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Buffalo Tofu Nuggets

Recently, I was working on developing a Jerk Sauce recipe that I will be including in my eBook and so I decided that I would make some “Chicken Fried Tofu” to test the recipe out. One of the first times I had “Chicken Fried Tofu” was at the hot bar at Whole Foods. It only took one time and then I was hooked. 

With that being said, the recipe for these are quite similar to my Crispy Chick’n Bites , but I changed it just a bit for the tofu. I do realize that tofu can sometimes be an acquired taste, and years ago, I have to admit, I was not a huge fan of it until I started preparing it myself. I think the major problem sometimes with tofu is the texture.  Granted, I don’t eat tofu often, but when I do, I typically like to use an organic extra firm package of tofu, because the consistency is just better. Anyway, I had some tofu left after preparing my other dish, so I decided to make some Buffalo Tofu Nuggets with them. Now obviously, you don’t have to add the buffalo sauce, because they taste really good as they are. Heck, you may choose to take it a step further and make Lemon Pepper Tofu Nuggets or BBQ Tofu Nuggets, so this will definitely give you a good start.

Recipe: Serves 2 – 3

1 package (14 oz – 16oz) of Organic Extra Firm Tofu 

** Note: You will need to drain the excess liquid out of the package and then take your block of tofu and cut it roughly into about 16 – 20 even pieces (3/4 – 1 inch cubes ). This next step is very important, because you will need to apply pressure to your tofu in order to get rid of any excess tofu. I usually take a clean hand towel or several sheets of thick paper towels and sandwich the tofu in between them on a flat surface and then place a baking sheet with two cans on them to apply a little pressure. That way, your towel(s) absorbs the moisture. You don’t want to smash them to pieces, so be careful with this. Just a little pressure, ok. I do this for about 15 minutes, while my oil is heating up. 

3 – 4 cups of Oil for frying (your choice of course – Vegetable, Peanut, Canola) 

Dry Dip Station 1 (plate needed) 

1/3 Cup of Arrowroot Powder or Corn Starch 

Wet Dip Station 2 (medium bowl needed) 

1 Cup of All-Purpose Unbleached Flour

A few dashes of Hot Sauce (Optional)
1 1/4 Cup of unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (Coconut, Almond, Soy, Rice)
**Please note: I used Coconut Milk (in the carton), because it tends to be thinner. When using other milks, you may have to adjust and add more milk if your batter is too thick.** 1 cap of Apple Cider Vinegar or the juice from 1/2 of a Lemon

(This is to replicate the taste of buttermilk) 

Dry Dip Station 3 (medium bowl needed) 

1 1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Unbleached Flour

1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Paprika (preferably Smoked Paprika)
1 teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper

1 teaspoon of Sea Salt (In the South, a lot of people use “Season Salt”, so if you choose to substitute that here, it’s perfectly understandable) 

Prepare/mix your dipping stations. I call them dipping stations and like to have my stations in order, next to the stove as the tofu goes into the frying pan. In a medium size skillet/frying pan, heat your oil on a medium to medium high heat. I always put a little drop of my wet dip into the oil to test my oil and see if it’s hot enough (if it sizzles, then it’s typically ready).

The order: lightly coat a piece of tofu onto your plate of arrowroot powder (station 1), then gently dip your tofu into your wet station (station 2), then lightly dip your tofu into the dry dip (station 3), and then carefully place into your frying pan (I use my hands for this process, because it seems more thorough, but you can certainly use a utensil to do this). Repeat these steps until about half of your tofu is in the frying pan (don’t over crowd your pan). It will only take about 5 -10 minutes for these to cook. They will float to the top of your oil and turn golden brown. With tongs, set them onto a paper toweled plate (old school way) or a wire rack to get any excess oil off of them. Then continue to cook the rest of your tofu.

 Buffalo Sauce

1/2 cup Hot Sauce (I used Texas Pete Hot Sauce)
2 tablespoons of Vegan Butter
1 teaspoon of Garlic (minced)
1 teaspoon of Agave Nectar (optional, if you like your sauce slightly sweet)
Right before you are ready to serve your Buffalo Tofu Nuggets, heat the ingredients for your buffalo sauce in a small sauce pan (or microwave – 1 minute or so) just before it starts to boil. Then in a large bowl, lightly toss your tofu and sauce together.

**Note:  If you don’t plan on eating all of your tofu in one sitting, then I wouldn’t recommend mixing it all in with your sauce. It will reheat better in the oven (350 degrees for 20 -30 minutes) without it.
Pictured below is how I like them, EXTRA saucy! 😉 If you like more sauce then adjust your measurements accordingly.  

Serve these up with your favorite Ranch Dressing (Vegan) and some celery/carrots and enjoy!

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