Breaded, Crispy Tofu with Barley Salad

Approximately 2,984 instructions are floating around on the internet on how to make tofu crispy. It seems like every single step in the cooking process can affect the level of crispiness: Should you press the tofu? Should you freeze it beforehand? Should you cut it into cubes or break it apart? Should you soak it in saltwater or coat it in cornstarch? And that's not even mentioning all the other options.

To prepare our tofu as a crispy salad topping today, we applied our three essential steps: pressing, breading and frying.
We cut the tofu in half lengthwise and placed it on a kitchen towel. Then we fold the towel over so that the tofu is completely wrapped. We put a wooden board and a stack of books on top to weigh it down. Now we wait for about 15 minutes. The dish towel should have absorbed most of the tofu's moisture by then.

Breading tofu without eggs is not as difficult as one might expect. We usually use a mixture of plant-based milk, flour and spices as a base. Today, we used the wet batters from VEGGIE CRUMBZ, which can be easily mixed with water and is available in flavors such as sea salt, curry and Mediterranean herbs.
The tofu pieces are then coated in a crispy breading in the second step. The colorful bread crumbs from VEGGIE CRUMBZ consist only of potato and vegetables, making them gluten-free, high in fiber, and you can choose between carrot, beetroot and cauliflower.

I turn to my favorite kitchen appliance for frying: the air fryer! The tofu cubes are air-fried for about 10 minutes, because the VEGGIE CRUMBZ breadcrumbs can be fried without any oil and still become crispy. Then we sprinkle them as a colorful topping onto a creamy barley salad.
Ready, set, #CRUNCHTIME!

R847 Crispy Tofu with Barley Salad
R847 Crispy Tofu with Barley Salad
R847 Crispy Tofu with Barley Salad

Breaded, Crispy Tofu with Barley Salad

2 servings
60 minutes


  • 100 g (3.5 oz) barley
  • 400 g (1 lb) tofu
  • 50 g (1.75 oz) wet batter (e.g. by VEGGIE CRUMBZ)
  • 80 ml (0.33 cup) water
  • 150 g (0.33 lb) breadcrumbs (e.g. by VEGGIE CRUMBZ)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) lamb's lettuce
  • 1 carrot
  • 200 g (0.5 lb) beets
  • 80 g plant-based yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  • salt
  • pepper
  • mustard seeds


  1. Cook the barley according to the package instructions and let it cool. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise and press it with a kitchen towel. Then, cut each block into 12 cubes.

Tipp: Instead of natural tofu, you can also use smoked tofu or marinate it with soy sauce before breading.

  1. Mix the wet breading in a bowl with 80 ml (0.33 cup) of water. Place the different breadcrumbs on small plates. Now, using a fork, dip the tofu first into the wet breading and then coat it in bread crumbs. Fry in the air fryer at 200 °C (400 °F) for 10 minutes.

  2. Wash the lamb's lettuce. Cut the carrot and beetroot into small pieces.

  3. For the dressing, mix plant-based yogurt, lemon juice, mustard and agave syrup. Add some water for a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Place the salad in a deep plate and mix it with the vegetables and barley. Top it with yogurt dressing, crispy tofu cubes and mustard seeds.

R847 Crispy Tofu with Barley Salad
R847 Crispy Tofu with Barley Salad

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