chinese food/dinner/recipes/Vegetarian Recipes

Honey Jalapeno Tofu Nuggets

Posted September 22, 2015 by Stephanie
honey jalapeno tofu nuggets recipe -

honey jalapeno tofu nuggets recipe -

September has always been my favorite month (I’ve mentioned it before, I’m sure), not just because it’s my birthday month, but because it’s back-to-school. It’s been many years since I’ve been back-to-school but I still love that crisp autumn air, brand new notebooks, freshly sharpened pencils, and the feeling that this (school) year, anything will be possible.

honey jalapeno tofu nuggets recipe -

honey jalapeno tofu-4

Yup, it’s official, I was and always will be the biggest nerd. Part of the fun of back-to-school was definitely after school snacks. Somehow back then it just felt right to eat an extra meal after class and call it a snack. My snacks would literally be miniature meals: packs of instant ramen, mac and cheese, or chicken nuggets. Ah, the things I used to get away with eating. I don’t really do snack meals anymore, but if I did, these honey jalapeño tofu nuggets would be just the ticket.

honey jalapeno tofu nuggets recipe -

Check out my makeshift wire rack made from bamboo skewers >_<

honey jalapeno tofu-5

I’m a huge fan of tofu, as I’m sure you know – especially when it’s crispy. That’s not to say I don’t like the texture of creamy tofu, I do, and that’s why these tofu nuggets are the best of both worlds. They’re incredibly crunchy on the outside and creamy and soft on the inside. Drizzle them with (or dunk in) some creamed honey jalapeño garlic sauce and you’ve got the perfect after school or anytime snack.

honey jalapeno tofu nuggets recipe -

Honey Jalapeño Tofu Nuggets
makes 24 nuggets

  • 1 block medium or firm tofu
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • oil for frying
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 2 tablespoons creamed honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • freshly ground pepper

Drain your tofu and cut it into 8 even pieces and then cut each piece evenly into 3 so you end up with “nugget” shapes. Place a couple of paper towels down on a plate or cutting board and lay out your tofu. Place a couple of paper towels on top. They idea is that you’re drying it out slightly – you’re not pressing it, just removing some excess moisture. Pressing removes most of the moisture from tofu, which is NOT what we want here. Leave it a bit moist, this ensures a soft and creamy tofu interior that will contrast with the crunchy potato starch coating.

Spread your potato starch out in a shallow dish and coat each piece of tofu, ensuring that there are no bare spots.

In a cast iron pan, heat up a bit of oil over medium high heat. You don’t need a bunch of oil here, just maybe about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons. When the oil is hot and shimmery (you can test it with an uncoated wooden chopstick – when the oil is hot bubbles will form around the chopstick), add the coated pieces of tofu and cook until golden brown and crispy. Time wise, this can vary, but tofu is quite forgiving as it doesn’t brown easily. When one side is brown, flip it over and repeat. Rest tofu on a wire rack (this ensures crispiness) while you make your sauce.

In a small sauce pan, heat up the garlic, jalapeño, honey, and soy sauce over medium high heat until slightly reduced and glossy. Season with pepper and drizzle over the tofu pieces or serve as a dipping sauce. Enjoy immediately!

Notes: A lot of tofu recipes call for marination, but I prefer to cook my tofu plain and add sauce later. That way the flavor of the tofu (and yes, tofu has a flavor) isn’t marred.

The tofu I used for this is block tofu, not silken.

You can find potato starch in most Asian grocery stores. Potato starch has a bubbly, extra crunchy texture when deep-fried. You can substitute cornstarch, but it won’t have the same crunch factor.

It’s National Honey Month & this Sweet September, Billy Bee is bringing out all the sweet tips and recipes! This post was sponsored by Billy Bee, the cutest honey around. Thanks for supporting I am a Food Blog!


PS – On the subject of snacks: I always have honey in my cupboards, not just for honey garlic sauce, but also to add a touch of light natural sweetness to snack time. I can think of so many ways I use honey, but here are just three quick tips:

  1. Ricotta drizzled with a bit of honey on crisp flatbread.
  2. On top of pancakes instead of syrup.
  3. Honey milk tea when I need an afternoon pick-me-up.
honey jalapeno tofu nuggets recipe -


  1. i loved the cornstarch-coated and baked tofu you shared a while ago, and can’t wait to try this version! also, honey pmt needs to happen (they’re getting to be too sweet for me, so i’ve been contemplating switching over to homemade milk tea).

  2. The honey-spicy mix in this is faaaaab! And I love how simple it is too – yum!

  3. Chelsea says:

    These are too cute!! And I am so with you. I haven’t been in school in a couple years and I still the the whole back to school vibe that comes with September. Especially when I got into Target or something. Oh man, all i want to do is buy a bunch of school supplies and clothes that I don’t even need haha

  4. JIN says:

    Amazing recipe! I am so tired of people still saying tofu’s boring or bland, they don’t know what they are missing out! We Koreans love eating firm tofu with spicy sauce, (and kimchi of course) and I love adding honey in my spicy flavor. I am sooo trying this one. Thanks for sharing Stephanie ;-)

  5. ADRIANNA says:

    I love honey more than any other sweetener everrrr. And back to school was always my favorite. Last night I told Josh “I finished all my homework!” He was like homework? And I was like oops…I mean work. :( TOFU NUGGETS!

  6. These kind of quick tofu recipes are perfect for weeknight dinners :)

  7. I saw that frying tofu on your Instagram account and I had to come over to see this dish. This looks amazing. I was always just like you about all of the great back-to-school stuff! Nothing like a fresh notebook. I was also a HUGE after-school snacker. I should clarify, I wasn’t huge, my after-school appetite was :-) Although I should have been huge based on what I eat, but I guess that’s youth! I would make myself a brownie sundae 3 out 5 days. How did we get away with it back then? If I knew now how much I was getting away with I would have eaten more! haha!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      tell me about it! i wish is still had kid metabolism! :)

  8. Patricia says:

    Yumm can’t wait to give it a try! What’s creamed honey and where can you buy it? Thank you!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      creamed honey is honey that’s been processed to control crystallization. they sell it right next to regular honey :)

  9. Hi I just have to say I am so happy to have found this blog. This is the first recipe I’ve read and it leaves me wanting more. Great work!

  10. Josephine says:

    Looks amazing! I have to try this ?

  11. These tofu nuggets sound like a better version of chicken nuggets!

  12. Jen says:

    Mmm, so tell me, how good is it?!

  13. Vanessa says:

    I am super excited to try this recipe with my family! Both my kids and I love tofu and it is great to have an alternative and try something new. I especially love the pictures included above!

  14. Stacey says:

    Will this recipe be just as tasty if I do the cornstarch/baking method from your garlic honey tofu? I just made it last night and I’m obsessed now with putting cornstarch on before baking.

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi stacey,
      cornstarch will definitely work too!

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