Spicy, crispy tofu – the lazy vegan version

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Ahhhhh… spicy, crispy and vegan. I circled this recipe, which is originally from BOSH! because, while enticed by the flavours and textures, I was put off by the amount of work, time and frying involved.

But I could not let this recipe go so here is my altered version of the original video recipe found here.

My version is faster and I bake rather than fry the tofu. The results are delicious!

Ingredients

The tofu strips

12 oz block of extra firm tofu.

½ cup cornstarch

1 Tbsp peanut or coconut oil

The chili sauce

The juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)

The juice of one large orange (about ½ cup or a little more)

½ cup sweet chili sauce

4 Tbsp soya sauce

2 tsp chili paste (I used sambal oelek). If you really like spicy – use up to 1 Tbsp chili paste.

1 squirt (about ½ Tbsp) Sriracha sauce

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Directions

Preheat the oven to 425F. Oil a baking sheet with the peanut or coconut oil.

Cut the block of tofu in half horizontally so that you have two flat slabs. Lay the slabs on a clean, lint-free towel or paper towel and cover with another towel. Press gently with the flat of you hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Cut the tofu into evenly sized strips or cubes.

Put the cornstarch in a large bowl or a large ziplock plastic bag. Add the tofu and toss the tofu to coat each piece with cornstarch.

Place the tofu pieces on the oiled baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.

When the tofu is done, it will only be browned in some spots. It may even still look white and cornstarch-powdery, but it will be firm and crispy.

While the tofu bakes, make the chili sauce.

Juice the orange and the lemon. Add the juices and all the other sauce ingredients to a large frying pan. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer and bubble for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The sauce volume will reduce by a little less than half. Turn off the heat and add the baked tofu pieces and stir to coat the tofu.

Serve and enjoy.

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Real vegans fake it – rice paper bacon

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So my Facebook friend, Bob Kurtz, casually mentions to me in a chat “Have you tried rice paper bacon yet?” No, I had not. But once Bob showed me this video and pictures of his own creations, I was IN!

This is faux bacon made from rice paper and marinade. It’s ridiculously easy to make, inexpensive, tasty, crispy and gives you the salty, smoky, chewy flavour which is what any sane human is actually craving when they think they want bacon.

I googled a few different ways to make this bacon and this is my version.

Ingredients

8 sheets of rice paper

6 Tbsp nutritional yeast (Bob grinds his in a coffee grinder to get a fine powder)

2 Tbsp neutral tasting oil like canola oil

3 Tbsp soya sauce

½ tsp liquid smoke

½ tsp maple syrup (Bob and I both agree on this)

A pinch of smoky paprika

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Directions

Heat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all the ingredients except the rice paper in a small bowl. Add about 2 Tbsp water to get a gravy-like consistency.

Cut your rice paper into strips about 1” wide. I had difficulty cutting the dry rice paper without it snapping so I took two sheets at a time and quickly ran them under tap water and cut them while damp.

When you have your strips cut in a double thickness (see video again), dip them in water once more, use your fingers like a squeegee to slip off the excess water and then coat them in your marinade.

Place each strip on your parchment lined pan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. Watch them. Just like pig-bacon, they can go from crisp to burnt quickly.

Bob fries his bacon as per the video and also lets it cool off on a baking rack so that that his strips have the classic wavy ripple to them.

I want to have breakfast with Bob some day.