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Author Notes: Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice blend of sumac, thyme, sesame seeds, and other aromatic herbs. A staple in Lebanese and Syrian kitchens, this versatile condiment has a tangy, bright, and earthy flavor profile that elevates even the simplest of ingredients; try mixing it with olive oil and spreading on fresh pita for an addictive, three-ingredient flatbread or use it as a seasoning for everything from hummus to vegetables.
Blended into a flour rub, za’atar lends wonderful, unexpected fusion flavor to tofu. As it cooks, the flour coating transforms into a golden brown crust flecked with sesame seeds from the za’atar. Try these tofu triangles as an appetizer, served over a salad, or in a sandwich for a fresh take on tofu bánh mì.
Additional notes: You will probably have some of the za’atar flour rub left over. While you can store it for future use, I usually mix it with what is left of the tofu marinade to form a dough and cook it in the pan after the tofu is done for a makeshift frybread.
For the tofu and marinade
cup soy sauce or liquid aminos
teaspoon ginger powder
teaspoon cayenne pepper
cup coconut oil (or other high-heat oil) for frying, or enough to fill bottom of pan
For the za'atar flour rub
cup white flour
tablespoons za'atar (or more to taste)
tablespoons nutritional yeast
teaspoon sea salt
- Drain tofu. Slice into ½ inch thick squares and then diagonally into triangles. Mix soy sauce, ginger, and cayenne in a container. Add tofu and refrigerate for a few hours to overnight.
- On a flat dish, combine dry ingredients for za’atar flour rub.
- Remove tofu from marinade and add to the dish a few at a time to coat the pieces with the flour mix. Then repeat, double dipping each triangle in the rub.
- Heat coconut oil in a pan until hot. Add tofu to the oil and fry the first side until golden brown; then flip and repeat on the other side. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and then transfer to a serving dish.