Crispy Caramelised Tofu with Rice and Thai Basil

Delicious sweet and salty tofu with a crunch. Goes well with steamed jasmine rice. 


Crispy Tofu
400 gr extra-firm or firm tofu, drained and pressed for 15 to 20 minutes
250 ml unsweetened and unflavored nondairy milk
120 gr all-purpose flour
120 gr panko breadcrumbs
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
Curry Roasted Cashews
¼ cup vegan butter, divided
120 gr raw and unsalted cashews
½ teaspoon each: curry powder, chili powder, garlic powder
Stir Fried Veggies and Sauce
1 bunch green onion, cut into 1-inch sections, white and green parts divided
1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
6 cloves minced garlic
4-5 dried Thai chiles
250 ml vegetable broth
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch whisked with 2 teaspoons water
80 gr packed fresh torn Thai basil, plus more for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish



1. For the tofu, have an oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Using your hands, tear the pressed tofu into bite-size pieces and set aside.
3. To prepare the dredging station, pour the milk into a shallow bowl. Pour the flour into a second shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs and 1 teaspoon salt in a third shallow bowl and mix to thoroughly combine. You should have 3 separate bowls: one with milk, one with flour, and one with seasoned breadcrumbs.
4. Gently place the tofu bites in the flour, tossing them a few times to ensure each piece is fully coated in flour. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the tofu pieces from the flour and place into the milk. Gently turn the tofu bites in the milk for 1 to 2 minutes to ensure that each piece is fully coated with the milk. Using a separate slotted spoon or tongs, remove the tofu from the milk, shake off any excess liquid, and then gently toss with the seasoned panko breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the tofu pieces are coated.
5. Transfer the tofu bites to the prepared baking sheet and spray them with some cooking oil. Bake the tofu on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes, flipping and spraying the other side halfway through.
6. Meanwhile, for the cashews, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the cashews and season with the curry powder, chili powder, garlic powder, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Toss to combine and sauté, stirring every couple of minutes, until the cashews are nicely toasted, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the toasted cashews aside.
7. Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet that you toasted the cashews in over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted, add the white parts of the green onion, bell pepper, garlic and chiles, and sauté until they’re just softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
8. Pour in the broth, hoisin, tamari, vegan fish sauce and cornstarch slurry. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the green parts of the green onion, basil, ½ of the roasted cashews and crispy baked tofu, tossing gently until the tofu and cashews are fully coated in sauce.
9. Serve over rice or noodles with toasted sesame seeds, roasted cashews and fresh basil. ENJOY!