Illustration by Preston Randall
Photos by Mackenzie Shaffer
Hello again, friend. I’m so glad you’re here.
Today, I want to talk about tofu.
Tofu, also known as bean curd (I know, it sounds funky), is made in a process similar to how cheese is created. In this method of production, soy milk is strained, congealed and formed into blocks which you can then buy at nearly any grocery store.
Soy beans, which are where soy milk comes from, are a very protein-packed legume, making for an excellent meat alternative. Tofu is a very plain-tasting food on its own, which allows you to season it with any flavors you would other meat products. It comes in several different textures and can be incorporated into meals in many ways: soups, stir-fries, scrambles, you name it!
One of my favorite ways to eat tofu is to bread and fry it like a chicken nugget. I like the way tofu tastes on its own and don’t feel compelled to make it taste like other meat products necessarily, but if you’re a tofu newbie who’s never eaten or cooked tofu much before, preparing it in a familiar way can help you get acclimated to its unique texture a little better.
I present to you … Tofu Chkn Nuggets!
Tofu Chkn Nuggets
Serving Size: 2 people
Time: 40 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 block of tofu (14-16oz)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour of your choice (I used coconut)
1/4 cup breadcrumbs of your choice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sprinkle of sea salt (optional)
Spritz of lemon juice (optional)
- Remove tofu from the package, drain and press for around 15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and set aside.
- In another small bowl, combine the flour, breadcrumbs and seasonings and mix thoroughly.
- After the tofu is done pressing, cut the tofu into small, nugget-sized cubes.
- One at a time, take a nugget and coat it in the bowl of egg mixture, then in the bowl of flour mixture and set on a plate. Repeat until all nuggets are firmly coated, and none of the tofu shows through the coating.
- On medium-high heat, heat the oil in a large pan on the stovetop. Once the oil is hot, carefully place the nuggets in the pan, leaving a little bit of space between each of them.
- Cook the nuggets on each side until browned and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Use tongs to carefully flip the nuggets when changing sides, being sure to keep the flour coating intact with the tofu.
- Once the nuggets are done, plate and spritz with lemon juice and a light sprinkle of sea salt for an optional finishing touch.
- Pressing tofu is, in my opinion, essential. Tofu is packaged in water and retains most of it even when removed from the package. Neglecting to press the tofu before cooking it will result in a very “juicy” inside, which, in this case, is not desirable. I press my tofu by wrapping the block in a few paper towels and setting something fairly heavy on top of it. I do this for 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll notice afterwards that the paper towels are completely soaked, and you might even need to repeat the process.
There you have it! Tofu Chkn Nuggets. Dip them in your favorite sauce and enjoy. These are great on their own as a snack, with a side of vegetables or even homemade fries. Whatever you serve or don’t serve with them, enjoy.
Let’s talk again soon.
SUPPORT STUDENT MEDIA
Hi, I’m Holly Liptak, a senior journalism student from Akron and the editor-in-chief of The Burr this semester. My staff and I are committed to bringing you interesting, humorous and hard-hitting stories that tap into current events, trends and the lives of those who have made a home in Kent, Ohio. We are full-time students and hard-working journalists. While we get support from the student media fee and earned revenue such as advertising, both of those continue to decline. Your generous gift of any amount will help enhance our student experience as we grow into working professionals. Please go here to donate.