But there are days when one hankers for fries and tangy dipping sauce, so I've proposed a guilt-free solution: Baked Panko-Crusted Tofu Fries with a tangy Sriracha Mayo sauce.
Combining the satisfying crunchiness of McD's, fusion flavours of bar appetizers, and unique blend of izakaya-like spicy mayo, here's a great alternative to the greasy, fast-food classic. It's a relatively simple dish to prepare, albeit a bit time-consuming and procedure-intensive.
- 2 packs firm tofu *
- 2-3 cups panko
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
- sea salt
- black pepper
- herbs/seasonings of choice *
- 1/8 cup nori strips (optional)
Sriracha Mayo Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 3 heaping tbsp mayonnaise *
- 1 tbsp honey *
- 1 tbsp wasabi
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped
Part i: Tofu Fries
1) Drain and thoroughly dry tofu blocks. Wrap individually in paper towels and allow to drain in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 5 hours) while placing a light weight on top.
2) Remove paper towels from tofu and pat dry. Slice into 3- to 4-inch strips roughly 1 cm in thickness. Set aside.
3) Place eggs in a medium bowl and beat well. Spoon panko into a large bowl and add in salt, pepper, and seasonings of choice (I used garlic powder and seasoned salt).
4) Preheat oven to 400 F. Line baking tray with aluminum foil and grease well with olive oil.
5) Carefully dip tofu strips into the beaten egg before coating with the panko mixture. Place strips onto the baking tray, spacing each at roughly 1.5 cm apart.
6) Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the surface turns a golden, coppery brown hue. Remove from oven, flip over, and continue baking for another 10 minutes at the same temperature. For additional crispiness, toast for 1-2 minutes after baking.
7) Repeat 5) and 6) until all the tofu strips have been used up.
8) Let cool and prepare the dipping sauce.
Part ii: Sriracha Mayo Sauce
1) Combine all ingredients and mix well.
2) Top with chopped chives and serve with tofu fries.
- Firm tofu was used in this recipe, though it is highly recommended to obtain Very Firm tofu if possible to decrease chances of crumbling during cooking.
- In addition, or in substitution of, seasoned salt and garlic powder, other dried herbs such as thyme or basil can also be used for enhanced aroma.
- I have used a tabletop convection oven for this recipe; cooking times may differ on a full-scale oven so it is suggested to check frequently and adjust baking times accordingly.
- Feel free to modify the sriracha-mayo ratio to your preferred liking and degree of spiciness.
- An egg-free mayonnaise or specialty vegan mayonnaise can be used in place of regular mayonnaise to render this recipe vegan.
- If honey is not available, feel free to substitute with 1-2 tbsp of granulated sugar.