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Tofu Fried Chicken (GF, VG, Air fryer and baked options)

Updated: Aug 3, 2020

Lots of people mention to me that they'd like to incorporate choices like tofu more often into their diet, but they aren't sure what to do with it. Well, this is a fun recipe to experiment with to mix up your tofu options!

We use this recipe to make chicken nuggets or chicken strips that we have with dipping sauce, or like a schnitzel on a sandwich.

This method starts the night before, so don't leave it to the last minute!

The tofu can be cooked by air-frying, baking or shallow frying. Obviously, shallow frying in some oil will provide a richer flavour, though will be higher in calories. The air-frying and baking options still turn out well though, and sometimes I find them easier as I can walk away while it cooks.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

Tofu chicken

· 450g firm tofu of choice.

· Optional: actual chicken stock (if not vegan) or vegetarian/vegan alternative to preference (adds chicken-like flavour to the tofu)

Flour Mix

· ½ C chickpea flour or all-purpose flour of choice

· ½ tsp onion powder

· ¼ tsp salt

· ¼ tsp black pepper

Buttermilk mix

· 1C soy milk (or almond, but I do find soy works best)

· 2 tbs lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

· 1 tsp mustard powder

· 2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Crumb Mix

· 1C panko breadcrumbs/ crushed cornflakes/ rice breadcrumbs OR a mixture of crumb and flour equal to 1 C e.g. ½ C almond meal ½ C breadcrumbs (I've used the mixture in the images)

· ¼ C polenta

· 2 tbs paprika

· 1 tsp celery seed powder or celery salt (may reduce total added salt around this if salt sensitive)

· 2 tsp garlic powder

· 1 tsp ginger powder

· ½ - 1 tsp white pepper, ground

· ½ tsp thyme, dried

· ½ tsp basil, dried

· ½ tsp oregano, dired

· ¼ -½ tsp salt


· Extra virgin olive oil, spray or oil


1. The night before, place the tofu in the freezer to freeze (alters tofu texture)

2. As a first step day-of, thaw tofu block by defrosting in microwave, sitting in boiling water or leaving in fridge during day to defrost.

3. Press tofu for 30 minutes.

4. If using a chicken stock, marinate in stock for 15 minutes before proceeding to next step.

5. Near end of tofu pressing, begin to prepare other mixes.

6. Add milk, lemon juice, mustard powder and nutritional yeast in a bowl together and mix until combined. Leave to sit.

7. Add all flour ingredients in another bowl and stir together.

8. Add all crumb ingredients in another bowl and stir together.

9. Place all 3 bowls in order of crumb, milk and flour (from left to right) on a bench.

10. I prefer to cut the tofu block in half length ways, or thinner then either tear for a more “chicken-like” look, or cut into nuggets or schnitzel size (for a cleaner look or preferred shape for use).

11. Have a lined baking tray, or large plate available to place coated tofu pieces.

12. Using your right hand, dredge the tofu piece in the flour mix. Then using the same hand and keeping it dry, place the tofu piece into the buttermilk mix.

13. Now, use your left hand to remove the tofu piece from the buttermilk and place into the crumb mixture. Use your right hand again (and/or maybe a spoon) to dredge and coat the tofu piece in the crumb. Using your right hand, dip the tofu in the buttermilk again. Remove from the buttermilk with your left hand before placing in crumb mix again. Use right hand to dredge tofu piece in the crumb again and set aside.

14. Repeat steps 14 + 15 with remaining tofu pieces.

If using an air-fryer:

· Preheat air-fryer to 200C.

· Spray tray of air fryer with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) spray.

· Spray tofu pieces lightly with EVOO spray.

· Place tofu pieces in single layer on the air-fryer tray.

· Fry for 10 minutes at 200C.

· Flip tofu pieces and fry again for 5-10 minutes at 190C (check at 5 minute point to check how browned). You may spray the pieces lightly again with EVOO at the mid-way point.

· You’re done!

If baking:

· Preheat oven to 200C

· Spread tofu pieces across baking tray to avoid them touching.

· Spray tofu pieces with EVOO spray.

· Bake in oven for 10 minutes at 200C.

· Flip tofu pieces and spray again with EVOO if you wish.

· Bake for a further 10 minutes at 200C.

If shallow frying

· Heat extra virgin olive oil up in a frypan and fry the nuggets, until golden on all sides. Easy, you're done!

Nutrition Information (4 serves, air-fried or baked)

269 Calories | 20.5g Protein | 11.6g Fat | 1.6g Sat. Fat | 17.6g Carbs | 1 g Sugar | 7.3g Fibre | 166mg Sodium

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