I would eat popcorn tofu every single day. It’s that good and addicitve. Depending of the seasonings you use, it makes a perfect stand in for popcorn chicken or popcorn shrimp. I had not really even considered serving it in place of shrimp until a friend was over and tried the tofu. She said it reminder her of shrimp or clams. I had originally made the recipe to replicate my favorite popcorn chicken from before we went vegan. My friend suggested I use the popcorn tofu in a Po’Boy and I happily complied. I am a big fan of most sandwiches and a Po’Boy is no exception. Crispy, chewy, fried tofu seasoned with Creole seasoning. Crispy lettuce and pickles, sliced tomatoes, hot sauce, and creamy vegan mayo. What’s to hate here?!?! Nothing, nothing at all. Once again I can thank the people smarter than me for thinking up things for me to make. And to think I would have just kept dipping that popcorn tofu in some bbq sauces and called it good!!
1 block extra firm tofu (look for extra firm high protein tofu. It’s much firmer than regular extra firm tofu, and lends a bit of “chew” that this recipe needs)
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
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon each, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, black pepper, thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
oil for frying
4-5 baguettes, or other crusty vegan rolls
sliced dill pickles
old bay seasoning
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.
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.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt and milk.
In another, bowl whisk 1/2 cups of the starch and all of the seasonings.
In another bowl, add the bread crumbs.
First toss the tofu into the starch and seasoning mixture
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.
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.
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.
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. I like to sprinkle the finished tofu with some old bay . You don’t have to, but I’m a fan.
Assemble sandwiches by slicing bread lengthwise. Spread mayo on each side of bread, add popcorn tofu, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles. Drizzle with hot sauce and serve.
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