John and Isla's Crispy Tofu - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

John and Isla's Crispy Tofu

In my search for more meat­less mains for my din­ner ros­ter I posted a ques­tion on my Face­book page: What's your favourite veg­e­tar­ian meal. I got lots of recipes that I'll be try­ing but this one grabbed me enough to make it twice this week! Well, that's also because I for­got to take pic­tures the first time.… I'm new to blog­ging if that wasn't already clear!

This recipe came from John Cross­ing­ham, musi­cian, writer, dad of the insanely cute Isla and hus­band of my co-worker Lesa Han­nah. John rec­om­mends this Crispy Tofu for it's ease of prepa­ra­tion and the crunch­i­ness of the end prod­uct. When John makes it he also makes kale in the same pan once the tofu is done. I think that's so smart as it means one less pan. I did a yummy broc­coli and shi­take mush­room dish instead. I knew tofu would be a stretch with Esme and the kale would be an even big­ger stretch. I know, I know, I just posted about how we weren't back­ing off chal­leng­ing foods. What can I say? Some­times you're just not up for it. I served it with brown rice. I've become used to how long it takes to make brown rice. Always start it first and by the time your other dishes are ready the rice is good to go.

Yummy Broc­coli and Shi­take Mushrooms

1 head of broc­coli, trimmed into flo­rets
About as many mush­rooms as it takes to be equal to the broc­coli
1 clove of gar­lic minced
1 inch of gin­ger minced
1 heap­ing table­spoon of pre­pared black bean gar­lic sauce
Splash of low salt soy
2 splashes of rice wine vine­gar
1/4 cup water


Brush your mush­rooms clean. Never wash mush­rooms with water. It will make them soggy and flavour­less. I love the lit­tle mush­room brush Ben gave me for Christ­mas. Trim off the stems and cut the caps into 1/4 inch slices.

Sautee the gar­lic and gin­ger in a glug of veg­etable oil until they smell great. Throw in the mush­rooms. They'll drink up the oil and seem dry at first. Keep push­ing them around and they'll kick off some liq­uid. Once they get soft, add the broccoli.

In small bowl mix the black bean sauce, soy, vine­gar and 1/4 cup of water. Throw it over the veg­eta­bles and stir it all together. Cover and let it all steam for around 5 or 10 min­utes. Poke it with a fork to check done-ness. Don't let it get too soft. It can keep warm in the pan while you cook the tofu.

Crispy Tofu

1 Block of firm tofu
1 egg
1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
salt and pep­per (chili flake is you like)
glug of veg­etable oil


Take your tofu and place it on its side. Slice it in half. Cut each of these halves in half. Then cut those pieces diag­o­nally so you have eight triangles.

Whisk your egg in a small, shal­low bowl. The wine is mine, not my assistant's!

Dip each piece of tofu into the egg and then quickly dredge it through the bread crumbs. Place the coated  tofu pieces on a clean plate.

Heat a small glug of veg­etable oil in a skil­let but don't let it smoke. Lay out your tofu pieces — you'll prob­a­bly have to do it in two batches. Let them get brown and crispy. Keep an eye on them, it doesn't take long. You'll prob­a­bly have to use your stove's fan. Flip them over and cook for another cou­ple of min­utes. If you're ambi­tious you can cook every sur­face but to be hon­est it's a bit tricky.

Serve with the brown rice and the yummy broc­coli and shi­take. We were able to mash up a bit of the tofu and give it to the baby so that was a bonus. A really healthy, deli­cious din­ner. Thanks so much, John!



  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Ceri,
    I made the broc­coli dish tonight. Yum! I served it with spicy shrimp. Maude loved the fancy broc­coli. I'll even­tu­ally try the tofu. Baby steps for me. I like tofu … but best when some­one else pre­pares it.

  2. anna says:

    I know it sounds super healthy and there­fore kind of gross, but with the panko, mix some nutri­tional yeast (my fam­ily calls it yummy yeast, also AMAZING on popcorn!).……

  3. naseem bano says:

    actally iam very sick on wheel­chair the nurses told me to eat tofu a healthy diet so if u can help me. iam get­ting overweight

  4. marta says:

    am try­ing this tonight.

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