Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Crispy Tofu Tenders with Asian Dipping Sauce
Tofu is so versatile, and I’ve found it can satisfy any craving. Tossed in a flavorful marinate and coated with crunchy panko, tofu transforms into a festive appetizer—or meal: you’re going to want to fill up on this (healthy!) finger food.
For Crispy Tofu:
14 oz. extra-firm tofu
½ cup panko, or gluten free panko
2 Tablespoons gluten free soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1 teaspoon water
¼ teaspoon salt
For Asian Dipping Sauce:
3 Tablespoons soy sauce or gluten free soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
¼ cup cold water
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
1 ½ crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca starch
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Meanwhile, prepare the tofu: Press between kitchen towels to extract the water, and cut tofu into 1” wide strips that are ¼” thick. Set aside.
Prepare the breading station. In one bowl mix soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic powder, ginger powder, five spice powder. The mixture should make a thin spice paste that’ll easily coat the tofu, but add some more water to thin if needed. In another bowl, place the breadcrumbs and mix in 1/4 tsp salt.
Use one hand to dip the tofu strip in the paste, coating all sides. Tap to shake off excess paste and transfer to the breadcrumb bowl. Use the other hand to coat the strip with breadcrumbs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for all strips. Spray oil on the strips and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or longer until crisp.
Mix everything for the dipping sauce in a small pan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust spices. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl. Allow to cool slightly and serve with the tofu strips. Dip the strips in the dipping sauce for 1 to 2 seconds to pick up enough sauce for each bite.
Beteavon and bon appetit!