Kardea Brown’s Lemon-Pepper Fried “Chicken” Tenders ​| Delicious Miss Brown | Food Network

Kardea shares the soul food side of vegan with her crispy fried tofu served with dairy-free ranch dipping sauce!
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Kardea Brown shares down-home, Southern recipes from her South Carolina kitchen. The cook and caterer was born and raised on the sea islands of Charleston, the heart of all Southern cooking, and learned to cook in her grandmother’s kitchen. These days, she takes generations of family recipes and makes them her own as she cooks for family and friends at her Sea Island home.

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Lemon-Pepper Fried "Chicken" Tenders
Level: Intermediate
Total: 2 hr 30 min (includes drying and soaking time)
Active: 55 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings


Lemon-Pepper "Chicken":

Two 14-ounce packages firm tofu
3 cups “no chicken” broth (or broth made with no chicken base)
Peanut or canola oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon-pepper seasoning, plus more for sprinkling
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dairy-Free Ranch Dip:

1 cup vegan mayonnaise
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried dill
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Special equipment: a deep-fry thermometer

For the lemon-pepper "chicken": Place the tofu on a layer of paper towels on a cutting board. Top with more paper towels. Place a pot over the top and fill with heavy cans to press the excess liquid from the tofu. Let stand for 30 minutes.


Cut the tofu into strips. Soak the strips in the broth in a bowl for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the ranch dip: Stir together the mayonnaise, almond milk, parsley, vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder and dill in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the lemon-pepper "chicken": Pour enough oil to reach halfway up the sides of a cast-iron skillet. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a wire rack.

Make the “buttermilk” by stirring together the almond milk and vinegar in a shallow dish. Let stand, whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes to develop a tangy flavor. Combine the flour, cornstarch, lemon-pepper seasoning and salt and pepper to taste in a separate shallow dish.


Dip the tofu strips in the “buttermilk,” then dredge in the flour mixture. Fry, in batches, turning occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain on a wire rack and sprinkle with additional lemon-pepper seasoning while still hot. Serve hot with the ranch dip.

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