There’s a secret to making great popcorn tofu… you have to freeze the tofu and then defrost it before you marinate it in order to get the right texture. I’m not sure what the exact science behind this technique is, I just know from experience that it does indeed make a difference. At first, I was a little skeptical that the freezing wouldn’t really matter all that much, but as soon as I compared the frozen/defrosted tofu to ordinary tofu, it was obvious that there was a big difference in the texture. Freezing it makes it chewier and more like chicken, and since this recipe is mimicking popcorn chicken, it makes perfect sense to go about it that way. That being said, if you’re impatient, you can just go ahead and fry the tofu as is and it will still taste great.
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