Chicken-fried steak and I go way back. I have fond memories of making and eating them at my grandparents’ place as a youngster. Not so much the eating of the meat part, but the whole experience of visiting the kitchen of my grandparents’ Chinese and American food cafe.
While I haven’t had chicken-fried steak for many, many years now, I thought I could apply the same cooking method to tofu. Chicken-fried doesn’t actually have chicken in it; it’s a cutlet, battered and fried in a skillet like fried chicken, hence the name. Except I’m baking mine for a healthier version, it still came out very tasty and nostalgic.
Makes 8 pieces
1 pound fresh firm tofu
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Old Bay seasoning
Cut the tofu into 1/4″ slices and wrap in paper towels. Place a weight on top for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a shallow bowl, combine the nutritional yeast and breadcrumbs and mix well. Dip the tofu slices in the soy sauce and place in the breadcrumbs mixture, coat well on both sides. Place coated pieces on a oiled baking pan.
Season to taste with Old Bay and salt. Bake for 15 minutes, turn over, season and bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Serve immediately with creamy gravy on the side.
Makes 1 cup
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup soy milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Poultry seasonings (a mix of sage, oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme and salt) to taste
In a saucepan, melt the butter then add the flour. Whisk the flour and butter together to form a roux. Add the soy milk gradually, whisking constantly until smooth and lump free. Lower the heat and continue stirring until the gravy reaches desired thickness. If necessary, thin with a bit more soy milk. Add the salt and pepper and poultry seasonings to taste. Stir to combine and serve.