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Vegan crispy sticky tofu chicken

Simple vegan Crispy sticky tofu chicken – gloriously golden crispy fried tofu chicken is a tasty vegan take on the traditional fried chicken. This vegan chicken is out of this world good with a sweet and sticky glaze, and a tender, juicy ‘meaty’ texture wrapped in a crunchy golden crust. It’s a vegan 15-minute feast. Serve it with steaming rice and veggies, top it over a bowl of noodles, or plate them up with a tasty salad, potatoes, and your favorite dip. Yum!

Saucy, sticky, and sweet pan-fried into crispy golden deliciousness. This tasty vegan sweet sticky chicken is a quick vegan and vegetarian comfort food dinner recipe. We’re talking cozy to the max, delicious to infinity, and a plant-based protein lifesaver quick vegan dinner. In just 15 minutes you’ll be ready to serve tasty, golden crispy, and deliciously sweet and sticky vegan ‘chicken’ that everyone will adore.

In this vegan crispy sticky gluten-free chicken recipe 

Ingredients and substitutions for making vegan crispy tofu chicken 

Tips and tricks for making the best vegan sticky sweet chicken 

How to fry vegan chicken golden and crispy 

Easy way to make vegan tofu chicken in the oven or air fryer 

What to serve with vegan chicken 

Best Dips and sauces to serve with vegan chicken 

FAQs 

Ingredients and substitutions for making vegan crispy sticky chicken 

Tofu – a good extra firm tofu makes the vegan ‘chicken meat’ of the chicken-less recipe. If you don’t have tofu at home, or just want to try something different you can substitute the tofu with tempeh. Both work equally well for this crispy sticky tofu chicken.

Corn starch – corn starch is a key ingredient for making the tofu chicken sauce thick so it clings to the tofu…making it extra delicious sticky and crunchy on the outside.

Soy sauce or Tamari sauce – soy sauce or Tamari sauce makes the tasty base for the irresistibly sweet and sticky sauce that turns the humble tofu into a golden crispy tofu chicken.

Maple syrup – the maple syrup adds a rich sweetness and gives the tofu chicken a deliciously sticky glaze that’s lick-your-fingers kinda good. For a just as tasty substitute, you can replace maple syrup with apricot jam. 

Apple cider vinegar – apple cider vinegar works to freshen up the flavors and balance the sweetness with the fresh vinegar. If you don’t have apple cider vinegar you can substitute it with regular white vinegar, white wine vinegar, or rice vinegar. 

Corn starch – corn starch is the secret ingredient for making the tofu crispy and golden. 

Garlic powder – I like to use garlic powder because it’s easy and tasty, and wraps the golden crust in a lovely fragrant garlic flavor. If you don’t have garlic powder, you can replace it with finely chopped or minced fresh garlic.

Seasoning – paprika, Italian seasoning, black pepper, chili flakes, and salt. 

Vegetable Oil – use your favorite type of vegetable oil. I like to use sesame oil because it has a high smoke point making it great for frying and the sesame taste enhances the tofu flavor. 

Tips and tricks for making the best simple vegan sticky chicken 

Press the tofu – pressing the tofu to remove any excess moisture will make the tofu extra crispy when it fries. If you have a tofu press you can use that to press out the liquid. If you don’t have a tofu press simply place the tofu in between a tea towel, then place a heavy item on top and wait at least 20 minutes for the water to naturally drain.

Frying – fry at medium-high heat in a single layer in plenty of vegetable oil to make the tofu more evenly golden and crispy. 

Choosing the best frying pan – a non-stick frying pan makes it much easier to fry these golden tofu filets. A non-stick skillet will make the glorious sticky sauce stick to the tofu chicken and not the pan.

Low-calorie option – to make these tasty tofu filets oil-free and extra low-calorie you can bake them in the oven or an air fryer. Bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through. 

Extra crispy tofu chicken – for an extra crispy crust, add sesame seeds or almond flour to the tofu at the same time you add the extra sauce.

How to make crispy sticky tofu ‘chicken’

To begin, press the excess water out of the tofu. You want very firm tofu because it will make the texture more ‘meaty’ and the crust more crispy. Before I got my fancy tofu presser, I would simply place the tofu in between a tea towel, then place a heavy item on top and wait at least 20 minutes for the water to naturally drain. 

Now, cut the tofu into 1/2” (1,5cm) thick slices. You can cut them into squares, or triangles or have fun as I did and cut them into chicken-like shapes. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, paprika, salt, vinegar, and cornstarch to make a thick slurry. 

Now, heat vegetable oil in a frying pan at medium heat.

Next, dip the tofu slices into the thick slurry, covering each side. Place the tofu slices in the hot pan, leaving a finger-width space between them. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the tofu chicken is golden brown. Pour the rest of the soy sauce slurry over the tofu and let it absorb as it fries for 1-2 minutes. 

