Panko Tofu

Tofu in itself isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. But that doesn’t stop a billion or more Chinese, Japanese and vegetarians around the world eating it. It comes in many textures from silky to solid. The one we pick up is solid and once it has the liquid drained from it, is a good dish for everything from this panko tofu, to ma po tofu, to adding to soup. Even if it’s bland in itself, it absorbs flavours from the sauces around it.

We cook this when we’re going through a non-meat phase. The leftovers made a good lunch in a wrap with lettuce, tomatoes, cucmber, hoummous and chilli sauce, like you would with falafel.

Ingredients, serves 2

200 g tofu, drained and cubed
1-2 eggs
enough panko
2-3 tbsp oil.


Drain the tofu. Press it with kitchen rolls until the liquid is gone then cut into chopstick-sized cubes.

Prepare your flour. It could be plain, with salt and pepper or as I like it with paprika and dried garlic, the two herbs and spices I use most of in my kitchen.

Crack one or two eggs in a bowl and beat.

Prepare your panko for coating.

Fry in the oil until brown and crispy.

Serve with the vegetable of choice. Last night we had al-dente broccoli with sesame oil and sesame seeds, a combination I like. Spinach works just as well. Wilt spinach with a kettle full of boiling water and again, give it some sesame oil and sesame seeds.

Finished fried panko tofu

The crispy cubes of tofu go well with dips such as sweet chilli sauce and oyster sauce.

This recipe works just as well with slabs of pork for tonkatsu, or even pork chops. With chops, being thicker, give them 5 minutes in the oven at 200C to finish off and cook properly through the middle.

So there you have one of our meat-free dishes. This will certainly be in the cookbook!