I haven’t given up on tofu yet. I like it but don’t love it. For me it’s just a texture issue. But, I have found that giving it some flavor with a tasty marinade, then coating it with something yummy, followed by baking it in the oven makes it a bit more palatable for me. I am simply determined to continue to search for ways to make tofu taste great. My newest creation is a coconut crusted tofu combined with a peanut dipping sauce. The combination is fantastic!
How to quickly and easily bread the tofu
I consider this recipe quick and easy even though it takes longer than thirty minutes. Mainly because so much of it is hands-off time. But if you are in a pinch, it’s ok to marinated the tofu overnight or while you are at work to get a jump ahead.
SPECIAL TIP!!: I learned another trick recently that makes the breading process less messy and easier. When breading, use one hand (either the right or left) to pick up the tofu from the marinade and use the opposite hand to apply the breading. This keeps the breading from sticking to your fingers, forcing you to need to stop and wash your hands frequently or waste the breading mixture.
If you want to meal prep this recipe, I suggest making the recipe completely and then reheating the tofu when you want to eat it. I’ve heard you can freeze tofu but I haven’t had much luck with that process so I won’t recommend that method of storing it here.
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To press or not press the tofu?
Most tofu I purchased in the United States came packed in water making it pretty much a necessity for me to press it so I could ensure a texture I could eat. Pressing the tofu pushes all that excess water out of the tofu making more room for the tofu to soak up the delicious marinade. It also makes the end product crisper and firmer. Though baking the tofu in the oven the cooking process is more drying than other cooking methods meaning it’s really up to you whether or not you take this extra step.
But in my opinion, I’d always take the time to press my tofu. The best way to press it is to follow these steps.
- Open the tofu, drain the excess water.
- Wrap the tofu in cheesecloth or a clean towel.
- Place it in a dish and top with a heavy book or cooking pot.
- Allow it to sit overnight or during the day (for a minimum of 15 minutes).
- Proceed with recipe.
To simplify this process or if you eat a lot of tofu, consider buying a tofu press!
Ways to use this recipe
This coconut crusted tofu recipe is so flexible! Here are some of my favorite ways to use it!
› Coconut crusted tofu works great as a party appetizer with the peanut sauce as a thick and creamy dip! It’d also be good with a mayonnaise flavored with lime and cilantro.
› Serve coconut tofu atop your favorite Asian veggie salad combination and top it with this Carrot miso dressing
› Top off a rice noodle and veggie bowl with this coconut crusted tofu and drizzle the peanut dressing over the top.
› Pair it with these Asian salad bowls and take it on the go with you to work for a delicious mid-day meal.
› Chop up some tropical fruits such as pineapple and mango and toss them with mixed greens, red onion and bell pepper strips and top it off with the coconut crusted tofu.
› Make a quick coleslaw with napa cabbage, carrots and green onion. Then toss with sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and salt and pepper. Add the coconut tofu on top
As you can see there are lots of possibilities for eating coconut crusted tofu! And it can easily become a part of your meal prep so you can mix and match it with various meals during the week. The flavors work well with Asian dishes, tropical dishes and more!
Coconut Crusted Tofu with Peanut Dipping Sauce
Tofu and marinade
- 1 14 oz package extra firm tofu drained well and pressed if necessary
- 1 T miso
- 1 T rice wine vinegar
- 3 T soy sauce
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp fresh ginger minced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- Sriracha or sambal oelek to taste
- ¼ cup corn starch
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup panko
- 2 T black sesame seeds
Creamy peanut dipping sauce
- ½ cup peanuts
- 1 T coconut oil melted
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp Soy sauce
- ½ tsp rice wine vinegar
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- Sambal oelek to taste
- 1 tsp Soy sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees about 10 minutes before you are ready to cook tofu.
- Mix together the miso, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame oil, garlic and ginger. Add a few drops of Sriracha or sambal oelek to marinade until it reaches your desired spiciness.
- Slice the tofu into ¼ inch pieces and then into 1” squares. Place into a container with a lid and pour the marinade over the tofu. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Turn container over several times while marinating to ensure that all the tofu gets coated.
- Place half the coconut into a blender or food processor and process until it is a finer consistency as this will make the breading process easier. Combine the coconut, cornstarch, panko and sesame seeds.
- When tofu is ready, remove the tofu from marinade. Dip each piece of tofu in the coating. Place on a baking tray lightly coated with baking spray.
- When all the tofu is coated, place into a 400 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes or until slightly browned turning over halfway during cooking time.
- When the tofu is ready, remove from oven and serve with dipping sauce.
- While the tofu is cooking, make the sauce.
- Place peanuts and coconut oil into blender. Blend until it begins to smoothen out. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again. Add hot water 1 T at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.
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