Sunday, July 8, 2012

The PiX FiZ Signature Tofu Sandwich

Tofu, arugula, pickled onion, tahini sauce pita sandwiches.
These tofu sandwiches might just convert even the staunchest meat eaters to soy protein, at least this once!   Each element in the sandwich is essential; providing a delicious variety in complimentary flavor and texture.  The fried tofu firms up in the cooking process, giving it a more substantial meaty texture and the tang of the pickled onion is perfectly set against the peppery arugula, all accented  with the boldness of the tahini enhanced sandwich spread.  

Every part of this recipe can be made ahead, however the tofu benefits the most from an overnight marinade (but it is tasty enough if made in a hurry with no marinade time too.)  Tofu sandwiches travel well if made ahead, wrapped well, and placed in a cooler; making them perfect for any vegan picnic.  If you steal this recipe and serve it in your upscale vegan sandwich shop, that is fine, but you really must keep the name (and tell me all about it!)  

Fried Tofu
2 pounds firm tofu
1 tablespoon sesame oil
½ cup soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon basil, dried or minced fresh
½ teaspoon cayenne

Drain tofu on paper towels, pressing lightly to remove excess water.  Combine all remaining ingredients in a large Zip-lock bag.  Cut tofu into bite sized cubes.   Add to the Zip-lock, tossing to coat evenly with each addition to ensure cubes do not stick to one another.  Seal bag by lightly pressing out excess air and marinade tofu in refrigerator for as long as time will allow, up to 24 hours.

To fry tofu, pour out Zip-lock ingredients into a large non-stick skillet and set on medium-high heat.  Allow the liquid to come to simmer, arranging tofu in one layer as much as possible, and reduce liquid until absorbed.   Add 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil to the pan once the liquid is absorbed and fry the tofu, stirring cubes to evenly brown them on all sides.  If some of the cubes break apart in the cooking process, just scrape the parts off the bottom of the pan and add a little more oil if needed to keep the tofu from sticking.   The tofu is done when the moisture cooks out so that it firms up a bit and develops an even brown, fried appearance.   Allow to cool, best when not eaten hot. 

Pickled Onion
2 large red (white or yellow can also be used) onion, sliced thin
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
pinch red pepper flakes

Place thinly sliced onion in a canning jar or heat resilient bowl.  Combine all ingredients except onion in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Carefully pour the hot liquid over the onions and cover with lid.  Allow to cool to cool prior to refrigeration or use.   Store pickled onions in refrigerator. 

Tahini Sandwich Spread
¾ cup Vegenaise
½ cup Annie’s Naturals Goddess dressing
1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
¼ cup tahini
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
Blend all ingredients together and refrigerate until use. 
Note:  If Annie’s dressing is unavailable in your area, there is an online recipe here that can be used as a substitution.

Assemble the sandwiches on toasted pita bread, placing a small handful of arugula in the center, fried tofu and pickled onions next and enough tahini sandwich spread to make it really messy to eat.  Enjoy!
Recipe makes 6-9 sandwiches.


  1. OK I am official a Pix FiZ groupie. This sandwich is divine! So much so that my kids immediately wanted more. The combination of ingredients are a great combination. The tofu is savory, onions are sour and the pita is wonderful toasted. Dont be deterred when you make the individual parts (especially the dressing)...they may not seem impressive by themselves. The magic happens when you add them all together. Definitely a make again!

    1. Hooray! We feel the same way at our house!