Weekend Wonder: Crispy Tofu Burgers with Sweet Sriracha Mayo

We love tofu here at Chez Gourmess.

Usually, I stir-fry it up with crunchy veggies or toss it in sesame or olive oil and toast it in the oven, then add to spicy, peanut-sesame noodles. And, just like everything else in the world, it's amazing fried, too. Except I hate it when the house smells like a diner for a week after I fry something. But yum-wow, if there's someone in your house who abhors tofu, I bet FRIED tofu would be the thing to change that.

One of our favorite Japanese-fusion restaurants serves "Tofu Sliders" --little bites of heaven, they are--and sells out almost every time we're there. The tofu is crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, topped with mixed greens and spicy mayo on fluffy Hawaiian rolls and served with a sweet Thai chili sauce. I could eat a dozen of them, no sweat. They are delish. I've been of course trying to replicate them, and have come pretty close. My last attempt got sidetracked when I decided to take it a step further: sliders are great, but who doesn't love a crispy chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mayo? What if I replaced the chicken with tofu? And what if I skipped the frying part and baked the tofu?

Drum roll please....I give you...these tasty, BAKED, crispy tofu burgers.  Please enjoy responsibly.

Crispy Tofu Burgers with Sweet Sriracha Mayo
Makes four burgers
Olive oil nonstick spray
1 14oz package extra firm tofu
1 1/4 cups Panko or other plain bread crumbs
1 TBS ground ginger
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
Kosher salt
1-2 TBS vegetable or peanut oil
4-8 lettuce leaves
1 large, ripe tomato, sliced
4 hamburger rolls (sweet Hawaiian or classic white taste best -- I used whole wheat)
For the mayo:
1/4 cup mayo (not Miracle Whip)
1 TBS Sriracha chili sauce
2 tsp Hoisin sauce

Minimal MESS/ingredients/clean-up Category 2

To Do:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Spray baking sheet with olive oil and set aside.
  • Drain tofu and wrap in a few layers of paper towels and gently press out extra moisture. Discard wet paper towels and re-wrap in new layer. Let sit about 5 minutes.
  • While tofu is draining, in a flat-bottomed dish, mix together the breadcrumbs, ginger, garlic and chili powders, and a few pinches of salt.
  • Remove the paper towels from the tofu and cut it into four equal square-shaped slices and lay flat on a cutting board.
  • Brush each side of each slice with the cooking oil, then gently place in the dish with the breadcrumbs. Coat all sides with the breadcrumb mixture, then place the tofu slice on the greased baking sheet. Repeat for remaining slices.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then gently flip and bake for another 15 minutes, until lightly browned and crispy.
  • Increase oven to Broil setting and bake for about 5 minutes more, until golden brown. 
  • Spread Sweet Sriracha Mayo on the bottom piece of the roll, then top with lettuce and tomato. (Sprinkle a bit of salt over the tomatoes, if you'd like.) Add tofu burger and spread more mayo on the top piece of the bun, before devouring.

For Sweet Sriracha Mayo:
  • Mix mayo, sriracha and hoisin sauces in a small bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.