Tofu Popcorn Chick’n (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Tofu Popcorn Chick'n

We have had some crazy weather here over the last week! A cyclone came through the area and brought torrential rain, flash flooding and wild winds. Our house is on the top of a hill and pretty exposed, so we braced ourselves for the worse and had some water come in through the top of some windows which made a nice indoor waterfall! Things could have been a lot worse though, compared to what some other people had to deal with. We had power our for a solid 9 hours, and passed the time with monopoly – and running around throwing down towels and mopping up all day! Unfortunately we were too busy cleaning up to remember to take pictures.

The wild weather has finally passed, and its taken everyone a few days to clean up all the damage – and the unbelievable number of trees that were taken down.

I am so excited to share this recipe with you today! I’ve made this so many times over the past few weeks. This tofu chick’n recipe is so versatile. You can eat them on their own as popcorn chick’n or nuggets. You can put it in a wrap  or a sandwich, on a pizza – so many possibilities! While these aren’t 100% healthy due to the oil/light frying factor, they are still better than any other fried chick’n/chicken recipe you will find, especially when eaten on a lettuce wrap.

Tofu Popcorn Chick'n
Vegan and gluten free coated tofu chick'n pieces. Throw in a lettuce wrap, eat with chips, or serve them as an appetizer.
  1. Press tofu for about 10 minutes. Drain tofu, wrap in paper towels or clean tea towel, and place heavy items on top to press. I use a heavy chopping board with some weights on top.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the coating.
  3. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Slowly add the water, whisking as you go. The coating should be the consistency of pancake batter.
  5. Add mustard and mix.
  6. Break the tofu into big crumbles into the coating. You can also chop into 'sticks' or into nugget sized pieces. I prefer to do crumbles as its less fussy to cook and comes out just as good.
  7. Combine tofu and coating.
  8. Heat oil in a non stick pan.
  9. Pour the tofu mix into the pan and spread so the tofu is on a single layer.
  10. Cook on both sides until golden brown, adding oil as needed.

Use the code ZIV994 at iHerb and save $5 (orders less than $40) or $10 (orders more than $40) off your first order!

Ash and I have been working hard on our business lately, and decided to take the day off and drive to Byron Bay for the famers markets. Byron Bay is one of my favorite places in the world. The people are great, the vibe is amazing and there is a huge emphasis on health, organic, vegetarian and yoga there. There are so many vegan, vegetarian and organic places to eat. I am so excited to visit there because I actually have choices of restaurants to eat at. Choices!!

Here is the haul I brought back from the farmers market. Goodies include 1kg locally grown macadamias, mangoes, tomatoes, bananas, basil, plums, capsicum, passionfruit, mushrooms, chives, shallots.

Byron Bay farmers market

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124 comments on “Tofu Popcorn Chick’n (Vegan & Gluten Free)

  1. Pingback: Superbowl Sunday Funday | Vegan Superbowl Party Recipes | The Unintentional Vegan

  2. Do you have a suggestion for a substitute for the nutritional yeast? My boyfriends can’t stand the taste of it and I get migraines and it’s a huge trigger for me. It seems to limit us on so many great-sounding vegan recipes:(

  3. Pingback: Recettes de la semaine | Pearltrees

    • Hi Jonathan, unfortunately it is. It makes it crisp up when you cook it. You could perhaps try baking it instead, but I’m not sure how that would go!

    • I would just use coconut oil. Not only is it a better option, but it’s a healthy option. Coconut only is good for you in any form!

  4. Going to make this tonight and I’m very excited about it. I’m just wondering… how did you cut your tofu? I’m not sure how thick or thin to make these. I would so appreciate a little direction in that area. I’m a novice when it comes to tofu. Thanks so much!

  5. i just made this and can’t believe how good it is and how much it really tastes like popcorn chicken! i made a dipping sauce out of veganese, sirracha and sweet chili sauce. perfect! thank you 🙂

  6. We tried it tonight. Pretty good. We used 2 tbsp grapeseed oil total to keep the oils down but it didn’t achieve enough crispiness. So we then put it on a baking pan, sprayed it with a thin layer of cooking spray and then put it under the broiler for several minutes.
    Might try it again another time using vital wheat gluten (since we don’t need GF) to try and get more chewiness. Still trying to replicate Whole Foods’ vegan popcorn chicken and haven’t yet been successful…

  7. Love this recipe! Made it once and tried frying it, I couldn’t get it crispy enough (likely due to my crummy frying pan…need a new one desperately) still ate it though and loved it. I baked it today on a parchment lined sheet at 400 for about 15 -20 mins… And it was amazing!!! I can see us making this once a week for sure!! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

  8. Pingback: 10 Vegan Dishes Even Carnivores Will Devour | Yummly

  9. So I just pour the dry ingredients with the tofu into the frying pan…I don’t take out the tofu from the dry mix first? If I did that with chicken it would cause the dry ingredients to burn….maybe I’m over thinking this….

