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Healthy Tofu Fries

Updated on August 19, 2012
anglnwu profile image

A certified health and wellness coach, I love discussing food, health benefits and how to keep weight in check,

Lemony Spicy Tofu Fries

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Do you love French fries? More than you dare to admit? More than you care to know? If you're hopelessly addicted to french fries but there's a constant nagging at the back of the head about how bad they're for you, consider a healthier alternative. May I suggest tofu fries? Yes, toful fries--just as crispy and loaded with so much flavor, you won't be missing those finger sticks loaded with saturated fats and chemicals--especially if they come from fast-food joints and even restaurants. Consider this: One serving of McDonald's french fries carries 380 calories, 171 fat calories and the total fat constitute 29% of the daily value recommended and a healthy diet should only have about 20 to 35 % of fats (of total calore intake for the day). Just busted your fat allowance with one mere serving of french fries!

Now, let's look at the proposed alternative--low fat (only 5 g of fat in 1/2 cup of firm tofu), seasoned nicely with spices and pan-fried with very little oil. If you think about it, a far more healthier alternative and the good tihng is you can easily make this dish. You can eat it as finger food, toss on top of salad, eat it as a side dish with your meal or consider it your protein source.

Like this recipe? Give it some stars...thanks.

4.6 stars from 12 ratings of Tofu fries

Cook Time

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 15 min
Yields: 4 people with 8 pieces to 1 serving

Ingredients

  • 1 slab firm tofu, cut into long strips
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • A sprinkling of red chili flakes
  • A sprinkling of brown sugar, to taste (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 green onion, chopped, for garnishng

Instructions

  1. Cut one slab of firm tofu into long strips. Make sure they're not too thin as they break easily.
  2. Coat pan evenly with oil. I use grapeseed oil.
  3. Warm pan sufficiently before putting strips of tofu in. Pan-fry for about 2 to 3 minutes on one side or until brown.
  4. Turn strips of tofu over with flat spatula and pan-fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. When all the four sides are nice and brown, throw in chopped garlic.
  6. Lower heat and add oyster sauce, chili flakes, salt and sugar to taste.
  7. Lastly, add a squeeze of lemon juice and mix thoroughly, making sure the sides of tofu are well-coated with seasonings.
  8. Dish tofu fries out and garnish with green onion. Serve warm with a side of ketchup, if desired.
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Spicy, tangy and crispy--more flavor than French fries and certainly healthier.
Spicy, tangy and crispy--more flavor than French fries and certainly healthier. | Source

Tofu fries, like French fries are best eaten when warm and toasty. Interestingly, research has found that the protein found in soy may provide more satiety (feeling full) than that provided by animal protein. This is wonderful news for people who are watching their calorie intake as staying full longer helps to cut back on eating unnecessarily.

To break the monotony of tofu fries, you can always switch the spices and flavoring used. Use your favorite spices--curry powder, cayenne, rosemary, thyme, basil, terragon--just subsitute.

So, enjoy your tofu fries--guilt-free.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1/4 cup of firm tofu
Calories 44
Calories from Fat18
% Daily Value *
Fat 2 g3%
Saturated fat 1 g5%
Unsaturated fat 0 g
Carbohydrates 1 g
Fiber 1 g4%
Protein 5 g10%
Cholesterol 0 mg
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

What is Tofu?

Tofu or doufu, it is actually curds made from soybean milk. First, they grind the soya beans, add water, filter the liquid and then boil it. During the process calcium sulfate, a mineral salt is added to cause the protein and fiber in the soy to curdle. You will find different grades of tofu in the supermarket from silken (extremely soft) to soft to firm to extra firm. The choice of tofu depends on what you’re cooking. Soft and silken tofu are usually used in soups, casseroles, steamed with other foods or blended in smoothies or dips. Firm and extra firm tofu retain their form and can withstand some handling and can be stir-fried, pan-fried or used in grilling. And because tofu readily absorbs the flavoring of spices used, it is very versatile and can be as flavorful as you want it to be.

