Tofu Bites are the perfect dinner appetizer or lunchtime snack. Have them with some sweet honey mustard, chile, or ranch dipping sauce.
Tofu Bites are the ultimate finger food. Make up a batch for your next party, and trust me, these will disappear quickly. Set out 4 or 5 different dipping sauces to offer some variety. From mild to wildly hot. My old standby sriracha plays a role here. Spicy and delicious.
I was out shopping once and I passed up on a tofu press. That was a mistake. Unless you dry it out really well, the consistency of it is too mushy to cook with. I’ve had it draining for up to a half hour in the sink with heavy pots stacked precariously on top. Freezing it seems to be the best method I’ve found for it to retain firmness.
Some recipes will call tor water but I prefer to use home made vegetable broth I’ve created from all the odds and ends that are left over. I usually chop much more than I need and freeze the remainder for future use. You can use whichever leftovers you have on hand.
Ingredients for veggie stock –
1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 medium onions, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 10 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, halved if large
- 1 small fennel bulb, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
- 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add ingredients and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften, 5-7 minutes. Add 4 quarts cold water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until stock is reduced by half, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Strain stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. DO AHEAD: Stock can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool completely, then cover and chill, or freeze for up to 3 months.
But really, you can use so many different things. You do want to stay away from cruciferous veggies–no cabbage, no broccoli, no cauliflower, and for the love of all things holy, no brussels sprouts–because they can leave bitter flavors in your broth. Make sure everything you use is clean too–you don’t want to make dirt soup! And remember, there’s a difference between things you don’t want to eat vs. things you shouldn’t eat. Clean carrot peel is fine in a broth or stock; a moldy carrot is not.
- 1 Pkg. firm organic tofu, frozen and thawed. Press if needed
- 2 cups vegetable broth, if you have your own, thaw
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- ½ cup (or more if needed) corn starch or arrowroot powder
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use grapeseed oil)
- ½ cup oats blended into a flour (or ½ cup oat flour) - gluten-free oats if following a diet
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup cooked, blotted dry quinoa
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Break the tofu into uneven chunks/pieces with your hands. Or cut into small squares.
- Freeze the tofu and then thaw in the fridge.
- If the tofu is not completely thawed, it will finish thawing in the broth.
- Place tofu into a bowl and pour in the vegetable broth, garlic and tamari over the top
- (you just have to make sure the tofu is completely covered).
- Set aside in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.
- Combine the quinoa, flour, nutritional yeast, salt, sugar, pepper and spices.
- In a bowl, pour the corn starch (or arrowroot powder).
- Once the tofu has marinated, gently dip the chunks with your hands into the corn starch.
- Next, dip into the breading. Make sure all sides are coated.
- Repeat the process until all your pieces are well coated. Set aside.
- You can freeze your leftover vegetable broth to use in other recipes.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Gently place the tofu pieces in hot oil (try not to crowd them).
- Fry for about 2 minutes on each side or until crisp and browned evenly.
- Remove from oil and set on brown paper bag to blot the excess oil.
- Serve the Tofu Bites with oven potato fries and your favourite dipping sauces.