What if, as a Vegan, you could revisit that quintessential Southern classic, Fried Chicken, and get all the flavor without the chicken? Nothing says Southern like fried chicken. Every family cherishes either Mom’s or Grandma’s recipe. So let’s remix it with tofu and see if we can get that hot crunch and salty goodness that says home to any Southerner.
Traditionally the chicken is dunked in a milk mixture and then dredged in seasoned flour. For the milk mixture, some swear by buttermilk while others use eggs. Usually this all ends up swimming in an oil bathed cast iron pan.
Okay, so milk, buttermilk, eggs – uh, that’s a big no as they are all verboten for Vegans. And cast iron is now a known risk factor for Alzheimer’s. What we need is something wet to dunk our tofu in, some type of flour to provide a coating and to determine our seasonings.
To get that chicken flavor, you can use either a vegan “chicken” broth or vegan chicken bouillon as the wet ingredient in place of milk or eggs. Then instead of white flour, I like to use spelt flour, a healthier choice. For seasoning, I’m keeping it fairly traditional. I want to amp up the pepper just ‘cause I like it.
My mom’s recipe called for paprika so I’ll keep that. Since tofu lacks flavor, I’m adding a little onion and garlic powder and poultry seasoning. A dash of cayenne adds a little kick.
I think this recipe does the trick for a Vegan fried chicken fix. Whip up some mashed potatoes, use the leftover broth to make some gravy, add some green beans and you have a perfect Southern meal.
Peppered Chicken Fried Tofu Nuggets
1 package extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
2 cups double strength chicken-flavored, vegan broth or use vegan ‘chicken’ bouillon – 4 tsp bouillon dissolved into 2 cups of water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup spelt flour
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tsp. Paprika
Dash of poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 – 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Drain and press tofu to remove moisture.
- Cut tofu into uniform cubes.
- I used 4 tsp of bouillon with 2 cups of boiling water to make the broth. Let cool.
- Cover the tofu with the broth. Marinate for at least an hour up to overnight (in the fridge).
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl for dredging.
- Remove some of the broth to another bowl for dipping.
- Take the tofu cubes, dredge in dry mix, then into the broth and back into the dry mix.
- Heat frying pan over med heat. Add oil to cover bottom of pan.
- When oil is hot, drop cubes in frying pan to make a single layer, turning to cook all sides until browned and crispy. This takes just a couple of minutes so watch carefully.
- Remove to plate covered with paper towels to absorb excess oil.