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Tofu Jalapeño Poppers

YIELD: 20 pieces

The perfect crispy, cheesy, spicy snack that’s full of flavor and crunch! Mori-Nu Silken Tofu transforms into a deliciously savory vegan ‘cheese’ that melts in your mouth inside a crunchy crust of panko breadcrumbs wrapped around a fresh jalapeño shell. Rivaling the flavors of real cheese, this Tofu Jalapeño Poppers recipe uses nutritional yeast to give the filling that cheesy goodness without the dairy. Chopped pickled jalapeños add heat and texture, while the brine adds even more flavor. Unlike other vegan ‘cheese’ recipes that use nuts or carrots as the base, this jalapeño popper recipe uses silken tofu to create that velvety, gooey filling while keeping it nut-free and dairy-free. Dipped into creamy, blended tofu, then battered and fried, these spicy jalapeño poppers will become your go-to appetizer for parties and family mealtimes!

INGREDIENTS

"CHEESE" FILLING

1 package Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Extra Firm

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp potato starch

1 tbsp brine from jar of pickled jalapeños

2 tsp corn starch

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp turmeric powder (optional for color)

3 tbsp chopped pickled jalapeños


BATTER & BREADING

1 package Mori-Nu Silken Tofu Lite Firm

1/2 cup corn starch

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cup panko crumbs, or more if needed


ASSEMBLY & FRYING

10 jalapeño chiles (2 to 3 inch), halved lengthwise, seeded

Vegetable oil for deep frying

 

INSTRUCTIONS


“CHEESE” FILLING

  1. In a blender, add all ingredients except jalapeños, then process until smooth and no lumps remain.
     
  2. Pour sauce into a small saucepan and heat on medium-low, stirring constantly while scraping down sides and bottom of saucepan. Sauce should NOT boil. Reduce heat if needed.
     
  3. After a few minutes, the sauce will thicken. Keep stirring to cook evenly. It should come together into a "ball" and no longer stick to the sides of the pan after about 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
     
  4. Put this “ball” into a large heat-proof bowl. With a wire whisk, break up the "ball" and whisk several times. The sauce will start to stick to the sides of the bowl and form "cheesy" strands from the whisk.
     
  5. Whisk in chopped jalapeños.
     

BATTER & BREADING

  1. In a blender, make the batter by adding tofu, corn starch, and salt, then processing until smooth with no lumps. Pour into a bowl.
     
  2. In a separate bowl, add panko crumbs.
     

ASSEMBLY & FRYING

  1. Generously spoon "cheese" filling into jalapeño halves, making sure there are no air pockets.
     
  2. In a heavy saucepan, add enough oil to cover jalapeños completely. Heat oil to 350°F.
     
  3. Line a baking sheet or large plate with paper towels.
     
  4. Holding by the stem, dip one jalapeño half into batter until generously covered.
     
  5. Then lay it flat right into the bowl panko crumbs. The crumbs will stick to the underside. Without turning it over, spoon some crumbs onto the top side until fully covered. Do NOT roll or press - just sprinkle and dab. The panko crumbs should fully cover the batter.
     
  6. Fry in oil 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with each jalapeño.
     
  7. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Inside will be hot! 

     

TIPS

  • Nutritional yeast is NOT the same as brewer’s yeast. This recipe only works with nutritional yeast.
     
  • Extra Firm tofu is used for the "cheese" filling to give it a denser texture. For the batter, Firm, Extra Firm, or Lite Firm can be used.
     
  • Make sure to cut the jalapeño in half such that each half has a stem (or part of a stem) to hold onto. This will assist in dipping in batter and slipping into the hot oil. Breading will fall off if holding onto the body, so use the stem instead. The panko shell helps to hold the filling and everything in place.
     
  • If your filling leaks during frying, then you need a thicker coating of batter and panko crumbs. If using a shallow amount of oil that doesn't cover the whole jalapeño, just make sure to flip it over to brown on all sides.
     
  • The "cheese" filling is already cooked.
     
  • Great served with a cooling sauce such as ranch.
     
  • PLANT-BASED: This "cheese" filling is plant-based while providing a good source of protein from Mori-Nu Silken Tofu. 
     
  • GLUTEN-FREE: Our tofu is Certified Gluten Free! Just make sure to use gluten-free panko bread crumbs and other ingredients as well.

 

PRODUCTS USED FOR THE RECIPE

EXTRA FIRM TOFU
LITE FIRM TOFU
Next Recipe Tofu Pinchos (Puerto Rican Skewers)

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