While I adore and use as many vegetables as possible, I have a handful of ones I turn to more often, primarily because they grow well, and I love them with many flavors. During the summer, romano beans come front and center. These flat and large runner beans are gorgeous and are easily the star of any meal when paired with these tofu cutlets.
Why Tofu Cutlets?
Growing up in Illinois, a good tenderloin was often the focus of many food conversations, as people were very particular about how thin, crispy, and big a tenderloin could be. However, as a vegetarian, the idea of a breaded cutlet left my mind until I had the most delicious tofu katsu curry. That tofu katsu unlocked so much inspiration for eating a simple tofu cutlet, and I love a good knife and fork meal.
Charred Green Beans, A Love Story
So, what makes this recipe extra special? The tofu cutlet serves as the base and protein, while the charred romano beans tossed in the peanut sprinkle take center stage. Charring romano and green beans on the grill, pizza oven, or stove top, then letting them steam makes for my ideal fresh bean texture: tender but overly soft.
Romano Bean Alternatives
The easy alternative to the romano beans is the humble fresh green bean. Given green beans take a bit less cooking than romano beans, I’ll often char them and then place them in a bowl covered with a lid to finish cooking (which is excellent when you’re grilling)!
Beyond beans, charred eggplant, brussels sprouts, cabbage, or broccoli would all work well with the tofu cutlet and peanut-basil sprinkle.
Tofu Cutlets, a vegan version
This recipe was inspired by Justine’s tofu cutlet recipe, which she keeps vegan with the help of a flax egg and for the chipotle mayo, I recommend making a chipotle nut cream or use a vegan, soy-based mayo.Print
Tofu Cutlets with Charred Romano Beans
A hearty vegetarian meal featuring tofu cutlets toped with charred romano beans and a peanut-basil sprinkle for flavor.
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
½ pound Romano or green beans
2 tablespoons neutral oil
⅓ cup peanut-basil sprinkle
¼ cup all-purpose or white wheat flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 large egg
½ cup panko
4 ounces tofu, cut into 2 slabs
Neutral oil for frying
¼ cup chipotle mayo
- To make the beans: Trim and remove any strings from the beans. Preheat a large skillet with the neutral oil over medium-high heat. Add the beans and cook until the beans have a decent amount of blistering. Turn off the heat, pour a couple tablespoons of water into the pan, and immediately cover with a lid (it helps to protect yourself a bit with the lid while adding the water). Let rest until the beans are tender.
- To make the tofu: grab three bowls and place them in a line. Add the flour, salt, smoked paprika, and garlic in the first bowl, the egg in the second, and the panko in the third. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with enough neutral oil to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Dredge one of the tofu pieces in the flour, followed by the egg and ending with the panko. Transfer to the hot oil and repeat with the second piece of tofu.
- Fry until golden, flip, and continue to fry until the second side is golden. If your tofu pieces are thick, use a pair of tongs to hold the tofu pieces and fry the edges. Transfer to a wire rack.
- To finish: remove the lid from the green beans and sprinkle the beans with the peanut-basil sprinkle. Swoosh some mayo into two bowls and top with the fried tofu pieces. Divide the green beans on top and finish with an extra sprinkle of the peanut-basil mix before serving.