Friday, February 12, 2010

I Like My Tofu "Chik'n Fried"...

I'm a bigger fan of Country Music than I am of PETA, thus I am posting this little blurb just for the heck of it, 'cause I do LOVE the Zac Brown Band, regardless of their choice in foods or song titles, and PETA? Sure, they do a lot of good, but frankly? Sometimes they make me embarrassed to admit I'm vegan.

A Little Bit Of Tofu Fried? No soy treats will be in the Zac Brown Band diet
despite PETA's suggestions to make their No. 1 hit "Chicken Fried" more animal-friendly.
The group tweeted Monday (2/8), "Dear PETA: Plants are living creatures, too ... Bacon had a mother, but so did Pickle. It takes life to support life - welcome to the planet."
According to last Thursday's (2/4) PETA blog, the organization sent the band a basket of "delicious, protein-rich faux meats" to make their offer "more tempting."

OK, (*roll eyes*) obviously The ZBB doesn't have a real original Twitter reply either... but asking them to change up a #1 hit to make it more "animal friendly"? Really?

No haters, please. I support vegetarianism and eliminating animal cruelty 100%, but sadly, when PETA pulls something (like this) you have to admit it really isn't going to win them any friends or supporters - OR make people "think twice" about their food. C'mon guys, just let them sing!

Seriously - "Chicken Fried" is a style of cooking. You can "chicken-fry" a whole lot of foods (especially if you live in the South!) And the song mentions "cold beer on a Friday night" too. I don't do beer, and CERTAINLY don't want my ten-year-old kicking back on the weekends with a cold one - so maybe I should ban it from my iPod altogether? Freedom of speech... errr... lyrics.

Actually, maybe this "non-animal-friendly" song is doing more good than they know. Every time my ten-year-old hears it, she asks for "Chick'n-Fried Tofu" because that's what the song reminds HER of... Hence, my recipe tonight.

This is just one of probably ten versions of "Fried Tofu" that I have, but it's one my kids like a lot - and it's pretty detailed which seems to help some people get the hang of it.

And while I've played with it a lot - I don't think I've posted it before:

"Chik'n-Fried Tofu"

15 oz. package of extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry (you can "press" it for a few hours IF you want - sometimes I do, other times I don't bother...)
1 t. smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, chopped or pressed
1 t. salt
2 cups of "buttermilk" ( = 2 cups soymilk + 2Tbsp vinegar/lemon juice )
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper

2-3 cups of panko breadcrumbs
3 Tsbp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. Egg Replacer powder
4 Tbsp. Veganaise
2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

salt and pepper

Oil (I like coconut or peanut here, but use whatever)

1. Marinade: (or use your favorite). Combine paprika, garlic, salt, "buttermilk", and pepper in a glass baking pan or dish. Slice tofu into cubes or strips and place directly into marinade. Refrigerate for several hours, turning the pieces occasionally.

2. Prepare breading ingredients by placing the breadcrumbs and cornstarch in a shallow, wide dish and season (fairly heavily) with salt and pepper and whatever else you'd like).

3. Then drain the tofu and reserve the marinade - to the marinade add the egg-replacer, vegenaise and flax. Mix well, it should be a pretty thick mixture.

4. Bread tofu pieces by dipping them first in breadcrumbs, then in Vegenaise mixture, then back into breadcrumbs. It's messy and you have to press the crumbs onto the tofu a bit, but it's worth it... Let tofu sit a bit while heating the oil.

5. Pour oil into a large saute pan or frying pan to a depth of about 1/2 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat.

6. Fry breaded tofu pieces a few at a time until golden brown on bottom side (2-3 minutes). Flip and fry for a few minutes more until golden brown on both sides.

7. Remove from oil with slotted spoon or tongs and place on paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with a little bit of sea salt and repeat with remaining tofu pieces. Serve with sauce of your choice.


Allison, The Busy (Happy!) Vegan said...

PETA drives me crazy for reasons other than how wacko they make animal rights activists appear. What really bothers me is the mixed message they send to the public with their welfarist ideals.

At any rate: this tofu looks DELICIOUS. I'm going to try the recipe next week. Thanks for posting it!

Samantha Michalska said...

Agreed. I'm a vegan who abhorres PETA. They're entire existence seems to be consumed by "creating publicity" by doing stupid things that offend people and make all vegetarian/vegans look like crazy jerks. Further, they take such an all or nothing approach that I would imagine it actually turns away potential vegetarians (lets face it being vegan isn't easy for everyone.)

This is why I love Vegan Outreach. They have a grassroots approach that turns no one away from participating in animal rights issues (not even carnivores!) Part of their approach is to ask everyone to make small changes (like eating LESS meat.)

wingraclaire said...

Hi! You made some really good points with your most recent post. I used to support PETA but stopped when they began comparing factory farms and the killing of animals for meat to the Holocaust. As my mother survived the Holocaust, I feel qualified to disagree with PETA and say the situation is bad, but let's not play so fast and loose with that term! Anyway, thanks as always from someone who reads your blog from time to time but has probably never commented.

crunchyveganwifelife said...

PETA seriously needs to be refurbished! I am sick of them with all of their holier than thou attitude and their hatred towards people who are heavy set. I am a chubby girl and I like to eat, but I am not going to be bullied into their way of thinking.
I love the song chicken fry, even though I abhor country music, it is a happy song, and don't we all deserve to be happy. I am not much for fried tofu, but after reading your recipe I am going to try it. Thank you..