Tofu “BK Chicken Fries”

IMG_3374When I was in high school, during band camp lunch breaks my friends and I walked over to Burger King. After realizing the salads had as many calories as anything else on the menu, I just ate “chicken fries” every day. Chicken fries are a very strange “food” item which are basically what they sound like: chicken shaped like french fries.

I’m not gonna say they were good. They were good in a guilty, grease-filled kind of way. Even if I weren’t vegan, I probably wouldn’t eat them today. I know I’m really getting you excited for this recipe, aren’t I?! The point is, I feel nostalgic thinking about it. I still daydream about the sounds of a drum line warming up at 6am. And I still think about those stupid chicken fries.

Here is a much tastier, and much more healthy alternative!

Ingredients Note

If you’re not vegan, there’s a chance you have no idea what “nutritional yeast” is. Basically it’s an inactive yeast which has a nutty, cheesy flavor. Some brands are fortified with vitamin B12. I purchase mine from the bulk bin area of a local cooperative grocery, but brands like Bob’s Red Mill also make it pre-packaged.

This recipe also calls for poultry seasoning, which sounds like it would have chicken in it. It doesn’t, it’s an innocent mixture of sage, rosemary, and other yummy herbs and seasoning.

And a note about tofu. There are two general types of tofu, soft/silken, and firm. Soft/silken is generally found in non-refrigerated, aseptic boxes. Firm is always refrigerated and comes packed in water. You want firm for this recipe. Anytime the tofu is holding a shape – like the cubes you might get in a stir fry – it’s firm. The silken kind is used in smoothies, pies, and other blended creations.

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Technique Note

I mention in the first step that you should press your tofu. Water packed firm tofu is very wet, and for these fries you want to get as much moisture out as possible. This videos hows the plates and book stacking technique sans the towel. It’s better to have something absorbent so the tofu isn’t just soaking up the liquid you’re trying to press out. I have the EZ Tofu Press, and if you make tofu often enough it may be worth purchasing. Or, if you’re at DIY projects, make you’re own based on the EZ Tofu Press style.

Remember to very gently toss the tofu with the seasoning mixture. The strips will break if you shake vigorously.

Print Recipe
Tofu Chick'n Fries
Finger lickin' good??
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Fries
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
Fries
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Press the moisture out of the tofu. Do this with a tofu press or wrap the tofu in a paper towel or lint free cloth, put on a plate or cutting board, place another plate or cutting board on top, and then precariously stack some cans or books on top... If you eat a lot of tofu I suggest buying a tofu press. It's the only unitasking item I allow in my kitchen.
  2. Cut in half, and then cut into strips. Two blocks yield roughly 28.
  3. Place about four strips at a time in a bowl with the seasoning mixture. If the bowl has a lid, put it on and *gently* toss until the tofu is coated. If you don't have a bowl with a lid, do this in a ziplock bag - shake 'n bake style.
  4. Place all the strips onto a nonstick pan. Use parchment paper or rub with a very small amount of oil if the pan has a history of things sticking to it.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes 350 then give them a poke. They shouldn't feel super squishy, or dry and hollow. If they're done, pull them out and let them cool. If they're not quite done, put them back in the oven and stay right there, lest they burn. My oven can be a bit unpredictable, so if the cook time is longer for you that's why.
  6. Serve with dipping sauce! I also suggest using these on a sandwich or in a wrap.
Recipe Notes

Feel free to add other seasonings - chipotle powder to spice it up, for example. End up with some extra coating/seasoning? Put it on tortilla chips, stir in with rice and veggies, put in béchamel sauce to make a cheesy sauce...

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