This recipe was created by my wife Kathryn and a friend, in the early 80's. Others may have also come up with it subsequently but as far as we know they were the first.
The recipe started out as breaded tofu using cornmeal, yeast & spices combined in a dipping system; a dish for tamari, one for the dry mixture then placing the tofu into a hot frying pan with oil.
The first innovation came in eliminating the breadcrumbs, cornmeal and spices leaving only the nutritional yeast.
Then time constraints (feeding hungry children) resulted in the dipping system being dispensed with. Sprinkling the tamari, oil and nutritional yeast was fast and minimal fuss.
You can use either medium firm or firm tofu. This is a local Vancouver brand. I often go for the organic version but they were out of stock.
I usually rinse the tofu. It might be superstitious behavior but I worked in a health food store for a while, and rinsing the bulk tofu was one of my tasks.
Cut the tofu into bite-sized rectangles. The chunks I am doing here are optimized for volume. 3 blocks of tofu fit on one pan. 1/4" flat slices are also good it you plan to make tofu sandwiches.
Three blocks of tofu in small rectangular blocks, placed on an oven pan.
The key ingredients: nutritional yeast, tamari and canola oil. We also use olive oil but have been told that it is not as healthy to broil with.
Drizzle the oil on the tofu. Enough to make it crispy, not so much that it is swimming in oil.
Sprinkle some tamari on the tofu. Again, go easy on it. We used to coat both sides but it seems that one side is sufficient as the oil and tamari coat the tofu when it gets flipped.
Sprinkle nutritional yeast on the tofu evenly. If you make it too thick the yeast will just burn in little piles.
Set your oven to broil.
I lowered the broiling temperature to 425 to stay below the smoke point of the canola oil.
Put the pan with the tofu in the oven.
Broil for 10-15 minutes or until it is starting to crisp and brown on top.
Take out of the oven.
Flip the tofu.
Sprinkle more yeast on the other side of the tofu.
Put pan back in the oven.
Cook the tofu for another 5-10 minutes on the other side. Sometimes we make it crispier but lately I have been enjoying it moister and so don't cook it so long.
The finish product: Kathryn's Awesome Tofu usually gets served with rice and vegetables. It is also great in sandwiches or cold the next day for a snack. Serves 4-6 people.
Option B: slice the tofu into 1/4 inch flat slices.
Lay slices flat on oven tray. Same approach as before, apply oil, tamari and nutritional yeast. Broil both sides.
Cooked tofu in flat slices instead of cubes.
- 3 blocks of medium firm tofu
- Canola oil
- Tamari or soy sauce
- Nutritional yeast