COCONUT CRUSTED TOFU + CHILI LIME SAUCE

If you're anything like us, you're still wondering where the weekend went. It seems like it just flew right by - and here we are at the beginning of a new week.

But we love new weeks! It's a change to write out our goals and figure out the best way to reach them. Goals can be broad - simply try to eat a little healthier than last week - to targeted - hit a certain weight record during your workout. Whatever it is, we are firm believers of not being afraid to make goals and dreams a reality. So with that, it is time to celebrate the new week with lots of fun and healthy(ish) recipes to share with you! 

These crispy, coconut crusted tofu bites will seriously get you excited about the upcoming week. And even though they are lightly fried, by using coconut oil instead of vegetable or canola, they still have a lightness about them which helps you not feel bogged down after eating.

The coconut flavor really pairs well with the gorgeous weather we've been enjoying on Long Island the past few days. When the temperatures drop, just whip these up and you'll be able to savor the flavors of summer anytime.

After making them, you can enjoy them in any way you like! Have them on top of quinoa or rice and some veggies, serve them with sweet potato fries or even just have them all by themselves. They are THAT good. And they are completely vegan, but will be a hit with absolutely everyone. 

Ingredients

14 ounce package extra-firm tofu

1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari for gluten free)

1/4 cup coconut sugar

1 small lime, juiced

1/2 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated

2 tbsp. hazelnut flour

2 tbsp. cornstarch (arrowroot starch works perfectly, too!)

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 tbsp. cold water

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

3/4 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

1/4 cup coconut oil, for frying

For sauce -

1/2 cup coconut cream (from a 15-oz. can of full-fat coconut milk)

2 tbsp. pineapple juice

2 tsp. lime juice

1 tsp. chili garlic sauce

 

Instructions

  1. Press the tofu with a towel or paper towls to remove as much water as possible. Cut the tofu into ½-inch cubes and press with paper towels again.
  2. Combine the soy sauce and coconut sugar in a small mixing bowl. Heat over the stove on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the coconut sugar dissolves. Add the lime juice and fresh ginger. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
  3. Place the tofu in a shallow baking dish and pour in the marinade. Flip each piece around, completely coating them. Cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours, flipping half way through. Put your can of coconut milk in the refrigerator at this time, too.
  4. While the tofu is marinating, prepare the batter. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and water in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Set in the fridge until you’re ready to cook the tofu.
  5. Once the tofu is done marinating, remove it from the refrigerator along with the can of coconut milk.
  6. Pour the panko breadcrumbs and shredded coconut onto a large plate and use your hands to mix it up.
  7. Remove the batter from the fridge and stir. The texture should be similar to pancake batter. If it’s too thick, add another teaspoon of cold water.
  8. Line another large plate with a layer of paper towels and set it next to the stove.
  9. Heat coconut oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Take the first piece of tofu and dip it in the batter. Shake gently to remove any excess, and then dredge it through the panko/coconut mixture so it’s coated on all sides. Carefully place it in the skillet – it should sizzle right away. If it doesn’t, your oil isn’t hot enough yet!
  10. Coat each piece of tofu in batter, followed by the panko/coconut mixture. Working in batches, cook tofu for about 3 minutes, flipping each side until they are crispy and golden brown.
  11. Transfer cooked tofu pieces to the paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil. You may need to switch out the oil halfway through if there’s a lot of debris floating around in it. Those little coconut flakes burn quickly!
  12. While the tofu cools, prepare the sauce. Pour off the liquid from the coconut milk can and scoop the cream into a blender. Add the pineapple juice, lime juice, and chili garlic sauce. Blend until smooth. 
  13. Serve tofu warm with a drizzle of sweet chili sauce and a squeeze of lime, if desired.

Recipe via Well Vegan