    • Hi Alice, you might need to make extra of the coating part if its not covering your tofu properly. Try adding 1 Tbsp of chickpea flour + 1 Tbsp of water until it’s coated enough. For the crispiness, the oil really helps there so make sure you are using enough of that.

  10. Hi Shae, these look so good! Fake nuggets, or “fuggets” as my sister and I like to call them, are one of my favourite veg treats. However after I cut out processed sugar, and now gluten I found myself so disappointed when I read the ingredients more closely… your recipe is my savior! I can’t wait to try them. Thank you!

  11. Finally tried this recipe today and it was really good! The tofu browned really well (I used olive oil), and leftovers especially, after refrigeration, taste alarmingly like fried chicken! I used a super firm tofu, and cut the down on the salt. Used some garlic salt with dried parsley, a bit of lemon pepper and some poultry seasoning. For mustard, I used a country Dijon. Yummy.

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  13. Pingback: Chocolate Coconut Truffles (Vegan, Gluten Free & Raw) | The Vedge – Vegan & Gluten Free Recipes

  14. Disclaimer: Silly question ahead.
    This looks delish. What I don’t get though, is do I add the 2-3 Tblsp. of oil to the batter or do I add it to the pan for the purpose of frying??

  15. saw this recipe and tried it immediately! I was disappointed with the execution- this was my fault though, not the recipe! I fried this as directed and it stuck to the pan and came out much uglier than the picture advertised 🙁 im sure it was supposed to come out gorgeous though! It also had no flavor whatsoever but that was probably because I didn’t use the nutritional yeast.. better luck next time!

    • Hi Brianna, oh I’m sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. I’m not sure if you used a non stick pan or not but that works really well for this recipe. And the nutritional yeast definitely adds to the flavor, as well as the mustard and all purpose seasoning. Hope it works better for you next time 🙂

  16. Pingback: BBQ Popcorn Tofu | Pinch of Healthy

    • Hi Alex, it not really breading, its more of a coating – just wondering if you have mixed up the chickpea flour with the seasonings and then added water to create pancake-like batter?

  17. This is one of the most amazing recipes ever! We’ve made this countless times for parties and many people are shocked that it’s tofu because it’s so good. Thanks so much!

  18. I have made these several times, and they are a hit every time! Delicious, crispy, flavorful morsels of goodness! The only thing I do differently than the recipe is that I freeze the tofu overnight, then thaw it before coating and frying it. The tofu comes out much more “chicken-like” (chewier texture) this way, but otherwise the recipe is perfect….
    Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!!!! Two thumbs up!!!

        • Hi Susan, here is the technique for freezing tofu: Freeze tofu for at least 24 hours. Defrost tofu in the refrigerator, or for a quicker method place into a hot water bath. Then you would squeeze the tofu gently over the sink to get out excess water OR press the tofu as per the method in the recipe. Hope that helps! 🙂

  19. Pingback: How to Make Corn Tortillas – The Best & Easiest GF Wraps | The Vedge

  20. Pingback: Vegan Caesar Salad (+ Gluten Free) – Still as Indulgent as the Original | The Vedge

  21. I have made this recipe often, thank you so much. I like to add hot sauce or wing sauce and then I have buffalo popcorn chicken and I love it on a Caesar style salad in place of the croutons!

  22. Pingback: Crispy Coated Tofu “Chick’n” Fillets / Burger Patties (Gluten Free, Egg Free + Vegan!) | The Vedge

  23. Is it just me or is your recipe code links not viewing correctly? I’m having a hard time reading the recipe with e.g., [url… instead of <url… Thanks.

  24. Pingback: What I’ve Been Cooking Up | Culinary Grammar

  25. i’ve made this with fresh tofu and frozen tofu and it’s so absurdly good with frozen tofu. i urge everyone to try it that way!

  26. Made this last night after two of my friends repeatedly post this recipe in their weekly meal plan that we share online. It was a HIT! My family of four loved it – including the super-picky 5 year old!!! Yay!!! This will for sure be a go-to recipe for us!! BTW….I didn’t pay attention to the recipe closely enough and mixed the oil into the batter, didn’t want to add MORE oil to the recipe, so just poured it all into the skillet that way. Turned out great, but I’ll be sure to try it as written next time to see if there is any way this could get better (I’m doubting it!!). Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  27. Amazing! Love this recipe! I don’t typically comment on recipes but I felt this was a must. My boyfriend and I absolutely love these. I always add a little extra nutritional yeast and use sierra Nevada Stout mustard.

  28. praise the lawd for this recipe! i left out the nutritional yeast, mustard, and subbed the water with soymilk and it was heaven! thank you &bless!