Health Benefits

Why eat tofu? For centuries, Asian countries have used tofu in their diet on a regular basis. It is commonly referred to as the “cheese of Asia” since it resembles the physical appearance of cheese. Not only is it relatively inexpensive, it is a rich source of vegetable protein that’s in low in fat and no cholesterol. There are numerous health benefits associated with eating tofu:

  • Soy may lower cholesterol due to its amino acid profile (namely 7S globulin) which has the unique ability to remove bad LDL-cholesterol from the blood.
  • Alleviate symptoms of menopause as soy products such as tofu contains isoflavones that mimic the effects of estrogen, thus helping to maintain estrogen levels.
  • Some research indicates that soy’s isofavones, namely genistein and daidzein may inhibit cancer growth.
  • Its rich calcium levels may help improve bone density and reduce risks of fractures.
  • Soy also exerts anti-inflammatory capabilities which is helpful in reducing cardiovascular diseases.

Comments

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  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    jtrader, you'll like it. Give it a try. Thanks for commenting.

  • jtrader profile image

    jtrader 4 years ago

    I'll try these. Never had tofu quite like that.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    thanks, kingkos, for your positive comments. Glad you liked it.

  • kingkos profile image

    kingkos 4 years ago

    Easy to cook, Easy to find, Alternative when you dont have potato and healthy to eat. Thanks for the share of your nice hub.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    Rustic living, way to go, pinning recipe on your fridge. My fridge is a puzzle of pin-ups too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    Angelos, the savory spices add much to the flavor. Thanks.

    nmdonders, give it a try--you'll love it too. Thanks for reading.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    rajan jolly, thanks for dropping by to comment. Always good to hear from you.

    Life is Beautiful..these tofu fries are truly yummy. Have a beautiful day.

    Precy anza, how did your tofu fries turned out. I always have toful in my fridge too. thanks for commenting.

  • nmdonders profile image

    nmdonders 4 years ago

    Wow these look sooo good. I never would have thought to do this. I'll share this with my tofu-loving friends.

  • Angelo52 profile image

    Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Great idea to potato fries. Love the use of different savory spices.

  • Rusticliving profile image

    Elizabeth Rayen 4 years ago from California

    Wow! These sound amazing! I absolutely LOVE tofu and to have it in the form of a fry... I say YES! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I am printing and putting this on my fridge this week so I can try the recipe! Thumbs up and sharing! ♥

  • precy anza profile image

    precy anza 4 years ago from USA

    Had never tried fried tofu before. And reading this, and with a tofu in the fridge, I will give this a try :) Thanks for the recipe! Voted up!

  • Life Iz Beautiful profile image

    Salini 4 years ago from India

    Lovely... yummy and delicious...:)

    Thank you for sharing with us.

    HAve a healthy day ahead.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Very interesting and healthier alternative to the common potato fries. voted up, useful and interesting. Sharing this.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Thanks, cheetah, for dropping by to read and comment.

  • cheetah786 profile image

    cheetah786 5 years ago

    hmmm..!! very delicious.. i luv fries...

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Pamela, good to see you here. You'll always be welcome at my home--would love to cook for you.

    Healthylife, they look as good as they taste. You can find oyster sauce in Asian markets. These days, you can also find them in the Asian section of a regular grocery store or specialty store like World Market. If you have a bottle of oyster sauce, you can do wonders with it--they make good stir-fries. Thanks for commenting.

    greeneryday, yes, deep fried tofu is delicious, especially when you've a good dipping sauce but these pan-fried fries are healthier--they use less oil. I'm glad you're going try it--good luck and thanks for commenting.

  • greeneryday profile image

    greeneryday 5 years ago from Some tropical country

    I love to eat deep fried tofu with crispy skin on the outside, however I think this recipe will take tofu to a whole new level, and I definitely would try this at home...

  • healthylife2 profile image

    Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

    These look delicious and healthy. Where do I find oyster sauce?

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

    I would have never thought of tofu fries but would like to try them. I am not a great tofu fan but they sure looked good to me. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I think eating a meal at your home would sure be a treat!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    MamaKim, you'll like this dish for sure. My daugher's friend who is vegetarian, would make special visits to my house just to eat this. Thanks for commenting.

    abbyw, glad you dropped by to comment. Give it a try, you'll be surprised by how yummy this is.

