Spicy Barbecue Nuggets

It’s crispy, it’s spicy, and its barbecue flavor is so intense, you think you’re down home with the Neelys. The crunchy little squares are so filling, so flavorful, that they almost taste like they might be bad for you. But they’re actually… TOFU. Yes, tofu, the often-overlooked protein – boring, white, jiggly, and bland. But not to me.

To me, tofu is like the little black dress of proteins. You can dress it up or dress it down (fancy agedashi tofu or simply fried bean curd), eat it sweet or savory, scramble it, crumble it, cube it, slice it any which way you want. Soft, silky, firm, or dried, tofu easily absorbs marinades and flavors. You can season it with whatever spice you’re in the mood for or add it to any dish and it’ll blend right in. And as an added bonus, it is relatively low in calories, low in fat, and high in calcium and protein.

These Spicy Barbecue Tofu Nuggets is another simple, healthy, nutritious dish that you can easily prepare. Like soup when you need it, you most probably have the ingredients on hand already. Of course you’ll need tofu first. I like Nasoya Cubed Super Firm Tofu but you can buy any firm tofu you want and just dice it. And you’ll need a couple of star ingredients that will make these nuggets packed with spicy flavor:

just pick your favorite hot sauce and barbecue sauce

I really like the Hot Bone Suckin’ Sauce that I get from Whole Foods. It’s so convenient for quick dinners and it tastes great. If you’re the type who makes your own barbecue sauce, then by all means use that. One day, I’ll attempt to make my own – I’ve been eyeing some good sauces from Dan’s beard, I mean Dan’s blog. I also really like sriracha. Basically I really like extremely spicy things. If you don’t like spicy things, you might want to check out my other recipes instead (dark chocolate cookies, anyone?).

Anyway for this dish, this is all you need to do : Preheat the oven to 425F. Toss together one package of drained cubed tofu, 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, and about 1 tablespoon sriracha hot sauce. Roast for 50 minutes or until the tofu gets crispy. Then toss with a little more barbecue sauce (about 2 tablespoons) and another squirt of sriracha for even more spice! This will make about 2-3 servings.

During the summer when I like eating light, healthy fare, I use these tofu nuggets like croutons on top of salad greens. I eat the salad with some chopped avocado, sometimes a little feta cheese, and a lemon or balsamic vinaigrette. But now that it’s winter, and I crave hearty, filling meals, I like making rice bowls with it:

brown rice, roasted broccoli, and spicy barbecue tofu

Tonight I made roasted broccoli ala Barefoot Contessa (but nixed the pine nuts). The lemon, garlic and smidgen of sharp parmesan really make roasted broccoli taste special, and the flavors complemented the spicy barbecue tofu. It
was a nice, simple, nutritious dinner.

looks like a greasy Chinese take-out meal, but it’s really the opposite: a healthy, barbecue-flavored homemade meal

In fact I felt so full and healthy after eating this, that instead of having chocolate for dessert, I opted for half a grapefruit. (Okay I lied. After eating the grapefruit and as I’m typing this, I’m eating some chocolate).

Do you like tofu? What’s your favorite tofu dish?


27 Responses to “Spicy Barbecue Nuggets”

  1. #
    Sues posted January 7, 2011 at 1:24 am

    I think something is wrong with your photos and links?? I’m just getting code :( BUT I could view the post in my reader and I have to say this both sounds and looks amazing!! I can’t believe I never thought to put BBQ sauce on tofu?! This could me a major revelation for me! Thank you :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 7, 2011 at 1:38 am

      Hi Sues, thanks for letting me know – the WordPress app on my iPhone messed it up! And yeah, barbecue sauce on tofu was a revelation for me too ;)

  2. #
    Lauren posted January 7, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I do like tofu, though my husband isn’t a huge fan. What he does love is barbecue sauce, so perhaps he’d like these nuggets! I’m definitely going to try them for myself, as – like you – I add tofu to salads to bulk them up. Bone Suckin’ Sauce is a favorite of ours, and your idea of adding a bit of Sriracha to it is a great one.

  3. #
    MelissaNibbles posted January 7, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I like tofu, but hate hot sauce. I’d eat the broccoli though!

  4. #
    Justin posted January 7, 2011 at 10:06 am

    I’ve always wanted to cook with tofu, and this recipe looks like something I’d really like… and so easy too.