  29. Pingback: 26 Vegan Versions Of Your Favorite Comfort Foods | sooziQ

  30. Just made these and they are bomb! Everyone would love tofu if they tried this recipe! Put them in soft tacos with veggies and cheese…mmm. Will definitely be making them again and possibly just eating a large bowl of them on their own 🙂

  31. I used white rice flour mixed with regular wheat flour because it was what I had on hand and these are GREAT!!! simple and AWESOME!!! Kids loved them. I made a batch with the mustard and without… The mustard is a must for the burst of flavor. I made extra for the boys’ lunch.
    Thank you!!

  32. I loved this recipe! It was super easy to make and it came out great. I substituted regular flour and skipped the yeast, because I didn’t have any. Seasoned with lemon pepper and loved it 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

  33. Pingback: 26 Recipes That Will Make You Love Tofu

  34. My grand daughter age12 is vegan I was worried at first she being so young i was thinking about her getting enough nutrition in her diet then I learned about nutritional yeast which has B12 and getting these recipes Oh my gosh You change my eating habits also once or twice a week I go Vegan Thanks

  35. Great recipe – I used a dry multi-grain gluten free hot cereal mix in place of flour and I baked at 400F for 17 minutes (as another commenter suggested – thanks!) – these are excellent – I’ll add less pepper next time, but really tasty – I did freeze the tofu first, so the consistency is how I like it for “nuggets.”

  36. Being new to tofu, this was the first recipe I tried making at home. LOVED it!!! Even my husband and son (who are solid meat eaters) thought I found the secret KFC copycat recipe. This was soooo good! I used almond flour and baked it at 400 degrees for 20 minutes (10 min on each side). This will probably become a staple in our house!

  37. My sons allergic to mustard. Can i just leave it out or Is there anything else u would recommend? We just found out he’s allergic to chicken, wheat, rice, mustard, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, and English peas. So I’m struggling finding recipes. This one looks so good.
    Thank you!

  38. These are AMAZING! I made mine with English mustard and cooked them in a griddle pan with a little oil. Will try it with frozen tofu next time, thanks for the tip!

  39. We had this for dinner tonight with crispy oven fries and salad. It was so delicious! I used frozen and thawed tofu, and added a touch of egg replacer. I also bumped up the seasoning (we tend to like things intensely seasoned) and used vegan “chicken” stock instead of water. My family was so happy – they even called it a delicacy. Thank you!! Best tofu recipe yet!

  40. what would you think about adding a teaspoon or so of breadcrumbs to the wet mixture- to crisp it up even more/add more flavor?? would that work you think?

    • i’d also like to try baking instead of frying- my stomach can’t handle fried foods very well. the breadcrumbs will definitely add a crispy-factor when baked i think

    • Hi Payton, I’m really not sure as I haven’t tried it. Test it out and see if it works. It might actually be a good idea to do the wet coating, then roll it in breadcrumbs after. Let us know how you go!

  41. This was delicious! I made it for myself and two non-vegans who usually don’t like tofu and they both liked it, and I LOVED it. This is one of the best fried tofu recipes I have made…I will definitely be making this again.

  42. Pingback: Healthy Super Bowl Recipe Roundup {Gluten Free, Vegetarian Options} | NutriFitMama

  43. Really excellent recipe! Made it yesterday. I forgot to put the mustard in, but used it for a dipping sauce and it was still excellent. My wife and I like things spicy, so I used a tablespoon of Cajun spices. Perfect! I have another block of tofu in the fridge, so I just might make this again today. Thanks!

  44. Good flavor. Used sage, rosemary, salt, pepper with dijon mustard. The only thing I was missing was a stick proof pan which I haven’t owned for over 20 years.

  45. I must have done something wrong here – I made the batter the consistency of pancake batter as suggested and baked instead of fried. However the coating just came off when i turned them, and for the coating that stayed on, it just added an odd layer. A video sure would help!!

  46. Do you ever freeze the tofu, then thaw to use? I have heard that changes the texture to be more “meaty”. Seems like that would make these even more delicious!

  47. Pingback: Tofu Popcorn Chick’n (Vegan & Gluten Free) | moonology num num

  48. Hi there!

    I’m not sure if anyone else posted this or not, but when we were getting ready to flip the tofu to let it cook on the other side some of the coating started to come off! Any suggestions for next time? Thanks 🙂

  49. If I don’t have a press what can I do. Do I literally “pour” the tofu and batter in to the pan of after coating the tofu, put it in the pan? (just the tofu)

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  52. I’ve not tried this version yet, but I do make a similar batter for tofu buffalo “wings”.. except I use sparkling water – it gives a beautifully tender and crisp batter.

  53. I am a very new vegan and have never really cooked at all before in my life (literally only a few dishes) as my mother has cooked. But now that I’m a vegan I don’t eat the food she makes so it has been stressful as I’m bad at cooking and it takes me so long. So I was so happy when this recipe came out great and didn’t take me that long! It was SO good with BBQ sauce and really just seemed like normal chicken to me (and I’ve had it recently- as I said I’ve been vegan for a few weeks). Even my sister who always says she hates tofu (and is not a vegan or vegetarian) and shuns oil went for more! Thank you SO much for this awesome recipe!

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