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Crispy Tofu Fries with Spicy Peanut Sauce


Vegan | Vegetarian | Dairy Free | Gluten Free | Sauce/Dips | Sides

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After making these flavourful tofu fries, I asked myself, why haven’t I made these before?! And how much spicy peanut butter sauce is too much? Cause I want to dip everything in my pantry into this creamy and tangy sauce. 

Okay, but why am I so sold on this unconventional fast food recipe alternative? For one, they only took 4 minutes to get crispy! I think that may make this the quickest fries recipe ever. The time it takes to make them is such a win, considering they are so packed with protein, and so filling they could be a meal. Most of the prep time is actually for pressing the tofu… which you can easily do a day ahead, or in the morning so it’s all ready for your lunch!

Even if it took hours to make this recipe, it would still be worth it because it is just that dang delicious. We added seasoning to the tofu coating, so both the fries, and the dip are flavourful - great alone, but best together. Dipping these crispy fries into this peanut sauce will not only make your tastebuds burst with love, but it makes for a more nutrient dense meal in comparison to your classic potato fries and ketchup.

Tofu contains all essential amino acids your body needs, and has high levels of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Also, it is super protein dense, considering a 3.5 ounce serving contains 8 grams of plant based protein! Paired with the peanut dipping sauce in this recipe, which has 4 grams of protein from the peanut butter alone, this meatless meal will keep you full and energized.

Why is Miso Good for You? 

Miso and tofu are both made from soybeans, so their pairing together in this recipe was quite natural. One of its first and more traditional pairings is in Japanese miso soup, which has potential benefits such as improving digestive health and reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease. 

Like many fermented foods, miso’s properties promote probiotic growth, which can improve balance of your gut biome, and digestive function. Quality miso will be unpasteurized, live and should be stored in your fridge. Since it has live cultures of bacteria, cooking the miso at high temperatures, or boiling water will actually kill the probiotics. This is why we loved the idea of adding this probiotic to a cold sauce, so we could make sure we are getting all of its health benefits! 

Peanut Butter & Miso

Miso is highly nutritious - but why stop the added benefits there? This dipping sauce presents itself with a nutrient boost BANG by including our favourite ingredient: natural peanut butter. This breakfast-favourite spread is incredible for your health for so many reasons, like:

  • It can reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure
  • It can help reduce the risk of cancer
  • It can lower incidences of heart disease

We could keep going on about all the benefits of natural peanut butter - and if you want to learn more about why it’s great for health visit our in depth blog here 

Crispy Tofu Fries with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

TOFU

  • 1 block extra firm organic tofu
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch 
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Paprika  
  • ½ tsp black pepper 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

PEANUT BUTTER DIPPING SAUCE

  • 3 tbsp shiro miso paste
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey, agave, or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ⅛ tsp ground chili powder
  • ½ tsp sriracha or chili sauce 

Instructions

  1. Grab a clean towel or paper towel and wrap it around your block of tofu. Place it on top of the counter, and put a large cutting board on top. Weigh it down by putting a heavy object like a jar or plate, balancing it on the cutting board. Keep it pressing for about 30 minutes. 
  2. While waiting for your tofu, combine the miso, natural peanut butter (we used crunchy), lime juice, sweetener, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili powder and sauce in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir it up until all ingredients are incorporated thoroughly. 
  3. Disassemble your diy tofu press, and cut the tofu into width-length pieces, equal in thickness all around like a classic shoestring fry.
  4. In a large container, combine corn starch, garlic powder, paprika and fresh ground pepper. Place tofu slices in the container, put it’s lid on, and gently shake to cover the fries in the powdered mixture. 
  5. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Gently place your tofu fries in the pan, and flip them so they fry for a minute on each side. 
  6. Scoop them onto a plate with your spicy peanut sauce and enjoy!

Do you have to use natural peanut butter for this recipe?

Although we haven’t tried other peanut butters, so we can’t say if it will alter the taste or texture, there are some reasons we specified natural. We wanted to be mindful about added oils, since peanuts have a lot of natural fats, we don’t need more to dilute our peanut butter! For preservation, some peanut butters have these added oils (like palm oil), which this recipe is definitely healthier without. 

