Make Tofu's Texture Immediately More Appealing, with One Step

April  7, 2016

One of the biggest complaints about tofu is that the texture is too mushy and homogeneous for a lot of people. Pressing can definitely help, but even then, tofu is not an ingredient that offers up a lot by way of texture contrast.

But when you dredge it in something that’ll crisp up in a skillet or in the oven, tofu immediately becomes more appealing to those who think they don't like its texture.

Some recipes call for simply coating tofu slices evenly and lightly in flour or cornstarch before pan-frying, searing, or baking. This is definitely one way to guarantee a crispy exterior, though I like to take things a little further and add ground nuts, like almonds, pistachios, or pecans, for some extra crunch and texture. For this recipe, grinding any three of those nuts finely in a food processor should work in place of the almond meal—as would ground, shelled pumpkin seeds.

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Almonds are a good choice because of the mildly sweet flavor, because most of us have them lurking in our pantry somewhere, and because you have the option of using commercial almond meal if you like (in other words, if you made grain-free muffins a few weeks ago and have been wondering what to do with your leftover almond meal ever since). Feel free to add some extra flavor to the almond coating, as well: A pinch of cayenne or dried herbs works nicely.

You can bake or pan-fry the triangles. Pan-frying will get them a little crispier on the outside, but it’s a little messier; baking will result in slightly drier triangles and it takes a little more time.

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Top Comment:
“Even my husband (definitely not a tofu guy) admits it's delicious.”
— amysarah

I like to serve these triangles with a lemony grain pilaf and a fresh salad or some roasted vegetables, but they’re also a great option for savory mid-afternoon snack (and no one will judge you for dipping them in some ketchup—promise).

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    Sarah Jampel
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.


amysarah April 7, 2016
Will try this. One of my longtime favorites is Agedashi Tofu - which also has a light outer crust and soft creamy interior. Even my husband (definitely not a tofu guy) admits it's delicious.
Sarah J. April 7, 2016
I LOVE agedashi tofu! Do you have a particular recipe you follow?
amysarah April 8, 2016
I've never actually made it, I just order it regularly at Japanese restaurants. But I just looked - lots of recipes online, all pretty similar. I may have to give it a whirl.
Sarah J. April 12, 2016
Let me know how it goes! I've been wanting to try for a while.
Betsey April 7, 2016
Pumpkin seeds have shells?