It’s been a week of revelations. My first revelation came as I watched Harry Potter with Dutch subtitles, and was horrified to see that in the Dutch version, “Professor Dumbledore” is “Professor Perkamentus” (among many other sinful name changes). A better revelation came with the discovery of magical berries that transforms sour tastes into sweets. And the best revelation of them all came when I discovered that you can use ground almonds as a breading for crunchy, filling, packed-with-protein baked tofu nuggets. So today, let’s talk about that third revelation.
I couldn’t think of a better name than Almond Crusted Tofu Nuggets. And I think the name might sound a little boring and bland, but I promise these are anything but! There are 3 pretty major things that make this meal so great.
#1: The almond crust. We’ll crush some almonds and combine them with salt, pepper, paprika, and nutritional yeast. Never heard of nutritional yeast? Well hop on board, friend, because this stuff is bangin’. It adds a cheesy/savory component while being totally vegan (and packed with vitamin B12, the little vitamin that vegetarians and vegans might not get enough of).
#2: The marinade. In a good recipe, every component should be tasty on it’s own, which is why we’ll briefly marinate our tofu for maximum tastiness. We’ll use soy sauce, sesame oil, and garlic!
#3: The dip. What’s a good nugget without some dip? I suppose you could go the plain Jane ketchup route, but why ketchup when you could avocado? Our dipping sauce involves avocado, Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, and lime.
- 1 16 oz (453 g) block of tofu
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil (or just 2 Tbsp olive oil if you don’t have sesame)
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ cup (31 g) flour (or all-purpose gluten-free flour)
- 1 egg, whisked (or 1 Tbsp ground flax seed + 3 Tbsp water for vegan)
- 1 cup (170 g) whole almonds
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 avocado, pit removed
- ½ cup (142 g) plain Greek yogurt (or dairy-free alternative)
- ½ cup (handful) fresh chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Juice of 1 lime
- Pinch each of salt and pepper
- Drain tofu and slice into 1’’ x 1’’ x ½’’ blocks. Lay on a few layers of paper towel and gently press with more paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place tofu blocks in a deep dish (like a storage container).
- Combine sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, and minced garlic. Pour over tofu, cover, and let marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better). Every once in a while, flip the container so all the tofu gets exposed to the tasty marinade.
- In a food processor or by hand, chop almonds until coarsely ground. Mix with nutritional yeast, salt, paprika, and black pepper.
- Prepare your breading station, placing the flour in one bowl, the whisked egg in another, and your almond mixture in the last, with a parchment paper-lined baking sheet at the end. Shake off excess marinade from the tofu blocks then, 1 or 2 at a time, coat each lightly in flour, then egg, then almond mix, and set on the baking sheet.
- Bake tofu nuggets at 400 degrees F (204 C) for 8 to 10 minutes, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and toasted.
- While the nuggets cook, throw all the Dipping Sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve nuggets warm with dipping sauce!
Almond crust inspired by Gimme Some Oven's Almond-Crusted Chicken Nuggets.