Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich with Vegan Buffalo Mayo
Recipe courtesy of Casey Elsass for Food Network Kitchen

Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 9 hr 30 min (includes freezing time)
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
This fried tofu sandwich is so phenomenal, it just might unite vegans and meat eaters once and for all. The tofu gets soaked in a seasoned pickle brine (if you know, you know), then blanketed in a sweet mustard glaze and battered with a savory flour mixture. After a quick fry, the crispy patty is ready to get stacked on a bun with shredded lettuce, dill pickles and a fast and delicious vegan Buffalo mayo. The key here is freezing the tofu overnight, which creates a sturdy sponge-like structure that’s ready to soak up tons of flavor. It’s a simple hack that will rocket your tofu game to the next level!




Vegan Buffalo Mayo:


  1. For the tofu: Slice the tofu in half widthwise and then across to create 4 large pieces. Arrange the pieces in a large microwave-safe airtight container (some overlap is ok) and freeze overnight.
  2. Remove the lid from the container and microwave the tofu on high, stopping every 2 minutes to pour off the water and check if the tofu is thawed, about 6 minutes,. Transfer the tofu to a strainer while making the brine.
  3. Whisk the pickle juice, chili powder, smoked paprika, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in the same airtight container. Gently press the tofu pieces between your palms to expel any excess water, then nestle in the brine in an even layer. Cover and marinate the tofu in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
  4. For the sandwich: Whisk the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, smoked paprika, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of the pickle brine to create clumps. Whisk the Dijon and maple syrup plus 2 tablespoons of warm water together in a separate small shallow bowl.
  5. Pour 2 inches of oil into a large high-sided skillet or a Dutch oven and set over medium heat until the oil reaches 350 degrees F.
  6. While the oil is heating, dredge the tofu. Remove one piece from the brine and toss in the flour mixture to coat, shaking off the excess. Dip in the Dijon mixture, making sure all sides are coated, then dredge in the flour again, pressing to adhere the flour. Transfer the coated tofu to a plate while coating the rest.
  7. Add all four pieces of tofu to the hot oil, leaving space between each piece. (Fry in batches if the skillet is getting crowded.) Fry until the coating is a deep golden brown, flipping the tofu halfway, about 5 minutes. Transfer the fried tofu to paper towels or a baking sheet lined with a wire rack to drain.
  8. Spread some Vegan Buffalo Mayo on the burger buns, add a piece of tofu to each and layer with some lettuce and dill pickles.

Vegan Buffalo Mayo:

Yield: Makes 1 3/4 cups
  1. Add the tofu, hot sauce, Dijon, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon salt to a blender or food processor. Blend on high, stopping to scrape the sides as needed, until the mixture is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a pint jar or airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.