Fried Tofu Sandwich

This vegan buttermilk battered and fried tofu sandwich is crispy on the outside. Served with a creamy sauce, it’s perfect for lunch or dinner.

A fried tofu sandwich sits on a plate in front of other plated sandwiches. There's a bowl with mayo sauce in the middle.

Imagine a buttermilk batter breaded, crispy fillet on a sandwich with a creamy mayo sauce. Sounds vegan, right?

If you’re skeptical, I get you. It does sound unrealistic.

But skeptics rejoice, but this fried tofu sandwich is all that and more! Transform a block of tofu into the crispiest sandwich with all the right flavors!

Key Ingredients

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this recipe:

  • Sauce – You’ll need vegan mayo, BBQ sauce (substitute ketchup), green onion, maple syrup, yellow mustard, and lemon juice for the sauce.
  • Tofu — Be sure to get extra-firm tofu to get the best texture for your sandwich.
  • Plant-based milk — I prefer to use plain (not vanilla-flavored), but I will resort to vanilla in a pinch and it still works.
  • Dill pickle juice  — Got a jar of dill pickles? You can use the juice straight from the jar or substitute lemon juice.
  • Nutritional yeast flakes — These flakes are optional but they do add a cheesy flavor. Here’s more on cooking with nutritional yeast flakes.
  • Vegetable oil — Any neutral oil will work.
  • Flour — You can use all-purpose or gluten-free flour.
  • Baking powder — You’ll need just a bit of baking powder.
  • Seasoning — Add some poultry seasoning to the flour mixture.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • Adding cornstarch helps prevent the formation of gluten in the flour, creating a crispier crust
  • Baking powder creates little bubbles in the batter as it friest, creating a lighter crust with more crisp in every bite
  • Adding poultry seasoning infuses the tofu with flavor!

How to Make Fried Tofu Sandwich

  1. Stir together the sauce ingredients, cover, and refrigerate.
    Ingredients are in a glass bowl, including syrup, chopped green onions, vegan mayo, bbq sauce, and more.
  2. Press the tofu, then cut it horizontally into four slices. Then cut the edges to create roundish patties.
    Tofu is on a cutting board sitting next to pieces that have been cut off with a knife.
  3. Stir together the soy milk, pickle juice, and yeast flakes in one bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl or plate, stir together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and seasoning. 
    A rectangle baking dish has a soy milk mixture in it and two tofu patties. A plate sits next to it with a flour mixture and another tofu patty in that.
  5. Dredge the tofu slices in the milk mixture first, then in the flour.
  6. Repeat this process to create a thick batter.
  7. Gently press the batter onto the tofu to help it stick.
  8. Use tongs to place battered tofu in a skillet with hot oil.
    Breaded tofu patties are frying in a skillet.
  9. Cook the tofu patties until lightly browned on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Carefully flip slices and cook on the other side until lightly browned.
  11. Place fried tofu on a bun, drizzle with sauce and favorite toppings.
Looking down on open-faced tofu sandwiches with a bowl of special sauce sitting between them.

Storage Tips

Store fried tofu in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. I don’t usually recommend tofu for freezing.

A hand holds a crispy tofu sandwich . There's a plate with potato chips in the background.

Air Fryer Fried Tofu

Trying to reduce oil in your diet? You can make these patties in an air fryer. Here are the ways to do it:

  1. Follow the recipe to prepare the tofu
  2. Spray the air fryer basket with vegetable cooking spray to prevent sticking
  3. Place breaded tofu patties in your air fryer basket (leaving room between each, depending on the size of your air fryer).
  4. Heat the air fryer to 375°F/190°C
  5. Cook the patties for 5 to 10 minutes on each side, until the patties are golden brown.
  6. Use tongs to turn the patties and cook again for another 3 to 5 minutes.
A fried tofu patty is in an air fryer basket.

Make it Gluten-Free

You can make this fried tofu sandwich gluten-free by using the following tips:

  • Substitute gluten-free flour in the flour mix.
  • Use gluten-free bread or buns for the sandwiches.

