Crispy Hemp Tofu w/ Sweet Chili Sauce (sugar-free, vegan, & lectin-limited)


I applaud you for being brave enough to click on a recipe that starts with “hemp tofu.” If you’ve ever had hemp tofu, then I tip my hat to you two times because you probably know how bleh it can be. But stick with us friends – we’ll show you that hemp tofu can actually be appetizing. Shocker on shock street, I know.

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First off, let’s talk about what hemp tofu is. As you know, tofu is made by pressing curdled soy milk into a block, thus creating a smooth and homogenous texture. Hemp tofu on the other hand contains actual hemp seeds throughout each block, which creates a texture that’s crumblier than soy tofu. Even though hemp tofu (hemp-fu for short) keeps its shape like firm tofu, it’s contains more water than regular tofu and it can’t be pressed with towels the same way soy tofu would, as it would simply fall apart.

Before I go any further, I wanna state my peace: I think hemp tofu has undergone some poor branding techniques. While tofu may be the inspiration for hemp-fu, they’re second cousins at best. I think “wet hemp protein block” is a way more accurate description, although you can imagine that name would go over terribly in the market.

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Poor branding aside, hemp tofu has culinary potential, it just requires a different approach than regular tofu. Before doing anything, you’ve gotta remove some moisture which will make the hemp-fu chewy instead of watery. Then, unlike soy tofu, hemp tofu actually has a subtle flavor to it – one that I admittedly don’t enjoy very much, so step two is to find a way to cover up that flavor, whether it be with a marinade, sauce, or dry seasonings. You could stop there for some “pretty good” hemp-fu, but adding a layer of texture by grilling or battering & frying it elevates it to new heights.

Because this dish is based off a simple battered & fried tofu appetizer served in many Southeast Asia restaurants, we’re skipping the marinade, adding a few dry seasonings, baking it to remove moisture, battering & frying it to add crunch, and serving it with a homemade, sugar-free rendition of sweet chili sauce. All praise to the most high.

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This party favor is:

  • Southeast Asian inspired
  • Crispy, tender, salty, sweet, and spicy
  • Packed with protein (gains, bro)
  • Vegan, Plant Paradox-Friendly, & gluten-free

If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.

Go Forth & Devour,
Ryan

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Crispy Hemp Tofu w/ Sweet Chili Sauce (sugar-free, vegan, & lectin-limited)

  • Servings: 2-4 small servings
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Hemp tofu that's actually good? Sweet chili sauce without the sugar? Find out right now, on No Eggs or Ham!

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 1 block hemp tofu
  • pinch of salt & pepper
  • 3 tbsps tapioca or arrowroot starch
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c full-fat coconut milk or coconut cream
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (rice, distilled, or apple cider)
  • 2 cups of refined coconut or avocado oil for frying

Sweet Chili Sauce

  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/3 c erythritol
  • 1/4 c vinegar (rice or distilled vinegar preferred)
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • 1 1/2 tsp arrowroot or tapioca starch
  • 2 medium cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 tsp chili paste or chili sauce (like Sriracha) for lectin-free*

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut hemp tofu into large chunks – we like to cut it in half long-wise then cut triangles out of each half. Pieces should be two-bite sized.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss hemp tofu with a large pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Spread out on baking sheet and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
  4. To make sweet chili sauce, combine water, erythritol, vinegar, tamari, and starch in a mason jar or personal-sized blender and shake or blend until smooth.
  5. Transfer to a small pot, stir in garlic & chili paste, bring to a boil over high heat, then drop heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally throughout.
  6. Transfer sauce to a small serving container and set aside for later.
  7. Heat oil in medium-large sauté pan over high heat until it’s shimmering; about 350° F.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk together together coconut milk and vinegar (if your coconut milk is clumpy, pop it in a blender before using). In a medium bowl, whisk together tapioca starch, onion powder, and salt.
  9. When tofu’s finished baking, dip them in the coconut milk mixture to coat then toss in starch mixture. Shake off excess starch then carefully drop it into hot oil – it should sizzle when it enters.
  10. Repeat for remaining tofu pieces, ensuring that each piece has about an inch of space around it. Boost heat to medium-high and cook for 3 minutes, flip, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  11. Transfer tofu to a plate with a layer paper towels on it to wick away excess grease. Serve while fresh with sweet chili sauce for dipping!

*While sweet chili sauce is traditionally made with flakes of whole chilis (such as in chili paste), using a smooth chili sauce like Sriracha keeps it Plant Paradox-friendly because it doesn’t contain the seeds or skins of the peppers.

 

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