After work one evening, I was craving something salty, savory, and easy to put together. This recipe came together on a whim when I realized I had a bunch of tofu and sesame seeds but didn’t know what do with them. Although, I didn’t have all of the recommended ingredients for this recipe, I added a few personal twists based on what fresh ingredients I already had in the refrigerator – and the sesame crusted tofu turned out really well!
Usually, scallions are used as a garnish for a recipe like this – but, I’ve been on the kale- loving bandwagon for awhile and am more likely to have kale from the farmer’s market than scallions.
If you have scallions, great – if not, add some slivers of kale to the top of this. You’ll increase your dose of calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K significantly. Kale is also said to reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol.
This recipe made a couple of servings (roughly 3 average servings), so I used the sesame crusted tofu the next day as a salad topping. It was delicious. Who still uses croutons when you can use crispy tofu cubes? Yum.
- ¾ of a 16 oz package of extra-firm tofu
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup of panko bread crumbs
- Several tablespoons of white sesame seeds
- Olive oil for frying
- ¼ cup thinly sliced kale
- A couple tablespoons thinly sliced onions
For the dipping sauce:
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1 1/3 tablespoons of vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Drain the water from the packet of tofu, and thinly cut into half-inch thick slices. Arrange the pieces of tofu on a large plate or baking dish lined with paper towels. Use another paper towel to sop up the extra moisture. No need to let this sit for an hour to drain as many recipes call for – it will still turn out well if you’re in a rush (or really hungry) and can’t be bothered to wait for the tofu to fully drain.
In a shallow dish, whisk and egg and 1 tbsp of water. In another shallow dish, mix the panko bread crumbs, sesame seeds, and some black pepper together.
For the dipping sauce: Freshly squeeze 2 limes. Add the sugar, oyster sauce, garlic, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to a bowl. Whisk well. The dipping sauce tastes like the spicy/sweet/sour sauce that is served alongside crispy meat dishes at Vietnamese restaurants.
For the tofu – working with one piece at a time, immerse the tofu into the egg mixture, then drop it into the panko mixture coating both sides of the tofu. Set aside, then repeat with the remaining slices.
In a large, non stick frying pan, heat a generous amount (3 teaspoons at least) of olive oil over medium heat. Add the tofu slices to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and a bit crispy.
Remove from the heat, and transfer to plates. Top with thinly sliced raw kale and very thinly sliced onions. Pair with the dipping sauce.