Plus, now is the time to support smaller businesses! If you want to check out our line of natural peanut butters, you can get them online, or in stores. Our classic smooth and crunchy natural peanut butters are delicious in the recipe, but we think that coconut would be incredibly yummy in this spicy sauce as well!

Other meals you can use the dipping sauce for?

We made these fries to have on the side of a portobello mushroom burger - but they ended up being the main star of the meal! Although, we did try the dipping sauce on the burger as well and it was just as delicious. Some other great uses for this sauce would be in:

  • Stir frys
  • Wraps
  • A dip for veggies
  • Salads
  • Spring rolls
  • Sandwiches
  • We would add it to pretty much anything… but comment below if you have any other ideas!

Can you substitute potato starch for the corn starch?

Absolutely! We used what we had on hand, but you can simply substitute in potato starch at a one for one ratio for the tofu fry coating. You can also use regular flour or gluten free flour instead, but cornstarch tends to crisp up the best for tofu!  

Is it better to pan fry or bake tofu?

There is really no better way - it just comes to preference. In the oven you have the opportunity to use less oil, but it will cook for longer. In a pan, you can achieve crisper tofu in less time. 

For this specific recipe, you can cook the tofu in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes, making sure to flip them half way through.  

What do tofu fries taste like?

Tofu has a reputation for tasting bland and sour on it’s own - but with the right seasoning and technique tofu is absolutely delicious! It absorbs flavours even better than potatoes, so you can marinade them overnight or have a crispy cornstarch coating like in this recipe. We had fun adding our favourite spices like paprika and garlic powder, but you can add seasonings to your own liking. 

PLUS, dipped into the spicy peanut butter sauce, there is no way even tofu haters can say it’s tasteless. 

What happens if you don't press tofu?

Although you can still eat and cook with tofu that hasn’t been pressed, it won't absorb flavor and the texture will not be ideal - especially for trying to make it crispy. Spending the extra time to get out all of it’s liquid will make for crispier and more delicious tofu fries, so it’s worth it! 

Can I use another type of tofu other than extra firm?

Extra firm is definitely the recommended tofu type for this recipe. It is easiest to pan fry, especially since these fries need flipping, and will break less. Firm tofu is great for marinades and other dishes where the tofu may not be used as a finger food. Regular tofu is great for soaps and scrambles, but will likely crumble if you try to try it.

 

Crispy Tofu Fries with Spicy Peanut Sauce

Ingredients

TOFU

  • 1 block extra firm organic tofu
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch 
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Paprika  
  • ½ tsp black pepper 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

PEANUT BUTTER DIPPING SAUCE

  • 3 tbsp shiro miso paste
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp honey, agave, or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ⅛ tsp ground chili powder
  • ½ tsp sriracha or chili sauce  

Instructions

  1. Grab a clean towel or paper towel and wrap it around your block of tofu like a little present. Place it on top of the counter, and put a large cutting board on top. Weigh it down by putting a heavy object like a jar or plate, balancing it on the cutting board. The liquid from the tofu will be pushed out and absorbed by the towel, making the tofu more firm and better for frying! Keep it pressing for about 30 minutes. 
  2. While waiting for your tofu, you can make the best part of this recipe… the dipping sauce! Combine the miso, natural peanut butter (we used crunchy), lime juice, sweetener, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili powder and sauce in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir it up until all ingredients are incorporated thoroughly. 
  3. Disassemble your diy tofu press, and cut the tofu into width-length pieces, equal in thickness all around like a classic shoestring fry (this makes them easier to flip too!)
  4. In a large container, combine corn starch, garlic powder, paprika and fresh ground pepper. Place tofu slices in the container, put it’s lid on, and gently shake to cover the fries in the powdered mixture. Make sure it coats all of the fries evenly - this is what makes it crispy and flavourful! 
  5. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Gently place your tofu fries in the pan, and flip them so they fry for a minute on each side. Yes, it only takes 4 minutes to cook!
  6. Scoop them onto a plate with your spicy peanut sauce and enjoy!


 

Try it with our natural peanut butter


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