If you have a young child who LOVES chicken nuggets, try this recipe. Our son is a chicken nugget fanatic and since he was 3, if you asked him, he would tell you without hesitation that his favorite food is chicken nuggets. As a healthier alternative, we have started making these and even my super-skeptical husband has admitted this is the closest chicken flavor and texture we have made. This simple recipe has become our favorite way to make tofu.
I was first introduced to herb crusted tofu at The Farm Restaurant in Portland a few years ago. Since we don't have the luxury of living close to them anymore, we have come up with another version. We paired it with steamed broccoli and garlic mashed potatoes. Normally I would have made the mashed potatoes from scratch but today was like 100 degrees and I had no desire to make the kitchen hotter than it already was, so I cheated and used Alexia Foods Garlic Mashed Red Potatoes. They were so easy and delicious!
1 block extra firm tofu
1/2 cup cooking sherry
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
vegetable oil for pan-frying
1. First rinse, drain, and press the tofu. Slice tofu into ideal shapes, I cut mine into 12 triangles.
2. Put tofu in medium bowl and pour in cooking sherry, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and water. Put in fridge and allow to marinate for 30 minutes. Tofu acts like a sponge, the longer you marinate it, the more flavor you will get. You can adjust the marinating time and ratio of ingredients to suit your palate. While the tofu is marinating, prepare herb crusting and set up a skillet with vegetable oil.
3. In a shallow dish mix panko bread crumbs, flour, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Carefully dredge tofu cutlets into mixture and place in skillet with hot oil. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes on each side, or until a dark golden brown.
*A fantastic benefit to cooking with tofu is that it does not carry any nasty bacteria like salmonella in chicken, you can cook it to your liking and visual expectation. Essentially you can eat in its most raw form, so don't panic if you are worried about cooking it long enough.