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Easy Popcorn Tofu Recipe

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These popcorn tofu nuggets are a good alternative to chicken. Coated in seasoned pancake mix and fried, they taste similar to Chick-Fil-A nuggets.

popcorn tofu that tastes like Chick-Fil-A

This popcorn tofu is a good solution for those times that you want some Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets but want to eat compassionately.  No, you did not read that wrong.  I made a vegan popcorn chicken recipe using tofu that tastes similar to Chick-Fil-A chicken and it was pretty darn good, even though it was meat-free.

Want to know what inspired me?  (Warning:  some may find the following photos disturbing.)

Chickens being transportedI saw this while driving home one day. 

Chickens laying eggs in transportation cratesEggs and cracked eggs everywhere.

I am not a vegetarian – yet, but when I see these trucks it makes me wish that I was.  I like my chickens to have a good life – cage-free, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free.  I doubt that these were.  These girls could end up anywhere, including one of my favorite fast-food joints.

I had some of my batter that I use to make my Chick-Fil-A clone and decided to try some tofu nuggets.

I used organic tofu made with non-GMO soybeans.  An 8-ounce container has 2.5 servings, each with only 100 calories and 11 grams of protein.  Don’t ask how many total calories this has or how many Weight Watcher points.  I have no clue.  But if you are limiting your meat or are a vegan, this would be a great substitute.

How To Make Popcorn Tofu 

For this fun vegan dish, you need the following ingredients:

  • 8 ounces Tofu, drained
  • 2 cups peanut oil
  • 2 cups dry pancake mix
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • Pickle Juice

To make it, start by soaking the tofu in pickle juice and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

Next, combine all of the dry ingredients in a large container and set aside.

When it is time to fry, place peanut or vegetable oil in a large skillet and heat the oil to 350 degrees.

Drain the tofu and coat each piece with dry batter.

Fry for approximately 4-6 minutes until golden brown and cooked thoroughly.

Yield: 4

Popcorn Tofu

Popcorn Tofu

This popcorn tofu is a good solution for those times that you want some Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets but want to eat compassionately. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces Tofu, drained
  • 2 cups peanut oil

Breading

  • 2 cups dry pancake mix
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp basil

Brine

  • Pickle Juice

Instructions

    Soak tofu in pickle juice and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

    Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large container and set aside.

    When it is time to fry, place peanut or vegetable oil in a large skillet and heat the oil to 350 degrees.

    Drain the tofu and coat each piece with dry batter.

    Fry for approximately 4-6 minutes until golden brown and cooked thoroughly.

Nutrition Information:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272Saturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 1203mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 10g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Here is what the recipe looks like made with the real thing (chicken):

Chick-fil-A Clone

I think that the tofu looks pretty much like the real (clone) thing, don’t you?  The texture is a little bit different, but until there is real Chick-Fil-A tofu on the menu, these vegan tofu chicken nuggets are a great substitute.

 

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Sad

Tuesday 18th of August 2020

Sorry to say we made this last night and we were disappointed. Not only did they not taste great, the quantities were WAY off. I was left with close to one and three quarter cups of dry ingredients left over after coating the tofu thoroughly, despite using twice the quantity of tofu recommended. There was just so much waste. I ended up doubling the flavour ingredients (paprika, cayenne, basil, etc) as the first few pieces that we tested were flavorless. I think there is some potential in this but we had to do a lot of tweaking of the recipe to make it work. I think the pickle juice does add a lot to the flavour.

Lynda

Wednesday 19th of August 2020

Thanks for stopping by and dropping a comment. I am sorry that it did not work out for you. I will take your comment into consideration when I remake this recipe.

Captain Andrew

Sunday 29th of December 2019

Sweet or dill pickle juice?

Lynda

Sunday 29th of December 2019

Dill

Shari

Monday 2nd of September 2019

Should you cut up the tofu before you marinate it?

Lynda

Monday 2nd of September 2019

Definitely.

Quick and Easy Taco Soup Recipe

Monday 1st of April 2019

[…] Popcorn Tofu […]

Jere

Thursday 8th of January 2015

The best method I found for making tofu have a meaty texture is to rinse it good, no draining needed, freeze it, then boil it. You can boil it with seasonings for extra flavor or freeze it with your seasoning if you prepAre ahead of time...

Lynda

Thursday 8th of January 2015

Thanks, Jere.