  5. #
    Michelle posted January 7, 2011 at 11:07 am

    We are seriously on the same wavelength these days. I’m about to post my recipe for marinated baked tofu today! I adore tofu and love finding new ways to use it!

  6. #
    thehealthyapron posted January 7, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I am not a huge tofu fan but I do feel like it blends so well with SO many different dishes! I first tried it just in my salads and really enjoyed how it took on the flavors of the other veggies and dressing I put in it. This dish LOOKS good but I don’t think I would care for it! I’m not a spicy loving gal…but I DO enjoy choc. chip cookies! haha

  7. #
    Megan posted January 7, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    You and Michelle both posted about tofu today. I really don’t like it, but I’m willing to try it if either of you make it for me. I love that broccoli recipe!

  8. #
    Elizabeth posted January 7, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Ooh, totally going to try this with tofu.

  9. #
    Daisy posted January 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Tofu is trending! (fun and fearless cooked it recently too!) This demonstrates just how versatile it is! I think this is telling me i should make it soon. your dish looks excellent.

  10. #
    Linda posted January 7, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    this recipe looks fantastic, def. going to try it!!
    My long time easy fix fav for tofu is:
    nasoya lite firm tofu cubed up with franks red hot sauce… just put it in the frying pan for 10 min.. put it in some warm crusty bread w/blue cheese to dip in – have it on the stove top right now!!

  11. #
    Katy posted January 7, 2011 at 9:14 pm

    I love tofu — my husband thinks it’s gross, but I bet some serious barbeque flavor could convince him…!

  12. #
    Kerstin posted January 8, 2011 at 1:45 am

    I love tofu and my hubby loves BBQ sauce so this may be the perfect meal for both of us – yum! So glad to find another awesome Boston blogger :)

  13. #
    Nicole @ Making Good Choices posted January 8, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I love tofu! I’ve seen this sauce, but I never thought to buy it. Thanks for the review, I need to pick up some and try something new with my tofu.

  14. #
    Lauren at KeepItSweet posted January 8, 2011 at 9:48 am

    This looks delicious! Do you drain the tofu beforehand?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted January 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Hi Lauren, yes I drain the tofu beforehand!

  15. #
    Kristina @ Life as Kristina posted January 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

    This looks amazing! I’ve heard of that bbq sauce and have been trying to find it! I’m hot and cold when it comes to tofu:) I used to love grilling it in stirfrys and such but have gotten out of the habit-this meal is def making me want to have it again!

  16. #
    Lizzy posted January 8, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Bianca!! This is just the type of dish I need!!! I’m trying to cook healthier lunches now that I’m trying to drop some lbs. I just bought all this BBQ sauce from Stonewall Kitchen so this is perfect. Thanks for the idea!

  17. #
    ashleigh posted January 8, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Yummy! That looks delicious. I haven’t bought tofu in quite some time because I never seem to cook it right. Maybe some BBQ sauce is what I need!

  18. #
    Alicia posted January 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Oh! I love tofu with barbecue sauce! Yum! and the more spice the better.

  19. #
    justcooknyc posted January 9, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    you sure make it sound easy. i definitely have trouble getting tofu crispy sometimes. but weirdly enough, i’ve never heard of this pre-cubed variety.

  20. #
    Baking Serendipity posted January 9, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I still need to try tofu. For some reason I keep thinking that it’s a questionable food…not sure where I got that one from, but thus far, it’s stuck.

  21. #
    Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) posted January 10, 2011 at 1:49 am

    I’ve never cooked with tofu and feel like my only experiences with it have really been with miso soup and goopy nastiness at chinese restaurants! I am definitely committed to learning how to cook with it this year, though, and this seems like a great place to start :)

  22. #
    Rhea posted January 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    OMG. I am going to make that tonight. I adore BBQ sauce, good lawd!
    I love Averie’s (Love Veggies and Yoga) recipe for sesame maple ginger tofu. I used that method (marinade and roast) with different flavas all the damn time. So good.
    God I love food

  23. #
    Dana posted January 11, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I love tofu… it’s so versatile. This sounds like a great way to eat it…. now if only I can convince my boyfriend to try it…

  24. #
    Teagan posted November 24, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    I made this and loved it! I used Crystal hot sauce instead of the sriracha because we didn’t have any in the house. Great for easy dinners!

  25. #
    Marcie posted November 16, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Love it Bianx! Perfect for me as I am trying so hard to eat less meat these days! Can’t wait to make this! :)

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