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Five spice sesame panko tofu poppers with sweet and sour orange dip


Tofu poppers

  • 1 package (12 ounces/350 grams) extra-firm tofu, cut into 3⁄4-inch (2 centimetre) cubes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil in an oil atomizer
  • 1 cup (250 millilitres) whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) white sesame seeds
  • 4 teaspoons (20 millilitres) black sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) Chinese five-spice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) black pepper
  • 1⁄2 cup (125 millilitres) Dijon mustard

Sweet and sour orange dip

  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) virgin coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1⁄2 cup (125 millilitres) frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 millilitres) low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 millilitres) coconut sugar, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon (5 millilitres) Sriracha, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons (10 millilitres) cornstarch, tapioca starch, or brown rice flour
  • 1 cup (250 millilitres) filtered water
  • Salt and pepper


Tofu poppers

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius).
  2. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towel or kitchen towel. Arrange the tofu cubes on the paper towel. Top with another layer of paper towel, then cover with a second baking sheet and weigh it down with some heavy objects such as cast-iron skillets topped with canned goods. Let sit for one hour so the tofu releases some of its moisture.
  3. When ready to bake, transfer the tofu cubes to a cutting board or large plate. discard the paper towel and lightly grease the baking sheet with olive oil in an oil atomizer. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the panko, white and black sesame seeds, Chinese five-spice, salt, and pepper.
  5. Brush the tofu all over with the mustard. Working with a few pieces at a time, toss the tofu in the panko mixture, coating it well.
  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and arrange the tofu cubes on it, being careful that the pieces don’t touch. Season with a pinch each of sea salt and pepper and spritz lightly with olive oil in an oil atomizer. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on all sides, turning at least once.

Sweet and sour orange dip

  1. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the orange juice concentrate, rice vinegar, soy sauce, coconut sugar, and Sriracha. Stir until it starts to simmer gently.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and water until smooth, then stir into the sauce. Simmer until the sauce reaches a thick dip-like consistency, seven to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add more coconut sugar, if desired.
  3. To serve, arrange the tofu on a serving platter with toothpicks, and serve the Sweet-and-Sour orange dip in a bowl for dipping.

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