My family’s go-to meal when we were children was chicken fingers. I was a really, really picky child, and we were usually pressed for time in some way or another. What is it about picky eaters and chicken fingers? We just love those things, man.
I’m proud to say I have moved on from chicken fingers (obviously) and don’t even really crave unchicken that often (and when I do, you know where to find me — at the Hogtown Vegan!) but sometimes I do love a good crunch.
Not the cool, fresh crunch of a cucumber or a carrot. Although those sound pretty great right now. Mmm.
But no! I’ll save those for the sides. This is a grown-up take on nuggets (or you could do them in fingers or sticks). They’re not overly battery, but they sure do provide a good crunch. The best thing is you can still serve this with a nice “grown-up” side dish like some steamed veggies, a bit of rice — holy crap, that’s one easy, classy meal you’ve got there! If you’re wondering what’s on top of them in that picture, that’s a bit of my cilantro pesto that I made this week.
But onto the recipe!
Easy crusted tofu nuggets, makes 3 medium servings
- One brick extra firm tofu, drained and cut into small cubes or sticks
- 1/3 cornmeal
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried orregano
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Press the tofu using either a tofu press or some clean kitchen towels with a great deal of weight on it. Don’t press it quite as much as you normally would — only about 10 minutes. Some moisture will let the coating stick more.*
- Warm a cast iron pan on medium heat with a light-tasting oil with a high smoke point, such as coconut oil, almond or canola oil — if you don’t have a cast iron, a regular pan will do, but you won’t quite get that seered, charred texture.
- Prepare your dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Cut your tofu into cubes or strips and toss into the bowl. Toss it around to coat.
- Add to the tofu to the pan and let cook for about 10 minutes. Keep tossing and agitating the tofu so that it doesn’t stick, especially crucial in a cast iron pan.
That’s your tofu nuggets for ya — give it a try! Cornmeal is a nice and cheap but versatile coating, it’s gluten-free and adds such a nice, neutral crunch. What’s your favourite comfort food? What do you like to enjoy your nuggets with? Let me know in the comments!