I’m always looking for new recipes to make for my vegan and vegetarian, offering more interesting and colorful options – that aren’t salad. Tofu, often cooked in panko crumbs is great – but I wanted to use something different that went well with a tropical salsa, so I went with a more coconut-heavy breading. Unsweetened coconut is the key. I treat this salsa as a ‘salad’, because I just don’t like lettuce. Never have, never will.
This recipe uses a simple marinade for tofu cubes which can lack flavor more often than not when they’re baked in the oven. So I insist on using a marinade. It’s a bit spicy and a bit sweet, with honey and citrus juices to coincide with the flavors of the salsa. I still stick to using the oven for cooking, in order to minimize use of oil for a lighter recipe. It browns the coconut on the outside while making the tofu fluffy!
This recipe is do-able for the use of bowls, as pictured, or for a burrito, tacos or snack bar. This is the simplest form, however and I love it with a bit of rice or – for my healthier friends – lettuce on the side.
Tropical Coconut Tofu Bowl with Mango Salsa
For the mango salsa
- ½ cup fresh mango chopped small
- ½ cup chopped red tomato
- ½ cup chopped red onion
- ½ cup chopped green pepper
- 1 jalepeno, seeded and chopped small
- juice of one lime
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp black pepper
For the tofu
- 1 12 oz. package firm tofu, drained (see notes for instructions on how to do this)
- 1 tbsp honey
- ¼ cup hot sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
For the breading:
- 3/4 cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 3 tsp chili powder
- Red pepper flakes, if desired for added heat
- Slice the tofu into ½” x ½” cubes. Marinate the cubes in a ziploc bag overnight.
- Remove the tofu from the bag, draining off the excess liquid.
- Toss the cubes in a bowl with the whisked egg, coating all over.
- In another ziploc, combine shredded coconut, almond flour and chili powder. Add tofu cubes to bag and toss around to coat the tofu.
- Remove from the bag and arrange in a single layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until tofu becomes golden brown.
- Combine all ingredients, mango to pepper.
- Serve tofu and mango salsa with white rice or on a bed of lettuce.
- To drain the tofu from the packaging. Press the liquid out by setting the block of tofu atop several folded paper towels. Weigh down the tofu. After an hour, repeat the process after flipping the block of tofu upside down.