Spicy Thymes – Tasty Tofu

Anna says: One of the reasons I first got into vegan cooking, was because it pushed me to try new things, and cook and eat new foods. With World Vegan Day on November 1st, I wanted to try a dish I knew I liked but hadn’t ever cooked for myself. The Crispy Tofu Sandwich is one of my favorite things at Gateway Market, so after some Pinterest research, I determined it was something I could handle.

Improvised seasoning blend. With some classic Justin Timberlake spinning in the living room, I threw on my apron and got to work. I wanted a bit of a Bahn Mi flavor, so I mixed together 2 tsp Umami Dust Seasoning, 1/2 tsp each red pepper flakes and sesame seeds, and 1/8 tsp each white pepper, sumac, and thyme. Despite seeming as though I grabbed random spices out of my cabinet, I was not upset with how this combination of spices turned out.

If at first you don’t succeed … The first batch I fried turned out horribly. I didn’t have my oil hot enough, so the pieces of pressed tofu had to sit in the pan far too long. Instead of being crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, they were ‘crisped’ nearly all the way through — hard as rocks. Worst of all, they still smelled really good, and I was getting really hungry!

Fry, fry again. I wasn’t pleased with myself. I’ve made fried chicken enough times in my life to avoid the not-hot-enough cooking oil mistake.  So, I took a deep breath, flipped the record,  turned up the heat under the cooking oil, and started the second batch. Voilà – success! The seasoned tofu blocks were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and this meal was saved.

The Crispy Tofu recipe I used can be found here, but as this is my first attempt, I’m open to suggestions, and you should tweak the recipe to suit your personal tastes.

Tweaks and additions. Blackened peppers and pickled carrots will make an appearance on almost any sandwich I make. Partly because they’re delicious, but mostly because they are so easy to whip up. The bell peppers are just thinly sliced, tossed with olive oil, and broiled. The carrots are pickled in a 2:2:1 solution of white vinegar, water, and sugar. Mix the pickling ingredients, heat to a boiling point, pour the solution over the carrots and chill in the fridge for (at least) two hours. It may be just that I really love carrots (I do), but I always have a jar of these ready in the fridge.

Conclusion: Overall, the crispy tofu made a filling and tasty sandwich I will be making again.

Next Time…
I want to season the tofu directly, rather than mixing the seasoning into the flour. They were good, but I could have used more flavor. I also want to top them off with a little chili oil. A little heat is never a bad thing in my book.

I Need Your Help…
This recipe was mostly made up, so I’m curious what your method is. I’m also interested in what other tasty tofu recipes you have! Send them in to anna@allspiceonline.com and we will feature a few on Instagram!