out Spring 2019. You can see the full article about that here
This easy to prepare, crusted tofu gives the perfect crunch to any sandwich. Think coconut shrimp, but better, because no little sea creatures were hurt in the making ;)
The ingredients for both the tofu marinade and the coating use simple, basic ingredients you probably already have at home. If you don't have tapioca starch, no worries because you can also use cornstarch, brown rice flour or regular all purpose flour if you don't need it gluten free!
If you're new to tofu, and you're not sure about what tofu to use, check out my post about the best vegan staples.
In this recipe you'll want to use Firm tofu, not the Silken variety. Pressing your tofu is essential when you want to marinate it otherwise if you don't take the water out of the tofu it won't have room to soak up your marinade!
As always, if you have questions about the recipe or substitutions, please feel free to reach out to me!
Coconut Crusted Tofu
Tofu marinade 1 block La Soyarie (local to Ottawa) firm tofu, pressed * 1 cup soy sauce 3 tbsp pure maple syrup 1 tsp ground cumin ¼ tsp ground black pepper ½ tsp paprika 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger *To press tofu, remove from packaging and drain excess liquid. Wrap tofu in a tea towel or a few layers of paper towel, place on a plate and put something heavy on top like a few thick cookbooks and leave for 20 minutes. Unwrap and cut into 5 rectangle “bricks”, and keep in a small airtight container until read to use.
Tofu Coating 1 ½ cups shredded coconut ½ cup tapioca starch ¼ cup ground flax 1 ½ cups water
Once you've pressed your tofu, slice it into 1/4" to 1/2" 'slabs'. You'll get 4-5 slices out of one brick. Place into a baking or casserole dish, a 9x13 will work great.
Whisk all marinade ingredients together in small measuring glass or small bowl and pour over top of your tofu in the dish. Cover and let marinade for at least four hours (overnight is best). Tofu can be prepared 2-3 days in advance.
To prepare the coconut crusted tofu, whisk the water and flax together in a large bowl. Set aside to thicken.
Prepare a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Place tapioca in one bowl and coconut in another.
One by one, dip each marinated tofu slab in the three prepared bowls (flax/water, tapioca, and coconut). Begin with the tapioca, coating well; then the flax/water mixture; end with an even coat of shredded coconut, pressing the coconut to the tofu as needed. Gently set aside on your lined baking sheet
Repeat these steps for all tofu slabs
Heat a medium pan with canola or coconut oil to medium low heat
Once the pan is heated, place 2-3 bricks of tofu gently into pan. Cook on one side 3-4 minutes, or until lightly golden. Flip over and repeat on the other side. Set back onto your parchment sheet while you cook the rest. Be sure to not have your pan too hot or the coconut will quickly burn.
To make your tofu into a sandwich;
Start with your favorite local bread. Add a layer of spicy mayo (or regular of course), crunchy lettuce, sliced cucumbers or any of your fav veggies, your tofu and more mayo with your second slice of bread! ENJOY!
The tofu can also be baked at 350 for about 20 minutes, flipping each piece halfway through cooking. Be careful not to overcook.