I first tried this recipe this summer after drooling over the pictures in the Whitewater Cooks cookbook for years. The response from the Instagram community was swift and firm, Panko Crusted Tofu looked delicious! And good thing the pictures don't lie, this crusty fried tofu is full of comforting vegetarian protein vibes, which is really the role tofu plays in any vegetarian kitchen in my humble opinion. I might suggest doing the marinade in the morning and allowing the tofu to soak up the flavours throughout the day, after which all you have to do is coat the tofu in its delicious breadcrumb coating and you are off to the races to fry them up.
Great sauces to enjoy it with could be as simple as ketchup (growing up this was how we always ate tofu), or your fave hot sauce, or even a peanut sauce if you wanted to serve this tofu with noodles. The options are all there, all you need is this easy base to start with.
Panko Crusted Tofu
~ from Whitewater Cooks1 package firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vegetable oil (for frying)
Place the tofu in a glass baking dish. Mix together soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, sweet chilli sauce and pour over tofu. Cover with plastic film and marinate for an hour or longer in the fridge, turning the tofu over a few times. Mix the cornstarch and water together in a small bowl. Place the panko crumbs on a plate. Remove the tofu from the marinade and dip each piece into the cornstarch mixture and then the panko, pressing firmly so the crumbs stick well.
Heat a sauté pan to medium and add oil. Place the tofu pieces in the hot oil and sauté for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with raw or cooked veggies and side of your favourite cooked grain.