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How To Make Tofu Taste Like Chicken: Baked Tofu Nuggets Recipe

We love to hate chicken nuggets, but there's just something about crispy nuggets that keep us craving them time and time again, even if you've gone vegan.

But don't fear, because saying no to meat doesn't mean you have to miss out on 'chicken nuggets.' Our baked tofu marinade and bread coating is the solution to your chicken nugget cravings!

You need extra firm tofu, a press for tofu, and a few other ingredients to start learning how to make tofu taste like chicken! Keep reading to find out more!

How to make tofu taste like chicken

Makes 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 14oz packet of extra firm tofu*

*Before cooking with extra firm tofu, we suggest pressing your tofu to remove any excess liquid from the block. Use a tofu press or simply wrap the tofu in paper towels and pressing the block with a chopping board. By removing the excess liquid, the tofu can take on the flavours of the marinade.

Ingredients for the tofu marinade

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (we prefer low salt options)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil*
  • 1/2 tsp of hot sauce
  • 1/4 c of soy milk, unsweetened
  • 3/4 tsp of apple cider vinegar

*We suggest grapeseed oil due to its neutral flavour, but you can switch this for other oils too.

Ingredients for the bread coating

  • 1/2 c of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch
  • 1/2 c of soy milk, unsweetened
  • 1 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 c of panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp of onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp of kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil for baking
  • Barbecue sauce of choice for dipping 

Directions

  1. Use a press for tofu to drain your block of tofu. Press as much excess moisture as you can out of the tofu.
  2. Once drained, wrap your tofu block in plastic wrap and place in your freezer for at least 6 hr.
  3. Once frozen, remove from the freezer, and microwave the tofu on low power until it's defrosted.
  4. Once completely thawed, place it once more in the tofu press to drain out the liquid for about 30 min.
  5. As the block is draining in the press, prepare your marinade for tofu.
  6. In a large bowl, whisk together your soy sauce, 1/2 the yeast, oil, hot sauce, vinegar, and soy milk.
  7. When the tofu has drained for 30 min, cut or tear the block into chicken nugget sized pieces. 
  8. Set aside your vegetarian chicken nuggets in the marinade for 1 hr to absorb the flavours of the tofu seasoning.
  9. Now, pour the flour and cornstarch into a large mixing bowl and combine them together.
  10. Pour the soy milk and apple cider vinegar into a second, separate mixing bowl.
  11. Pour bread crumbs, 1/2 the yeast, dry spices, and olive oil into a third bowl and mix together.
  12. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line your baking tray with parchment paper or non-stick spray.
  13. Coat each tofu nugget in flour, then in the soy mixture. Repeat twice and finish with bread crumb coating.
  14. Place each completed tofu chicken nugget onto the baking tray.
  15. Place the baking tray into the oven for 25 min.
  16. When the chicken tofu nuggets are crispy, golden brown, they are ready to eat!
  17. Serve your baked tofu snacks with barbecue sauce.

Baked tofu recipe FAQ

We understand that seasoning tofu to taste like chicken is probably uncharted territory for some. Don't let something new scare you away just because it's unfamiliar! To answer any critical questions the may crop up, we compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding this topic.

What does tofu taste like?

Okay, so you might still be wondering if tofu can truly taste like chicken. Tofu vs chicken? Is this really a competition that tofu can win? We believe so! With the right marinade and coating, manipulate tofu into tasting like anything you want it to, even a vegetarian substitute for chicken.

In fact, tofu is so good as a meat substitute precisely because it actually has little taste. On its own tofu tastes like nothing at all. We'd go as far as to say that tofu is bland, and that's because the tofu source is soymilk, which has only a mild taste itself.

Because of this blandness, tofu quickly takes on the flavours of the ingredients around it, which is why it works so well when marinated. Try deep smokey flavours, experiment with desserts, or simply dump these baked nuggets into a bed of lettuce for a refreshing salad. When you're learning how to season tofu, don't be afraid to add in those rich and intense flavours; the tofu will only ever taste better for it!

How do I freeze tofu?

You might have noticed that our recipe requires you to first freeze your tofu before turning the tofu into nuggets. Freezing the tofu helps to give it a more 'chicken-like' feel, as it produces a spongy, airy texture.

It's perfectly safe freezing tofu and then defrosting it the next day in the microwave. You can store the tofu in the freezer by wrapping the block in plastic wrap, then placing it in a resealable box.

However, freezing tofu after preparing it will likely give it an unwanted mushy mess. So, understand that you are freezing it in this recipe before cooking it.

After cooking the tofu nuggets, you can safely store them in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 7 days.

Are tofu chicken nuggets healthy?

Tofu chicken nuggets are healthier than almost any breaded chicken nuggets you can find in the store or buy at a fast-food restaurant. There's going to be fewer calories and less fat, especially if you bake the nuggets rather than deep-frying them in lots of oil. When making them at home, you're also completely aware of the ingredients you're ingesting!

The level of protein in tofu vs chicken is relatively comparable, too, making tofu a good source of protein when you're enjoying a meat-free diet!

Now you know how to make tofu taste like chicken!

Will you be trying our tofu chicken nugget recipe? There's no meat-substitute quite like a block of tofu, so why not start coating your tofu nuggets in breadcrumbs and dipping them in your favourite sauce? This recipe is guaranteed to beat any nugget cravings you might be experiencing.

You can bookmark our breaded tofu nuggets for later and discover for yourself just how to make tofu taste like chicken!

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