Friday, April 20, 2012

spicy oven "fried" tofu...

I think by now everyone knows that we're supposed to be eating less and less meat. Red meat most definitely. Sure there are still some good meats out there (free range organic chicken, grass fed beef and bison, fish, etc...) and believe me, we at the Main House eat our share. But the truth is, we're trying to eat more vegetarian meals that include high amounts of veggies, whole grains, fiber and protein (which comes from other sources than animals- eggs are fine and yummy).

Some days are harder than others. Some days we really want to stop by In-N-Out and grab a huge juicy Double Double...or 3x3 if you're my husband...(funny tidbit: when we were dating he used to consume 4x4's frequently!!!! OH MY WORD. Thinking back on that now...I don't know what we were doing..Oh! By the way, if you have no idea what I am talking about: I mean 4 patties of meat, 4 layers of cheese...only). Sometimes we do indulge in those cravings. But for the most part we choose to eat at home, and choose to eat as healthy as we possibly can. This means as little meat as we can handle giving up: rounds out to about 4 nights a week eating vegetarian).

Tofu, is kind of a staple here. And eggs. And Quinoa. All great sources of protein.

Truth: Tofu can be really boring. Sometimes when I open my fridge for dinner inspiration and my eyes fall upon that container of tofu, I sigh and wish it was a giant T-Bone instead. Sometimes.

A couple nights ago I was faced with that very problem. "Tofu, again?" I thought to myself. My brain quickly went through all it's memorized index of recipes...all were boring. Haha. I'm just being honest.

Needing some inspiration, I browsed through Whole Living's website. Bam! This one shot out like a cannon and I was in love. One word: Spicy. My interpretation: Sriracha.

I tweaked things a bit- adding a little more flavor, whole grains, and fiber. I have to say- we were so incredibly pleased! This is spicy, so beware. You can definitely decrease the Sriracha amount and replace with more Hoisin if spice isn't your thing. We were also pleased with the crunchy factor and were both totally satisfied and full after eating. No joke. Please feel free to make either recipe, I'm sure theirs is delicious as well.

Oven "Fried" Tofu
Adapted from this recipe.
Serves 2 generous portions

  • 2 heaping tablespoons Sriracha (or other Asian chile sauce)
  • 2 heaping teaspoons Hoisin
  • A pinch (or two) Chinese 5 Spice Powder (picture below)
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (We made our own with bread we made ourselves: pulse torn bread in a food processor until fine ground, spread on baking sheet and toast until dried and light brown in 375*F oven, checking frequently. About 8min, give or take.)
  • 2 teaspoons ground flax seeds
  • One 14oz block extra firm organic tofu, drained

Finely ground whole wheat bread crumbs mixed with flax seeds. Also shown, Chinese 5 Spice.

1. Cut tofu horizontally across. Then cut diagonally to make 4 triangles. Place on a plate that has 4-5 layers of paper towels...and let drain for 30 minutes or up to an hour.

2. Preheat oven to 375*F (your oven will already be this temp if making your own bread crumbs). Lightly oil a baking sheet with or without tin foil on it.

3. Mix together bread crumbs and ground flax seeds, and place in shallow dish. Set aside.

4. Mix together Hoisin, Sriracha, and Chinese 5 Spice powder. Place in shallow dish.

5. Warning: things will get a little messy. That's ok- it still turns out great! Take each triangle of tofu and coat well with the Hoisin/Sriracha mix- making sure to cover all sides, even the little ones! Place the triangle in your dish of breadcrumbs/flax and evenly coat ALL sides as well. Press gently to help flax adhere to sauce.

6. Place on your oiled baking sheet. Continue with the rest of your triangles.

7. Bake 375*F for 20-25 minutes. You want your top to be nice and crispy! Serve immediately.

We had our tofu on a bed of organic arugula and avocado, and a side of homemade black beans. But feel free to serve with brown rice, steamed veggies, or even in a wrap or sandwich!


  1. We are trying to eat more vegetarian and plant based meals around here too. But of course every now and then we love our juicy burgers!

    Your tofu recipe looks amazing!!!!

    But here is the sad thing about tofu... I once had a BAD experience with tofu on a flight to China. I was so sick and miserable! Now whenever I try and eat tofu, I think of that flight and I just can't do it.
    And I use to love the stuff too! :(

    1. You know, I used to have that exact same problem with Avocados. I had the flu when I was younger, my mom made me a BLT with avo on it...and all came up. So FOR YEARS I couldn't go near the dang stuff. Just the thought of the texture of avo made me want to gag. But...little by little I tried to eat it. And here I am, gobbling it up like it's going out of style!

      Take small steps :) This might be a good recipe because it gives the tofu a crunch and different texture than it's normal tofu-like texture. Also, it's a spicy and very flavorful mix you rub on the tofu- so there's no "tofu flavor", if you know what I mean. Good luck! Let me know if you try it!


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