Crispy coconut crusted tofu is the perfect, simple weeknight meal. Made with easy to find ingredients such as coconut shreds, all purpose flour, liquid aminos or soy sauce, and ground ginger, this will be your new favorite tofu dish. The tofu is marinated in a savory sauce, then coated with a sweet coconut crust before it is pan fried to crisp and chewy perfection.
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Okay, this is my first tofu recipe EVER on my blog. What took my so long you may ask? Time and knowledge. It took me some time to figure out how to make tofu taste... well, good. I struggled with perfecting my tofu recipes, and I never wanted a "not so great" recipe on my blog.
I tried every trick that people taught me. Press it for a while. Not press it. Fry it. Bake it. Marinate it. Oh my gosh, I swear I have wasted more money on trying to make tofu taste great, that I could have bought a pair of shoes.
With all these tricks, I would make tofu and it would taste like rubber or be mushy. I seriously still question if people like that texture. I do not! And this recipe is not like that. I promise you. It is crispy, chewy and flavorful.
I was recently let in on a little secret from a friend and fellow blogger, Nicolette from Home Cooked Roots. Nicolette taught me that freezing your tofu helps with the texture. I do not know how to came across this, but I owe her big time for it.
So, with that sweet bit of wisdom I was able to make tofu I enjoyed!! This coconut crusted tofu is such a fun recipe that is crispy, slightly chewy and full of flavor! If you have been scared to try tofu, this is the perfect recipe to start with.
Freezing Your Tofu
Nicolette goes into full details about this in her Crispy Peanut Tofu blog post (which is a great recipe). I will give you the short of it based off of my experience.
Freezing your tofu transforms it to become firmer, tastier and more importantly, chewier. Seriously, no amount of pressing I have done or any other tricks has worked as well as this one.
I have read multiple articles on this now, and some state that you should remove it from the container, pat it dry, cut it then freeze it in a Tupperware container. I have yet to try this, so I cannot attest to that.
The way I do it is much more simple. I simply place the tofu (and the container) into the freezer for 24 hours. Then, I take it out and allow it to thaw for 48 hours in the fridge. Yes, I know... there is some planning involved in this, but I promise, it is worth it.
Ingredients For Coconut Crusted Tofu
To make this crispy coconut tofu, you will need the following ingredients: 1 package of extra firm tofu; coconut shreds; panko bread crumbs; cornstarch; liquid aminos or low sodium soy salt; brown sugar or coconut sugar; ground ginger; apple cider vinegar; sesame seeds; plain plant based milk; ground flaxseed or chia seed; all purpose flour; garlic powder; salt; pepper; avocado or canola oil.
Steps To Make This Quick Dish
This recipe is pretty straight forward. After freezing and thawing your tofu, gently squeeze it to release any extra liquids. Then, cut it into cubes (see picture above).
You will need to whisk together all the ingredients for your marinade and then gently fold your tofu into the the marinade. Let it sit for 25 minutes.
Once the tofu is about done marinating, prepare your batter and your coconut crust. You will prepare both in separate bowls or Tupperware containers with lids. Simply mix the ingredients for the batter together in a bowl. Then, in a separate bowl, mix together crust ingredients.
Remove the tofu pieces one by one from the marinate and place them into the bowl with the batter. Gently fold until completely covered then remove from the batter, shaking lightly to allow any excess batter to drip off.
Place ⅓ of the battered tofu into the coconut crust mixture. Gently shake the bowl to ensure the tofu is well coated. Repeat until all pieces are coated. It is ok if they fall apart a little, those will just crisp a little quicker.
Heat oil on a skillet over high heat. Add in tofu pieces, approx ⅕ of the batch, and fry on each side until golden brown. Do not over crowd the skillet. Continue to do so until all tofu is cooked. I usually place my tofu on a baking sheet with a paper towel underneath to remove any excess grease.
Serving This Coconut Tofu
This tofu is extremely verstaile, making it easy to pair with almost anything. Here are some of my favorites.
With Rice- I specifically used pineapple rice, but any rice would work well.
In a Taco- This Hawaiian crusted tofu is tasty shoved into a taco. Add some fun ingredients like kimchi, radishes and avocados.
With A Sauce - Dip this tofu in a tasty sauce, such as a peanut sauce, chili lime sauce or a teriyaki sauce.
Did You Make This Recipe?
Thank you so much! Please leave me a review on your experience. This not only helps me improve the recipe, but encourages me for the future. Do not forget to tag me on social media too!
CRISPY COCONUT CRUSTED TOFU
- 14 oz Block of Extra Firm Tofu
- ½ cup of Liquid or Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 3 tbsp of Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar
- ¼ tsp of Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ cup of Water
- 1 tsp of Sesame Seeds optional
- 1 cup of plain Plant Based Milk
- 1 tbsp of Ground Flaxseed
- ⅔ cup of All Purpose Flour
- 1 Tsp of Garlic Powder
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper
- ½ cup of Coconut Shreds
- ½ cup of Panko Bread Crumbs
- ¼ Cup of Cornstarch
- ¼ cup of avocado oil or canola oil more may be needed.
- For best results, freeze your tofu then remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw for 48 hours. If this is not an option, press and dry your tofu.
- Cut your tofu into ¼ inch cubes (see photograph in ingredient section for reference)
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk all of your marinade ingredients together.
- Gently fold your tofu cubes into the bowl until they are well coated. Cover your bowl and allow to sit for 25 minutes.
- When the tofu is just about done marinating, begin making your batter. In a clean, large bowl or Tupperware container, add in all of your batter and whisk until combined.
- If you are using a bowl, gently fold in the marinated tofu cubes until they are well coated with the batter. If you are using a Tupperware container, place the lid on securely then gently shake until your tofu is coated.
Coconut Crust Ingredients
- While the tofu is marinating, make your coconut crust. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl or Tupperware container with a lid.
- Remove the battered tofu from the batter and shake it gently to remove any excess batter.
- Place approx. ⅓ of the battered tofu into the bowl or Tupperware container with the coconut crust and gently shake until all sides are coated.
- Remove the tofu from the container or bowl and place on a separate sheet or paper towel. Repeat until all tofu pieces are coated.
- Add oil to a frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium or high heat.
- Once the oil is heated, place ⅕ of the crusted coconut into the skillet or pan and fry each side until it is golden brown. This will likely take 3 minutes on each side.
- Once it is done frying, place it on a paper towel or a baking sheet with a paper towel below it. This will allow any excess oil to be removed.
- Repeat with all tofu pieces until all are fried.
- Serve alone, with sauce, rice or salsa or inside a taco.
If any of your pieces fall apart while battering or coating them, still use them. They will be smaller, but will crisp well.