Lemon & herb crusted tofu

  • Preparation Time 15 Minutes
  • Baking Time 15-20 Minutes
  • Makes 8 fingers or 16 large nuggets

Vegan, Gluten-free, and Dairy-free

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I feel that I have learned so much about tofu and how versatile and delicious it can be in the last two years. This recipe came out of my love of lemon and thyme combinations. These are great with a salad, chips, or even in a wrap. They also make a great chicken nugget replacement for vegan children.

These are great on their own with a delicious dip

  • Lemony
  • Cheesy
  • Crispy
  • Delicious
  • Herby

You can have them as fingers or nugget shaped, whatever you fancy.

Play around with the herbs and flavours. If you like a spicy kick then you could add some finely diced chilli. Herbs such as dill, oregano or basil work well. If you have no fresh herbs then use dried. Remember they are more concentrated so only add a tsp.

Why the need to press the tofu

When you purchase firm or extra firm tofu it comes in a container with liquid in. Once that is drained off, you still need to squish out more water from the tofu. To do this it needs to be pressed. This enables the tofu in a couple of ways, such as helping it to absorb more of any marinades being used and helping it crisp up better when frying it.

If you are using the tofu press then follow the instructions,  if not place a few sheets of kitchen paper under the tofu and a few on top, placing it on a board or plate. Then rest a few heavy books or a heavy pan filled with a few tins or bags of flour on top. Leave this for an hour for the best result. Once this is done your tofu is ready to be used.

Tofu tricks

If you want a firmer and chewier textured tofu, one that is less crumbly, the answer is to freeze your tofu first. I know that does sound like too much bother but to me it is worth it. If you are marinading your tofu then this will make it more porous, allowing it to soak through all the flavours

Take your extra firm or firm tofu, keeping it in the packaging and freeze the block whole. Once defrosted and cut you have extra pockets of air running through it.

Vegan Parmesan vs nutritional yeast

You can use either for this recipe, my preference though is for vegan parmesan. There are some tasty ones around now such as

Green Vie grated vegan parveggio or Violife parmesan style wedge.

Using nutritional yeast does give you the addition of B12 if your brand contains it. I tend to add in a tablespoon of it with the cheese.


  • 300g of extra firm tofu pressed
  • Zest and juice of 2 1/2 large lemons
  • 40g Vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast
  • A small bunch of herbs such as thyme, parsley and chives
  • 3 tbsps of cornflour
  • 65g of dried breadcrumbs (vegan or gluten-free as needed)
  • 200 ml of dairy-free milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 200C if you intend to cook them there and then, if not you will need an airtight container ready to store them in.
  2.  In a bowl add your breadcrumbs, vegan parmesan or nutritional yeast, chopped herbs, black pepper and zest of 1 lemon and mix through
  3.   In another bowl mix together the milk and the juice of half a lemon set aside and let it curdle, (vegan buttermilk)
  4. On a board slice, your tofu through the centre so you have 2 blocks. Then divide each block into 4 slices vertically, giving you 8 fingers or into 16 squares. Zest and juice the last lemon and pour over the fingers, turning them over so each finger has some juice and zest on.
  5. Place the cornflour into a dish and season with salt and pepper. Press each finger into the cornflour covering all sides, this will help the coating to stick to the tofu.

6. Take each piece of tofu and dip into the buttermilk, then press firmly into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure you press down on all sides so that it is completely covered. Do this until all the pieces are covered in this lovely coating.

7. Take each piece of tofu and dip into the buttermilk, then press firmly into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure you press down on all sides so that it is completely covered. Do this until all the pieces are covered in this lovely coating.

8.  To bake them spray each piece on all sides with spray oil, then place on a baking sheet and bake for 15- 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through cooking until they are golden and crispy.


9. If you are not cooking them there and then,  place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days. You could also freeze these, wrapped in airtight freezer bags for up to 3 months.

Other delicious tofu recipe links below

Vegan Kiev

Crispy Katsu curry

Southern coated nuggets

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too.

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