• Charlotte Emily

Popcorn Tofu

Updated: Jun 13

Vegan Popcorn Tofu

This popcorn tofu is simple, easy to make and can be added to any meal. I love this popcorn tofu with a light salad, but it is also great when added to a bolognese or a curry... or it can be eaten by itself. Whilst it doesn't require any fancy equipment and it's easy to make, you do need to watch the tofu as it cooks and turn it over to make sure it doesn't burn... but that's all! You can even make some parts ahead of time, or make the full popcorn tofu ahead of time if you like to meal prep.


The breadcrumbs coating the tofu are crispy, with a lot of flavour in the coating, whilst the tofu is soft inside. It holds it's own flavour within a dish, whether it be a salad or curry... and you can always change the flavour of the coating to your preference. This recipe is so easy, it can be easily adapted and can be added to anything. It's definitely a recipe you want to try as it's versatile and can make a great last minute addition to a meal, as it can be made in only half an hour.


Jump to the Recipe ↓



 

Can I change the spices?

Of course you can, you can choose whatever flavours you like. Even though there are spices and sauces in the coating, these aren't too strong. So, if you prefer more flavour on your tofu, you may want to double the spices. But you can add whatever spices you'd like.


Why do I need cornflour and breadcrumbs?

The cornflour creates a crispy coating, so under the breadcrumbs there will be a crispy layer around the tofu. The breadcrumbs will of course also be crispy, but they are a much bigger layer with more of a texture, which we associate with the 'popcorn' part.



Can these be cooked in the oven?

I haven't tested this, but there's no reason why they shouldn't work in the oven. Add a small amount if oil onto a lined baking tray, then pop your popcorn tofu on the tray. Cook them at 180C for around 25 - 30 minutes, carefully turning them half way though and making sure they don't burn.


Can I make these ahead of time?

All the elements of this popcorn tofu can the made ahead of time... the cornflour mix and milk mix for example can be made and stored in jars (the cornflour in the cupboard and the milk in the fridge) for up to a week before being used. Or, if you like to meal prep, you can make this popcorn tofu and store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week before reheating (or eating cold) when you want it.



Do I need any fancy equipment?

Nope! These are great as all you need is a couple of bowls, and a pan (or a baking tray if you'd like to cook them in the oven rather than frying them). They are shallow fried, not deep fried, which means that no thermometer is needed.


How do I store this popcorn tofu?

This popcorn tofu can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The breadcrumbs will loose their crispyness, but they can be reheated. They can be reheated either in the pan or oven... just make sure they're fully heated.



 

What goes into this popcorn tofu?

  • Tofu - this what we are using instead of chicken. I prefer to use a plain, unflavoured tofu, but if you'd like extra flavour you could use a smoked tofu for example.

  • Dairy-Free Milk - this allows the breadcrumbs to bind with the cornflour around the tofu.

  • Tabasco - a few drops will give a little kick.

  • Liquid Smoke - a small amount of liquid smoke will give the coating a smokey flavour (of course) but will also add a hint of meatiness, so if you don't want the meatiness, don't use the liquid smoke!

  • Cornstarch - this will add to the crispyness and create a layer between the breadcrumbs and tofu, as well as creating the mixture to bind the breadcrumbs to the tofu, when the milk is added.

  • Smoked Paprika - this gives a rich, smokey flavour to the coating.

  • Garlic Granules - garlic goes in everything!

  • Onion Granules - a small amount of onion will add a little depth of flavour.

  • Turmeric - adds colour and a little flavour.

  • Panko Breadcrumbs - these fully coat the outside of the tofu.

  • Black Pepper - this just adds a little kick to the breadcrumbs.


This popcorn tofu is simple, easy to make and can be added to any meal. I love this popcorn tofu with a light salad, but it is also great when added to a bolognese or a curry... or it can be eaten by itself. Whilst it doesn't require any fancy equipment and it's easy to make, you do need to watch the tofu as it cooks and turn it over to make sure it doesn't burn... but that's all! You can even make some parts ahead of time, or make the full popcorn tofu ahead of time if you like to meal prep.


The breadcrumbs coating the tofu are crispy, with a lot of flavour in the coating, whilst the tofu is soft inside. It holds it's own flavour within a dish, whether it be a salad or curry... and you can always change the flavour of the coating to your preference. This recipe is so easy, it can be easily adapted and can be added to anything. It's definitely a recipe you want to try as it's versatile and can make a great last minute addition to a meal, as it can be made in only half an hour.


 


Popcorn Tofu


Total Time : 25 - 30 minutes

Preparation Time : 15 minutes

Cooking Time : 10 - 15 minutes

Serves :  4 servings


Ingredients

  • 450g Tofu

  • 100g dairy-free milk

  • Few drops tabasco

  • Few drops liquid smoke

  • 100g cornstarch

  • 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 1 tsp garlic granules

  • 1 tsp onion granules

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • Pinch black pepper

  • 100g Panko Breadcrumbs


Method

  1. Start by tearing your tofu into small, bitesize chunks and set to one side.

  2. In a bowl, combine the milk, tabasco and liquid smoke, mixing until it's combined.

  3. In another bowl, mix the cornstarch, paprika, garlic granules, onion granules and turmeric. Then in a third and final bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and black pepper.

  4. To coat the tofu, start by dipping the tofu in the cornstarch mix, then into the milk (it will become sticky as they mix together) then finally roll it the breadcrumbs until it's all coated. Repeat this process until all the tofu is coated.

  5. In a pan, heat a small amount of oil, but enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Place the pieces of coated tofu in the pan and fry on a medium heat for 10 - 15 minutes, turning the tofu regularly to make sure it doesn't burn.

  6. Once the tofu is golden brown and crispy, remove it from the pan and it's ready to eat and enjoy!



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