Yummy Vegan Sandwiches

If you love this fried tofu sandwich, be sure to try these tasty vegan sandwich recipes, too:

For something a little different, be sure to try this Air Fried Tofu. It’s a go-to favorite!

A fried tofu sandwich sits on a plate. It has a creamy sauce, pickles, and lettuce on top.

Fried Tofu Sandwich

Buttermilk breaded vegan fried tofu sandwich features breaded and fried tofu topped with pickles, lettuce, and a creamy sauce. It's a perfect sandwich for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
5 from 2 votes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 sandwiches
Calories: 450kcal

Ingredients

Sandwich Sauce

  • ½ cup vegan mayo
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ Sauce (substitute ketchup)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Fried Tofu

  • 4 ounces extra firm tofu
  • cup plant-based milk (plain, not vanilla)
  • 3 tablespoons dill pickle juice (substitute lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • cup flour (use all-purpose or gluten-free)
  • cup cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
  • Topping ideas: pickles, sliced onions, vegan cheese slices, etc.

Instructions

For the Sandwich Sauce:

  • Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate.

For the Fried Tofu

  • Press the tofu using a tofu press. If you don't have a press, wrap the tofu in a kitchen towel and place on a plate with something heavy over the top (like a pan or can) and let that sit for 30 minutes or so to press out some of the liquid. Slice tofu into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Cut the tofu horizontally into four slices. Feel free to cut off the corners to create "rounded" patties. Save the corners to batter, fry, and serve on the side.
  • Heat oil in the skillet over medium heat.
  • While the oil is heating, create two dipping stations. 1) In a bowl stir together the milk, pickle juice, and yeast flakes. 2) In a separate bowl or plate, stir together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, and seasoning.
  • Dredge the tofu in the milk mixture first, then in the flour. Repeat this process to create a thick batter. Gently press the batter onto the tofu to help it stick.
  • Use tongs to place battered tofu in the hot oil. Cook the tofu patties until lightly browned on the bottom, 5 to 7 minutes. Carefully flip slices and cook on the other side until lightly browned. Add more oil to the skillet if necessary. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.

Sandwich Assembly

  • Place the tofu on a bun. Add the vegan sauce and your favorite toppings.

Recommended Equipment

(The products above contain sponsored links to products we use and recommend)

Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 643mg | Potassium: 390mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 141mg | Iron: 2mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

This post was originally published in 2012 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2022.

12 Responses to Fried Tofu Sandwich

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for Marlysidra Reply

    how do you get it melting cuz when i tried it was stiff.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Sidra
      You may want to leave the sandwich sit in the skillet with the heat off, put the lid on top, and let the vegan cheese warm up and melt that way. Or you could place it in the microwave for a moment or two to get that cheese to melt. Hope you enjoy!

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJovana Reply

    Marly, I’ve been looking to find coconut oil in South Africa but to no avail. I’d love to make some french toast.

    Is there a substitute I could use?

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Coconut oil definitely has it’s advantages, but if you can’t find it, I think good old olive oil would work fine too. Or maybe you could try some melted Earth Balanace or some other dairy-free margarine? I hope that works! Can’t wait to hear how it turns out!

  3. Avatar thumbnail image for Marly[email protected] Reply

    This looks so delicious. I have to try it.

  4. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJeanette Reply

    5 stars
    Yum, a protein packed vegan breakfast sandwich – very clever!

  5. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMaria Reply

    Love this sandwich!

  6. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyAlison @ingredients, Inc. Reply

    really nice! I am going to have to try this…Hope you are well!

  7. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyJulieD Reply

    Love, love this! So yummy, Marly!!

  8. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyLynn Reply

    Oh my god this looks so amazing! I can’t wait to try it!

  9. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMonet Reply

    Oh yes! I can see how this could be a perfect pick-me up! This french toast is such a delicious way to begin my morning. I’m drooling just thinking about how great this must have tasted. Thank you for sharing with me…and warm wishes for the new week!

  10. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMagic of Spice Reply

    What a fantastic idea…scrumptious to say the least!
    Happy 2012!

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