  • abbyw1989 profile image

    Abby 5 years ago from Ireland

    Never thought of frying tofu into chips before! Thanks for a great hub, will definitely give this a go in the future :)

  • Mama Kim 8 profile image

    Sasha Kim 5 years ago

    I love pan fried tofu and the seasoning for this sounds amazing! Voting up, sharing and bookmarking for personal use!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    TeachableMoments, the fun thing about cooking is that you make discoveries every day. My daughter loves tofu too, so I have to think of ways to make it interesting--that's how the healthy tofu fries came about. You can make it more interesting by playing with different spices. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

  • TeachableMoments profile image

    TeachableMoments 5 years ago from California

    Thanks for a great idea. Never thought of turning tofu into fries and my family eats tofu every week. I think my daughter will love this healthier choice.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    girlshpuri, thanks for commenting.

  • girishpuri profile image

    Girish puri 5 years ago from NCR , INDIA

    Sound delicious, your photographs are so tempting, i feel like to eat them immediately....lol, very useful, voted up.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Brett, good to hear from you. I love pumpkin and banana fried, too. The creative genius of culiary arts. Thanks for commenting, tweeting and pinning--so appreciated.

    Wesley, totally with you about trying new things. Glad you came by to read, vote and share.

    Forlanda, yes, tofu is good fried too. They top it with all kinds of sauce and good stuff. Tofu is so versatile, they're good whether steamed, fried, sauteed or eaten as it is. Thanks for commenting.

  • forlanda profile image

    Juancho Forlanda 5 years ago from US of A

    Tofu is a great alternate source of protein. Have you ever tried deep fried tofu? I know it doesn't sound healthy but dipped in soy sauce, it tastes great! This looks simple enough to try. Great idea.

  • Wesley Meacham profile image

    Wesley Meacham 5 years ago from Wuhan, China

    These look great. I love food and I love trying new things. These tofu fries look like they would be fun and easy to make. Like others I also appreciate the versatility of the recipe.

    Voted up, useful, interesting and shared.

  • Brett.Tesol profile image

    Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

    Awesome alternative. I hadn't had these until I traveled Asia. These, fried bananas and also pumpkin are served on the streets as breakfast and handy snacks ... but always good to know that they are a healthy snack!

    Up, shared, useful, tweeted and pinned.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Chef, parsnip fries sounds yummy. Should try that some time. Yes, the tofu fries will be different from what you're used to but you may actually like it.

    Claudia, thanks for checking back. Glad your experiment was a success. Pan-fried tofu is very useful and can be added to stir-fry, stews and flavored fries can be used to top salads or even toss (as you found out for yourself). It's so versatile, I always have tofu in my fridge. Not only is it tasty, I can always make it whenever vegetarian friends drop by. Appreciate your comments.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    PXDKaroakeGuy, yes, only you can make it...at home. Thanks for reading.

    Thanks, Audrey. Appreciate it.

    Carol, it's my own invention, so you won't find it elsewhere but give it a try. I've a feeling you're going to like it.

  • Claudia Tello profile image

    Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

    I tried your tofu fries yesterday and they were delicious, loved how crunchy they get on the outside. I also found it a great way of preparing and adding tofu to a vegetarian buckwheat noodle dish I make with a similar dressing. Next time I make it I´ll add some pan fried tofu squares :D

  • chef-de-jour profile image

    Andrew Spacey 5 years ago from Near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire,UK

    Great. I'm from the land of the famous 'chip' (french fries).....but these tofu fries look very edible. Whilst potato(e) is still my favourite and parsnip a close second these of yours anglnwu are tempting to say the least. Love your photos. A vote is called for!

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

    This recipe fascinated me. Never thought to make tofu fries. I have to make them just to see how they taste. I like that you use grapeseed oil as it has so many health benefits. Voted UP

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 5 years ago from California

    This is wonderful! Trying this!!!!

  • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

    Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

    tofu fries? Bookmarking this!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Thanks, WD Curry, glad you dropped by to comment.

    Always good to see you, Prasetio. I love tofu too. My mother used to fry tofu every day too. Glad you liked the recipe. Enjoy.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Jill, it's so good to see you here. If your daughter loves tofu, she'll love this. Recently, I discovered how to make this by playing in the kitchen and I absolutely love it. Thanks for dropping by .

    Ruchira, good to hear from you. Give it a try--if your family loves tofu, chances are they'll love this.

    Thanks, Anamika, for your comments.

  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 5 years ago from malang-indonesia

    I LOVE TOFU.....My mother always frying tofu everyday. But through this hub I found another of delicious fries tofu recipe. I can't to make it soon. Thanks for writing and share with us. Vote up!

