After looking for them for months, I finally managed to find a 1-pound bag of shelled, unroasted pistachios at the Indian grocery. Of course, after all that time I’d forgotten what it was I planned to do with them, so they’ve been languishing in my fridge for a couple of weeks, tempting me to open the bag and just start snacking.
Eventually they’ll find their way into pilafs and pesto, but in this recipe they add a little pizazz to breaded tofu. I dipped the tofu into a sweet and spicy mustard-based sauce before dredging it in pistachio-spiked breadcrumbs. The tofu was tasty on its own, but I decided to carry the sweet and spicy theme one step further and add my daughter’s favorite sauce, an easy version of the “duck sauce” found in Chinese restaurants. With so many competing flavors, it sounds like a mess, but somehow it works: crunchy yet tender, sweet yet sour, nutty yet…? Well, you get the idea. It’s a symphony in your mouth!
One note: Although the photo shows the sauce in a dipping bowl, I found that it’s better just to pour the sauce over the tofu; otherwise the breading falls off, and you get a dipping bowl full of soggy crumbs.
Pistachio Crusted Tofu
- 14 ounces firm or extra firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce , low sodium
- 1 1/2 slices whole wheat bread
- 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
- ground pepper — to taste
- 2 tablespoons spicy prepared mustard
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce , low sodium
- 1 tablespoon vegan mayonnaise
Preheat oven to 400F; prepare a baking sheet by either oiling it lightly or lining it with a silicone liner.
Cut the tofu into 8 1/2-inch slices and dry them lightly with paper towels. Brush both sides of the tofu with the 2 tablespoons soy sauce and set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
While the tofu is marinating, place the bread into the food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Measure out 1 cup of crumbs into a wide, shallow bowl. (Save any remaining crumbs for another use.) Pulse the pistachios in the processor until they are reduced to fine crumbs. Add them to the bread crumbs along with a generous grating of black pepper, and mix well.
In another shallow bowl, combine the mustard, syrup, soy sauce, and mayo.
Dip a slice of tofu into the mustard mixture, lightly coating all sides; then place it into the bread crumbs, sprinkle crumbs over the top and sides, and lightly press them into the tofu. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all slices of tofu.
Put the tofu into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until bread crumbs are golden brown. Serve with the sauce of your choice, such as the Easy Sweet and Sour Sauce below.
Ridiculously Easy Sweet and Sour Sauce
- 3 tablespoons peach preserves or All-Fruit spread
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce , low sodium
- 1/4 teaspoon chili paste
Mix all ingredients together well. Serve over tofu or as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, wontons, etc.
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