Drain the tofu and press it if necessary to remove excess moisture. Cut the tofu into rectangular slices approximately ½ cm or a ¼ inch thick.
Prepare the batter by whisking together the flour, water, soy sauce, vegan dijon mustard, maple syrup and garlic powder until completely smooth.
To prepare the breadcrumb coating, stir together the panko breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, thyme, salt and pepper.
Set up your breading station with three shallow bowls or plates containing the plain flour, the batter, and the seasoned breadcrumbs, plus a plate or board to set down the coated tofu.
Evenly coat a slice of tofu with plain flour, and knock off any excess.
Next, dip the slice in the batter. Use a fork to evenly coat it and briefly let drip off excess batter.
Using the fork, transfer the battered tofu slice to the bowl of breadcrumbs. Using a second, dry and clean fork, completely cover the slice in breadcrumbs on both sides and around the edges. You can use gentle pressure of your hands to press the coating onto the tofu. Carefully shake off excess breadcrumbs and set the slice down on a prepared plate. Repeat the breading with the rest of the tofu.
Pan Frying: Cover the base of a frying pan in vegetable oil and heat it up on medium-high to high heat. Fry the breaded tofu for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Adjust the heat if necessary. Once the tofu is done on both sides, set it down on a plate lined with a double layer of kitchen roll to soak up excess frying oil. If you are frying the breaded tofu in batches, top up with extra oil in between to keep the pan base covered.
Oven Cooking (alternative method): Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Spread some cooking oil on a baking sheet and place the coated tofu on top. Gently rub the tofu in the oil, then turn the slices over and repeat. Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning the tofu over halfway through, until it has reached the desired colour and crunchiness.
Step by step pictures, plus variation and ingrdient tips in the post above.This will serve 2-4 depending on how hungry you are! Sophie will eat 2 slices, whereas Paul will eat 4. To make tofu nuggets, cut the tofu into smaller rectangles, or into sticks for tofu fingers. You might need to adjust the quantity of batter and breadcrumbs when making nuggets or dippers.