    Prasetio

  • WD Curry 111 profile image

    WD Curry 111 5 years ago from Space Coast

    Thanks! All of your recipes are great.

  • Claudia Tello profile image

    Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

    Hey anglnwu, I must say I am not at all a French fries fan, but your healthy tofu fries blew me away!!!! They look both beautiful and delicious, can´t wait to try them with the Asiatic seasoning you suggested in the original recipe. I am little by little becoming more vegetarian every day and this recipe comes quite handy. Voteing this up and useful.

  • ishwaryaa22 profile image

    Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

    This recipe sounds not only tasty but also healthy! I always avoid French fries because of excess fats present in them. This is a very good alternative to French fries. I also decided to make cottage cheese ( paneer) fries as well. Your recipe is clearly explained and the photos, esp the first photo looks drool-worthy. Well-done!

    Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

  • Anamika S profile image

    Anamika S 5 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

    Tofu fries sound yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipe. Voted up and sharing on Facebook!

  • Ruchira profile image

    Ruchira 5 years ago from United States

    my family loves tofu, angi.

    Will give this a try...thanks!

    voted up as interesting and sharing it across

  • jill of alltrades profile image

    jill of alltrades 5 years ago from Philippines

    Oh Angeline, this looks absolutely yummy!!! I am going to try this the next time my daughter (who loves tofu) visits!

    Voted up and useful!!!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Thanks, Vesapawoolf. Actually, that's the name I give it --I thought they look rather like fries. Thanks for reading and commenting--you're always very sweet.

  • vespawoolf profile image

    vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

    What a unique, tasty and healthful idea! I've never heard of tofu fries but would definitely love to try them. I like the idea of sprinkling spicy seasoning on them as well. Voted up! Thank you!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Michelle, you can get oyster sauce at the Asian market but yes, you can omit it. In fact, you can add whatever seasoning you prefer after pan-frying the strips of tofu. Thanks for your comments.

    Lady E, good to see you here. If you've never eaten tofu, give it a try. Try firm tofu first, it's easier to get used to. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Lady_E profile image

    Elena 5 years ago from London, UK

    Thanks. I see Tofu a lot but have never eaten it before. This is a lovely Recipe to try. Very healthy too. (5 Stars)

  • Michelle Keiper profile image

    Michelle Keiper 5 years ago

    I'm not sure about the oyster sauce can I omit that?

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Pamela, definitely good for menopause. Glad you stopped by.

    Om, you don't like tofu? --haha--very unChinese, like you say. But this may change your mind--dare I promise that? Glad you stopped by as well.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

    That opening picture is so gorgeous, Angeline! I have to admit I'm not a huge fan of tofu. (I know that's very "un-Chinese" of me.) BUT your recipe and photos are so great I think I might give it a go sometime :)

  • Pamela N Red profile image

    Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

    I eat a lot of soy for menopause and because I like the flavor. I'll have to try this one.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    bell du jour, give it a try. Definitely a great alternative and it's tasty too. Thanks for your comments.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    kelly, good to see you here. My mom was diabetic too and the doctor told her it's best to eat tofu in place of simple carbs. She ate it every day, which is not too difficult since we eat tofu every day any way. This recipe is very versatile and you can add your favorite spices or pan-fry them with very little oil and dip in your favorite dip (like French fries!). Thanks for rating.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    teaches, I love tofu in soup as well. In fact, tofu is very versatile and eating them like fries is a great way to enjoy tofu. Thanks for your comments.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 5 years ago

    Deborah, good to hear from you. Try it--you'll like it.Thanks for commenting.

  • bell du jour profile image

    bell du jour 5 years ago from Ireland

    I'm definitely going to try this recipe! ....a great low carb alternative to French fries, or as we call them in Europe, chips! Voted up and useful :-)

    Bell

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    kelleyward 5 years ago

    I am diabetic and love finding new alternatives to french fries. This sounds amazing. I can't wait to try it. Gave it 5 stars! I am having jicama fries lately and even wrote a hub on it but I'm so excited to try these tofu fries soon. Take care, Kelley

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

    Wonderful recipe. I love tofu. I love it just boiled in chicken broth as well. I am filing this recipe with my favorites. Voted up.

  • Deborah Brooks profile image

    Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

    I have never had tofu fries but I would like to try it.. looks wonderful and delicious. I voted up

    Debbie