Recipe: Fried Tofu / Fish / Chicken or Other Protein of Your Choice

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This recipe was meant to be another one for fried fish.  Despite (almost) having two recipes for fried fish on the blog, it's not all we eat.  We do eat it about once a week though and sometimes I have to get creative with it as I don't always have my usual ingredients.   That's how the quinoa-crusted tilapia came about.  We used to always use panko but we'd inevitably run out of panko and forget to buy it.  And now when the quinoa is gone, I have started to use nuts, seeds and bread.  And when the fish is bad like it was last night, I substituted some extra-firm silken tofu and it was great.   Now, if you're not a tofu person, then I don't know if I'd recommend the tofu but you could use fish or chicken instead.  Whatever protein you use, the nut and seed blend adds lots of great flavor to it and it's really crunchy. I didn't have a chance to marinate it as it was very last second, but it would be even better if you did a simple marinade first. You will either need a food processor for this or have the patience to pretty finely chop up nuts, seeds and bread.  You'll likely have some mix left over.  I like to bag it up and put it in the freezer.  Since it will have a little egg or fish guts on it you wouldn't want to keep it unless you stored it in the freezer until next time.  And if it's really moist, just toss it.  This recipe is very flexible so feel free to adapt it as you wish.   I have lots of notes in italics below.  I couldn't help myself but hopefully someone will find them useful. And on a side note, we ate dinner outside last night for the first time this year and it couldn't have been nicer despite the fact that it was raining.  We got our yard treated with the Mosquito Squad's natural spray a couple weeks ago and it has surprisingly been working great.  And we were able to nestle the table up under the balcony so we didn't get wet.  The light and rain was beautiful hence the extra photos below.

Ingredients Serves 4

2 blocks of extra-firm silken tofu, sliced into 4 pieces each; If you use chicken or fish, just make sure that it's not too thick--try using chicken cutlets; otherwise your crust will burn before it's cooked through 1/2 cup bread crumbs; I used fresh this time and food processed them but sometimes I'll put a couple pieces of toast in the toaster and toast it up first; store bought is fine too but this is a good way to get rid of old bread---including buns which is what I used this time 3/4 nuts and seeds; I use a combo of almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or any other nut or seed--I tend to go heavier on the seeds since they're cheaper 1/4 teas salt + more to dust the tofu with Pepper 1/3 cup flour; I used white whole wheat 1 egg + a tablespoon or so of water to make it go further Enough oil to fill the bottom of a large frying pan; I use canola generally

Directions 1. If you're using freshly made bread crumbs, process your bread until it looks pretty fine. 2. Add seeds, nuts and salt and continue to process until everything is uniform size and pretty fine (see photos) 3. Put the blend into a wide shallow bowl and then put the egg and flour in separate bowls; = 3 bowls: flour + egg + nuts/seed/bread blend 4.  Gently pat your tofu/other protein dry.  And sprinkle it with salt and a little pepper 5.  Heat your oil in a large pan on medium-low. 6.  Start the process for coating your tofu / other protein.  First dip it in the flour and make sure its completely covered, do the same for the egg and then finally, the nut & seed blend. 7. Immediately place in the hot oil and fry until it starts to turn golden.  If you're cooking raw meat or fish, be sure to cook it through too.  You may have to turn the heat down a bit so the crust doesn't burn.  With the tofu, there's less of a concern to make sure it's properly cooked (other than the egg) so it's considered cooked when the crust is looking golden.  Flip and do the same for the other side and place on a plate with a paper towel to remove a bit of the oil.