I eat Chicken McNuggets way more than I should. In my defense, I rarely ever go to McDonald’s myself, but when my coworker makes his weekly trip there, one of the five boxes he brings back is almost always for me. And by “almost always” what I really mean is “without fail.” Here’s an observation, failure and fat both start with F.
And so does Fryday! Fortunately, this week’s Fryday post is of the healthy variety. This self-imposed alternating schedule of fried vs. oven-fried posts is one of my better life decisions. Flavorful, crispy-on-the-outside, baked tofu nuggets rank pretty high up there as well.
You’ll need: firm tofu, both plain and panko breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, onion powder, parsley, white and black pepper, milk, an egg, flour, and cooking spray.
After draining the water from the tofu package, you’ll want to take the tofu block out of the container, turn it on its side, and slice it on into half-inch sheets. Tofu packages differ in shape, but I was able to make four slices from the one I had, and from there I cut each sheet into 8 triangles, as pictured above.
The dipping station comes next. Fill a small shallow dish with flour, whisk together an egg and milk into a second bowl, and in a medium bowl, mix together both breadcrumbs along with all the seasonings. Set the three bowls in that order.
Now comes the dipping. Take a tofu triangle and coat it first in the flour, then the egg and milk mixture, and finally coat it in a layer of the breadcrumbs and seasoning.
Repeat the process as you arrange the coated tofu nuggets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprayed with cooking spray. Once they’re all on there, give them another once-over with the spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes, flipping them over in between and spraying them again.
Then, when they’re good and ready, take them out of the oven and grab at ’em! Although you may want to let them cool for a minute.
Pair them with your favorite dipping sauces, but if you want to try something new, here’s a suggestion: sweet & sour sauce and ranch.
The Chinese in me loves the sweet and sour, and my fat American side loves the ranch, so I always indulge both.
And dip each nugget like so.
It may sound like a weird combo, but this is one of those don’t-knock-it-till-you’ve-tried-it things that you’ll have to see for yourself, and I hope you do. Report back to me and let me know your thoughts.
Double dipping most definitely happened, and I will definitely be making these again. They were so easy to make and came out so crispy and flavorful that I didn’t even notice the chicken was missing. I’m not that big into tofu either, so you know they’re good. Expectations surpassed.
I hope you can say the same about your weekend. TGIFryday.
- 1 block of extra-firm tofu
- ¼ cup plain breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- a pinch of ground white pepper if you have it
- ⅛ teasppon ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ½ cup milk
- 3 tablespoons flour
- olive oil cooking spray
- dipping sauces of choice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Drain water from the package of tofu, gently squeezing and blotting out any excess liquid with a few paper towels.
- Turn the block on its side and cut into sheets about a half-inch thick. Tofu packages differ in size, but with mine, I was able to make 4 slices.
- Then, cut each sheet in half vertically, then horizontally, then again at each diagonal until you have a total of 8 tofu triangles per sheet, 32 triangles total. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix together both breadcrumbs along with all the seasonings. Next, grab a small bowl and mix together the milk and egg. Fill a third bowl with the flour.
- Now it's time for dipping. Dip each tofu triangle in the flour mixture, then the egg/milk bowl, and finally drop it straight into the breadcrumb bowl and coat with breading.
- Arrange tofu nuggets on lined baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping the nuggets over halfway through and spraying them with cooking spray one more time.
- Remove from the oven when golden and crispy and serve with dipping sauces of your choice.
- Makes 32 tofu nuggets.