popcorn tofu

Popcorn Tofu

Popcorn chicken used to be a serious weakness of mine! My kids even used to beg me to get them a box from our grocery store deli every time I went shopping. After we went vegan we were all so excited to find the most delicious popcorn tofu at Costco! Imagine my joy! But in true Costco fashion, I was able to buy it maybe twice before they stopped selling it, despite my long, pleading notes in the suggestion box. Eventually, I decided I could just start making our own. Sometimes I truly wonder what has happened to my brain, then I remember I have 4 kids, enough said. So when it FINALLY occurred to me to make my own, it was game on. And I promise this recipe is way better than what I got at Costco! You could just as easily make this recipe in your air fryer if you are avoiding oil. I would try it at 375 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, but check half way to see if they are getting too crispy. This recipe is quick and easy, perfect for a quick dinner, a salad topper, filling for wraps, party appetizer, or a tasty snack! This popcorn tofu also works well for meal prep. Just fry up a batch and store it in the fridge. When you are ready to use it, just pop it in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and you are good to go! And if you were ever a fan of honey mustard, I highly suggest making our Sweet No Honey Mustard dip for these tasty nuggets!

Popcorn chicken used to be a serious weakness of mine! My kids even used to beg me to get them a box from our grocery store deli every time I went shopping. After we went vegan we were all so excited to find the most delicious popcorn tofu at Costco! Imagine my joy! But in true Costco fashion, I was able to buy it maybe twice before they stopped selling it, despite my long, pleading notes in the suggestion box. Eventually, I decided I could just start making our own. Sometimes I truly wonder what has happened to my brain, then I remember I have 4 kids, enough said. So when it FINALLY occurred to me to make my own, it was game on. And I promise this recipe is way better than what I got at Costco! You could just as easily make this recipe in your air fryer if you are avoiding oil. I would try it at 375 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes, but check half way to see if they are getting too crispy. This recipe is quick and easy, perfect for a quick dinner, a salad topper, filling for wraps, party appetizer, or a tasty snack! This popcorn tofu also works well for meal prep. Just fry up a batch and store it in the fridge. When you are ready to use it, just pop it in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes and you are good to go! And if you were ever a fan of honey mustard, I highly suggest making our Sweet No Honey Mustard dip for these tasty nuggets!

Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu

  • 3/4 cups corn or tapioca starch

  • 2 cups bread crumbs

  • 1/2 cup vegan plain yogurt (I use Kite Hill)

  • 1/2 cup non dairy milk

  • 1 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons each, garlic, smoked paprika, and all purpose seasoning (we use a greek seasoning)

  • 1/2 teaspoon each chili powder, thyme, black pepper

  • oil for frying

Sweet No Honey Mustard Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup vegan mayo

  • 3 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 2 tablespoons agave

  • 1/2 teaspoon all purpose seasoning (we use an all purpose greek seasoning)

  • pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Remove tofu from package and drain. Wrap the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or some paper towels and place a few books, or a heavy pan on top. Let the tofu sit for 15 minutes to press out any extra water.

  2. Cut the tofu block in half, then cut halves into 1/2 inch strips. Using your hands, break off pieces of the strips to form little tofu nuggets.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt and milk.

  4. In another, bowl whisk 1/2 cups of the starch and all of the seasonings.

  5. In another bowl, add the bread crumbs.

  6. First toss the tofu into the starch and seasoning mixture

  7. Next add the tofu to the milk and yogurt and stir. All of the liquid should be absorbed by the tofu, although it will be a sticky mess. Now sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of starch over the tofu and toss.

  8. Using your hands (I promise, it’s just easier) pick up a small handful of tofu and toss it around in the breadcrumbs until fully coated. You can use your hands to separate any tofu that got clumped together, sifting it though your fingers. Place coated tofu into a dish, and repeat until all of the tofu is coated.

  9. Heat a few inches of oil in a high sided skillet. I use my cast iron for this. While the oil is heating, place a wire cooling rack on top of a paper towel lined baking sheet. This is where you will place the finished tofu to cool.

  10. Once the oil is nice and hot, carefully add the tofu in small batches to the pan (you can poke a chopstick into the oil, and if tiny bubbles form around the stick, the oil is ready). Using a slotted spoon, keep the tofu moving around for a few minutes to make sure all of the sides get nice and crispy. Once tofu is browned and crispy, remove and place on a wire cooling rack. Repeat with remaining tofu.

  11. If making the Sweet No Honey Mustard, whisk all ingredients together and store in an air tight container in the fridge. Serve tofu hot, or even room temp with sweet mustard, or any dip you like.