Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Walnut-crusted tofu cutlets

September 5, 2013

Some months back, we had a brief twitter exchange with Marieke about some delicious sounding tofu cutlets that were in her regular rotation. Cindy added them to her Delicious bookmarks and then we promptly forgot about them for eight months. And then, having no real inspiration for a quiet dinner alone, I stumbled across the link and decided it was time to give them a shot.

I'm very glad I did - these will rocket straight towards the top of our extensive list of excellent tofu-based meals. They're relatively simple to make but taste like something you'd spend hours slaving over. The braised marinated tofu is delicious enough, but then you've got two layers of wonderfulness taking things to amazing new places. The tahini spread has a nice tanginess to it and if you get the top layer right you get a mix of toasty, spicy goodness. For all their flavours, the topping mixes don't take much work - you can basically mix them up while the tofu is going through its marination and baking.

Added bonus: Cindy tells me that the leftovers are brilliant at room temperature. We'll definitely be making these again soon.

Walnut-crusted tofu cutlets
(slightly adapted from this recipe at Atkins Chef Recipes)

marinated tofu
3 tablespoons tamari
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons water
3 medium/large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
500g tofu

tahini spread
1/4 cup tahini
juice of a small lemon
3 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon tamari
1/2 teaspoon salt

coconut-walnut crust
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C.

Slice the tofu block into roughly one-inch thick rectangles, and then halve them diagonally to make triangular cutlets.

Combine the marinade ingredients in a baking dish and lay the tofu out to soak up the flavours. The original recipe suggested just 5 minutes of marinating, but I probably gave the tofu about 10 minutes on each side.

Bake the tofu for 10-15 minutes, until most of the marinade has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the tahini spread in one bowl and those for the parsley/walnut/coconut crust in another.

Once the tofu is ready, take it out of the oven and spread each cutlet with a thick smear of the tahini spread. Top with the walnut crust - stacking it on as heavily as you can (it doesn't really matter if some falls off the edges!)

Bake for another 15 minutes or so, until the crust goes golden brown and a little crunchy - check it carefully from about 10 minutes onwards, it will go from perfect to burnt quite quickly.

Serve with your favourite side veggies (I went with a lazy stir-fry of beans and carrot with a dollop of mustard).


  1. Oh-ho, lookee you and your name-dropping! ;)

    This does look gorgeous, and I finally got my tookus in gear and bought tahini again this weekend. Bookmarked!

    1. So, Hannah - does the tahini go into the above or this first?

      (Who am I kidding? It's going from a spoon into your mouth first, amirite?)

  2. Oh yes please, this sounds delish! Thanks for sharing, I'll be giving it a try

  3. That crust looks amazing! What a great way to have tofu as a main.

  4. Woah that looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Well, that's our dinner taken care of tonight. Thank you very much!

  6. Where has your blog been all my life? Love it.
    Given me too many options for going out to tea now!


    1. Welcome Rhiannon! We've just been here, quietly doing our thing for nigh on seven years. ;-)

  7. I'm intrigued by the coconut and walnut crust; it doesn't taste too sweet? Either way I'll be bookmarking this recipe, I'm always looking for ways to make tofu more palatable :)

    1. Hi Clare - I think that walnuts and tahini both have a suitably bitter edge to them. It comes out of the oven smelling distinctively of garlic too.

  8. I tried it tonight - but realised too late that I didn't have any walnuts left. I substituted a mixture of slivered almonds and pinenuts.

    It was really good. The verdict from the family "F@#king fantastic - make this again tomorrow!" We have a winner!

    1. Hooray! That's some swift work, Lentil Institution - awesome that it please the whole family too. :-)

  9. This sounds amazing - so full of my favourite things and stuff I usually have about - definitely bookmarking

  10. Eating it now.... Really simple and delicious.
    Had it with brown rice and green salad.

    1. Hiya Belinda! Really glad it's worked for you too. :-)