Did somebody say double-fried crispy tofu nuggets? Oh, yes! Our tofu karaage recipe is a fantastic vegan alternative to the classic Japanese nibble. Small in size but big in flavour, you'll beg for more!
The secret of perfect karaage is in the marinade and the frying, which we'll show you how to do like a pro! But first, what's karaage exactly? The word karaage (唐揚げ, から揚げ) translates to "fried". But more correctly, it refers to the cooking technique, which involves marinating, coating, and deep-frying.
Chicken karaage is probably one of the most famous karaage dishes, which is basically how our friends in Japan enjoy fried chicken. It's crispy, meaty, and aromatic — a real delight! So, we thought, why not giving it a plant-based spin for everyone to enjoy?
So here are our glorious fried tofu nuggets! They're as tasty as the classic ones but meat-free. Firm tofu is the go-to choice here. Squeeze out as much of its brine water as you can, and it will get even firmer and drier, giving you a "meatier" feel.
We marinated the tofu in the traditional karaage sauce, which includes garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. But we swapped sake with rice vinegar which is easier to find. Also, we used more marinating sauce than usual. That's because tofu absorbs it like a sponge and it also needs an extra kick of flavour compared to chicken.
The karaage coating, unlike that used for tempura, consists of just starch. This means that if you use tamari instead of regular soy sauce, your tofu bites will also be gluten-free. Super! All is left to do is frying these beauties, not once, but twice for maximum crispiness. Arm yourself with a kitchen thermometer to get perfectly crispy nuggets. Let's get started!