Choosing a plant-based diet does not mean you have to sacrifice childhood favourites such as nuggets! And while there are so many plant-based “chicken” nugget options at the grocery store, they can be high in sodium and fats. Not to mention that similar to regular chicken nuggets, are a processed product that I would not be comfortable eating often.
Now, let me introduce you to my crispy air fryer (or oven baked) tofu nuggets! They are marinated pieces of tofu that have been double breaded with Panko breadcrumbs and a plethora of herbs and spices – yum! This recipe is the first time I’ve ever tried pressing my tofu. From what I’ve heard, pressing the tofu releases any excess water within it so that when your marinate it the tofu is able to absorb as much flavour as possible. If you’re short on time and can’t press the tofu, opt for a more concentrated broth to increase flavour.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 block of extra firm tofu
- 1 cup concentrated vegetable or vegetarian chicken broth
- ¾ cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Cooking spray
- *Optional* To prep the tofu, use a tofu press or wrap the tofu in a tea towel and place a cast iron skillet or some other weighted object on top of the tofu to press any excess water out for at least an hour.
- Cut the tofu into nugget-sized pieces (I was able to get 24 pieces) and place into a loaf tin or another small container. Then pour the vegetable or vegetarian chicken broth over the tofu and marinate for an hour or overnight.
- To make the crispy breading, mix together the breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, salt, onion and garlic powder, parsley, paprika, cumin, and pepper. Then, measure out the flour in a separate bowl.
- If using an air fryer, remove the basket from the machine and line with parchment if desired. If baking in the oven, preheat the oven to 425oF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Drain the broth from the marinated tofu into a bowl and line up the bowls of flour, broth and breading in order.
- Dip each tofu nugget into the flour, tapping off any excess, then into the broth, and finally into the bread crumb mixture. Press the breadcrumbs gently into the tofu nuggets, then transfer to the air fryer basket/baking sheet in an even layer. Make sure the nuggets aren’t overlapping or touching for optimal crispiness!
- Repeat step 6 with all of the tofu nuggets, then spray each nugget with cooking spray and air-fry at 400oF for 15 minutes or bake at 425oF for 10-15 minutes, flipping halfway through to ensure both sides are golden brown.