You don't need to fry to get crispy, spicy bang bang tofu! Crunchy baked tofu works like a charm with plenty of addictive vegan bang bang sauce.
What is it that's so addictive about crunchy tofu tossed in creamy-spicy-sweet vegan bang bang sauce? It's just such a perfect combination of flavors and textures, and this bang bang tofu is an easy meal over rice with your favorite veggie on the side.
Preparing the tofu
Before you do anything else for this recipe, you've got to press your tofu. Pressing the tofu gets the water out, which gives you that mega-firm, restaurant-style texture.
Pressing also makes the tofu sturdier, which is important in a recipe like this one, where you toss it with wet and dry ingredients. Unpressed tofu will crumble under the pressure.
I like to press my tofu with the EZ Tofu Press.
The EZ Tofu Press is quicker and less messy than balancing cookbooks on top of your tofu block. It also results in a nice, even block of tofu, perfect for a cubed tofu recipe like this bang bang tofu.
After pressing, cube your tofu into bite-sized pieces and toss it into a flax-water-soy milk mixture. This is the "glue" that's going to adhere your crunchy coating.
To make the coating, combine panko breadcrumbs with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Now, transfer the tofu to this mixture. The flax coating will help it stick.
Don't just dump the whole bowl into the panko, though. Use a fork or slotted spoon to move the tofu over. Too much liquid will make the coating clump, and it won't stick as well.
Arrange the tofu in a single layer on a baking sheet, spray it with oil, and bake to crunchy perfection!
While the tofu bakes, you have time to make your rice and make the vegan bang bang sauce!
Vegan bang bang sauce
Bang bang sauce is incredibly easy to veganize! Start with a vegan mayo that you like. The mayo is the base for this sauce, so, like my curry mayo dip, the flavor will come through some in the finished product.
Put that mayo into a small bowl, then add sweet chili sauce, sriracha, agave nectar, cayenne and lime juice. If agave nectar isn't your jam, that's ok! Use extra sweet chili sauce instead.
Whisk this all together, and set it aside until the tofu comes out of the oven.
How to serve and store
When the tofu is done baking, dish it up over rice and smother it in the vegan bang bang sauce.
Serve this with a side of your favorite veggie. I like this with steamed broccoli or my kale stir fry on the side. With steamed veggies, I like to double the sauce, so I can put it on the veggies, too.
If you can, store any leftover tofu separately from the sauce, so the tofu won't get soggy. Leftover tofu will keep for three to five days.
The sauce, stored separately in an airtight container, will keep for about a week.
Reheat the tofu in the oven or the air fryer, so it gets nice and crunchy again, then smother it in sauce!
Baked vegan bang bang tofu
For the crunchy tofu
Bake the tofu
- Preheat the oven to 425° F.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flax meal, water, and soy milk. Add the tofu pieces, tossing well to coat them completely in the mixture.
- In another large bowl, mix together the panko, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Take the tofu pieces out of the wet mixture, and put it into this dry mixture, tossing again. You want to coat it really, really well in this mixture, since it will be giving it its crunch!
- Transfer the tofu to a lined baking sheet, spray the tofu with oil, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until they're nice and browned.
Make the vegan bang bang sauce while the tofu bakes
- Mix together all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Serve the tofu over rice, topped with plenty of the sauce!