Easy way to Bake vegan sticky tofu chicken 

To begin, press the excess water out of the tofu. You want very firm tofu because it will make the texture more ‘meaty’ and the crust more crispy. Before I got my fancy tofu presser, I would simply place the tofu in between a tea towel, then place a heavy item on top and wait at least 20 minutes for the water to naturally drain. 

Preheat oven to 400F (190 degrees Celsius) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.

Now, cut the tofu into 1/2” (1,5cm) thick slices. You can cut them into squares, or triangles or have fun as I did and cut them into chicken-like shapes. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, paprika, salt, vinegar, and cornstarch to make a thick slurry. 

Next, dip the tofu slices into the thick slurry, covering each side. Place the tofu slices on the lined baking sheet with a finger-width space between the pieces. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through. 5 minutes before baking is done, pour the remaining sweet sticky sauce over the tofu slices to make them extra sticky and delicious.

Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs and enjoy.

How to serve gluten-free crispy tofu chicken 

The tasty sticky sauce is a delicious mish-mash of flavors making it a great fit for multiple styles of recipes and cuisines. I like it with roasted veggies and fried rice or topped over a bowl of twirly tender noodles. 

But these tasty tofu chicken wings are also amazing with just a delicious BBQ dip and a side of French fries.

Or try them with a side of one of my favorite salads or sides and make it the star of your dinner.

Best sauce to serve with vegan chicken 

These tasty plant-based golden sticky tofu chicken slices are amazing just as is. But they’re also fantastic served with a delicious dip. 

Here are my top 5 dips to serve with tasty gluten-free vegan tofu chicken:

FAQs – all your vegan sticky sweet tofu chicken questions answered 

How to store vegan chicken 

Store any leftover vegan tofu chicken in a clean airtight container for up to 3 days.

Are vegan tofu chicken okay to freeze?

Yes. These tasty plant-based tofu chicken filets are fine to freeze making them great for meal prep. Just reheat before eating after defrosting.

Best way to freeze vegan tofu chicken

Allow the tofu to cool before transferring them to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Take the vegan chicken out of the freezer and allow them to thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat before serving.

How to reheat vegan tofu chicken

These tofu slices are best when reheated in an air fryer at the highest temperature for 15 minutes or until they are hot.
You can also reheat them in a regular oven by baking them at 350F (180 degrees Celsius) for 15 minutes or until they are heated all the way through. Alternatively, you can also fry them in a frying pan for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Amount of calories in vegan tofu chicken

There are just around 399 calories per serving in these tasty vegan chicken filets.

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Simple vegan Crispy sticky tofu chicken

Gloriously golden crispy fried tofu chicken is a tasty vegan take on the traditional fried chicken. This vegan chicken is out of this world good with a sweet and sticky glaze, and a tender, juicy ‘meaty’ texture wrapped in a crunchy golden crust. It’s a vegan 15-minute feast. Serve it with steaming rice and veggies, top it over a bowl of noodles, or plate them up with a tasty salad, potatoes, and your favorite dip. Yum!
Course Vegan Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan dinner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Calories 399kcal
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Vegetable Oil Olive oil, avocado oil, sesame oil or your choice
  • 1 pack (300g) Extra Firm Tofu
  • 4-6 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce or Tamari
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp dried Chili Flakes

Instructions

Preparing the tofu

  • To begin, press the excess water out of the tofu. You want very firm tofu because it will make the texture more ‘meaty’ and the crust more crispy. Before I got my fancy tofu presser, I would simply place the tofu in between a tea towel, then place a heavy item on top and wait at least 20 minutes for the water to naturally drain. 
  • Now, cut the tofu into 1/2” (1,5cm) thick slices. You can cut them into squares, or triangles or have fun as I did and cut them into chicken-like shapes. 

How to make crispy sticky tofu ‘chicken’

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, paprika, salt, vinegar, and cornstarch to make a thick slurry. 
  • Now, heat vegetable oil in a frying pan at medium heat.
    Next, dip the tofu slices into the thick slurry, covering each side. Place the tofu slices in the hot pan, leaving a finger-width space between them. 
  • Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until the tofu chicken is golden brown. Pour the rest of the soy sauce slurry over the tofu and let it absorb as it fries for 1-2 minutes. 
    Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs, a side of salad, or steaming vegetables, and enjoy.

Baking sticky tofu chicken 

  • Preheat oven to 400F (190 degrees Celsius) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
    Now, cut the tofu into 1/2” (1,5cm) thick slices. You can cut them into squares, or triangles or have fun as I did and cut them into chicken-like shapes. 
    In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, paprika, salt, vinegar, and cornstarch to make a thick slurry. 
  • Next, dip the tofu slices into the thick slurry, covering each side. Place the tofu slices on the lined baking sheet with a finger-width space between the pieces.
  • Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping over halfway through. 5 minutes before baking is done, pour the remaining sweet sticky sauce over the tofu slices to make them extra sticky and delicious.
    Serve with a garnish of fresh herbs and enjoy.

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