Southern Fried Tofu

This is one of our weekly staple meals. It's kind of a pain to coat each individual piece of tofu and then brown it on all six sides, but it really is well worth it. To me, this recipe tastes and smells a lot like Shake N' Bake. And because it's "Southern" it's perfect for us South Carolinians! Who said you need pigs' feet and ox tail soup to eat a southern meal?! (Ew.) Anyway, I believe that this is a recipe vegans and omnivores would enjoy. I got the recipe from Vegan Vittles: Second Helpings.

Firstly, let me just say, please don't be scared about this long list of ingredients. I find that one batch of this seasoning will make two recipes. So I always mix the seasoning in tupperware and then throw it in the fridge after I'm done with it until my next hankering for some Southern Fried Tofu and it's so nice and easy to have it already made. Perhaps one day I'll even double the seasoning which would be genius.

(Serves 3-4)

1 lb. firm regular tofu (sometimes I use "Spicy Tofu" when our grocery store has it), rinsed and patted dry

1 1/2 cups nutritional yeast flakes
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. dried mustard
1/4 tsp. ground rosemary
1/4 tsp. ground celery seeds

2/3 cup plain soy milk
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup flour, as needed
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Tofu: Cut the tofu horizontally into three equal slabs. Wrap the tofu in a clean towel and press it gently all over with your hands to extract as much moisture as possible.

For the seasoning mix: Combine all ingredients in a wide, shallow bowl (or tupperware!) Stir until blended.

For the coating: Combine the soy milk and lemon juice in a small bowl, and stir well. Place the flour in a separate small bowl.

1. Cut each slab of the pressed tofu into 4 triangles, making a total of 12 in all (I usually just cube the block of tofu). Working with one piece at a time, dredge the tofu in the flour. Shake off any excess. Next, dunk the tofu in the soured soy milk. Immediately dredge the tofu in the seasoning mix, making sure it is well coated all over.

2. Coat a large, heavy skillet with a thin layer of vegetable oil, and place it over medium-high heat. When hot, add the tofu pieces in a single layer. Cook until the bottoms are well browned. Turn the pieces over and cook each side until well browned.

3. As soon as you remove the tofu from the skillet, place it on a plate lined with paper towels to blot off any excess oil and keep the surface of the tofu crisp.