Coconut Crusted Tofu and Pineapple Bites

Coconut crusted tofu with pineapple and sweet chili sauce makes a great appetizer | mjskitchen.com

These Coconut Crusted Tofu and Pineapple Bites were inspired by two completely different sources – Soni’s Food’s Coconut Crusted Tofu with Spicy Mango and Cucumber Topping and this very cool Hot and Cold Soapstone Serving Platter from uncommongoods.  Wanting to incorporate more tofu into our diet, I got really excited when I saw Soni’s recipe and just had to give it a try. Unfortunately, the mango I had was not very good, so instead, I zoned in on the fresh pineapple sitting on the counter and started thinking about how I could use it instead.  Literally, a few minutes later this complimentary serving platter was delivered to my door and everything just fell into place.

Here we have a tasty bite-size appetizer that capitalizes on the complementary flavors of coconut and pineapple and the sensation of hot combined with cold.  The tofu is coated with shredded coconut then lightly fried and served warm.  The pineapple is quickly broiled than marinated in a sweet and spicy chile sauce, chilled and served cold.  The platter from uncommongrounds allows you to serve this appetizer by keeping the tofu warm on a hot piece of soapstone and the pineapple cold on a cold piece of soapstone.  After the recipe, I’ll be telling you more on how this works. It’s really cool!

Coconut crusted tofu with pineapple and sweet chili sauce makes a great appetizer | mjskitchen.com

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Coconut Crusted Tofu and Pineapple Bites Recipes

Recipe Author:  MJ of MJ’s Kitchen

Makes about 30 bites
Prep and Cook Time:  less than 45 minutes

Ingredients

4 slices of fresh pineapple, ½” slices, cored
Sugar (optional)
¼ cup Thai-style sweet chile sauce*
1 package (12 – 14 oz.) extra firm tofu
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. zesty lime sea salt*
canola or avocado oil for frying

Instructions

  1. Drain the tofu and cut into cubes (~3/4 – 1″ cubes).  Place on paper towels then topped with paper towels and let drain. (You could also drain the tofu prior to cutting it up.  Your choice.)
  2. Prep the pineapple slices by sprinkling one side with a little sugar (if desired).  Place under broiler until sugar has melted and the edges of slices start to brown.  Remove from broiler, cut into bite size pieces, and transfer to a bowl with the sweet chile sauce.  Toss to coat.  Set in the refrigerator to cool.
  3. In a large bowl combine the coconut, cornstarch and sea salt.  Add about half of the tofu, toss to coat, pressing the coconut onto the tofu surfaces.
  4. Heat up the frying oil.  When hot, add the tofu pieces in small batches.  Fry about 1 minute or until coconut is light brown. Flip and fry another minute or two.  Be careful not to over fry as the tofu will dry out and become tough.  Remove from oil and place on a paper sack or paper towel to drain.  Repeat with the remaining tofu.
  5. At this point you can assemble the bites by placing a piece of tofu on top of a piece of pineapple and join with a toothpick, or you can place the tofu on a hot platter and the pineapple on a cold platter and let your guest do the assembling.  See the writeup below for a great device for making the latter method easy to do.

You can pour a little more of the sweet chile sauce in a small bowl for extra dipping if you choose.  One can never get too much chile sauce.

*See Kitchen Notes

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Coconut crusted tofu with pineapple and sweet chili sauce makes a great appetizer | mjskitchen.com

Kitchen Notes

Thai Sweet Chili Sauce – The first time I made this I used Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce, but then the next time, I made my own.  It turned out pretty darn good. It was so easy to make (less than 15 minutes) and used some very common pantry items.  However, if you don’t want to make your own, the commercial brand sweet chili sauce still works great.

Zesty Lime Sea Salt – This is a fabulous sea salt, but if you don’t have it, you can always use regular fine ground sea salt and then squeeze a little lime over the tofu before serving.

Make it a meal – Instead of cutting up the tofu and the pineapple into bite-sized pieces, cut the tofu into 1/2″ slices.  Coat and fry the slices, then place on top of the slices of broiled pineapple.  Pour some of the sweet chile sauce on top.  Serve with a simple cucumber salad for a complete meal.

 

uncommongoods

Uncommongoods is an privately-owned retailer that supports artists and designers by providing an outlet for their work.  About half of the products sold by uncommongoods are made by hand and about one-third of them incorporate recycled or upcycled materials.  It has a huge selection of gifts for Mother’s Day that can be found here, as well as gifts for just about any occasion that can be found on through its homepage.

Uncommongoods contacted me to review one of its recommended Mother’s Day gifts.  After going through its selection several times (so many nice choices), I settled on this Hot and Cold Soapstone Serving Platter (below) which you can learn more about here. This platter comes with two pieces of beautiful soapstone and a wooden caddy.  It worked perfectly for this appetizer.  After heating one of the stones in the oven @ 350°F for 30 minutes and chilling the second stone in the refrigerator for the same amount of time, both components for this appetizer stayed close to their desired serving temperatures.  After an hour, the hot stone was still very warm to the touch and so was the tofu.

 

Soapstone serving platter with coconut crusted tofu and pineapple | mjskitchen.com

Even though the platter did not come with instructions, I was able to find them on the product page.  The one thing I did do that was not mentioned was to coat each stone lightly with a touch of oil.  This was more for aesthetics than anything else.  Both soapstones were lovely but a little different in coloration which is expected.  With the two stones it gives one the option of using both for a chilled appetizer, a hot appetizer or a hot and cold appetizer as I’ve done here.  Please take a moment and browse through some the other unique gifts by clicking here.

Disclaimer – I did not receive any compensation for this post, just the serving platter you see in the pictures.  The recipe and the opinion of the serving platter are my own.  Thank you uncommongoods for introducing me to your company and for this fun serving platter!

 

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38 Responses to “Coconut Crusted Tofu and Pineapple Bites”

  1. Nami | Just One Cookbook May 18, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

    I have been eating tofu for a long long time yet haven’t tried with coconut (my favorite!) crusted!!!!!!!! My eyes literally got sparked. Love the creative combination that sounds amazing! If you leave me at the table, whole serving is gone within a minute. 😉

    • mj May 20, 2015 at 8:56 am #

      I have to thank Soni for the coconut crusted idea. She really got my attention with that one and it turned out so good! I simplified her recipe as I do most of the time, being lazy cook. 🙂 Hope you get a chance to try this.

  2. Raymund May 13, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    This is a nice and healthy appetizer or a cocktail, definitely easy to make

    • mj May 13, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

      Thanks Raymund!

  3. Sissi May 13, 2015 at 5:37 am #

    How come I have missed these gorgeous tidbits??? I also like tofu a lot and even though I’ve been eating it for quite a while, I haven’t seen such a creative idea for a long long time! I bet coconut crust is perfect with tofu (I once did it with shrimp and it was really delicious) and pineapple goes well with everything in my opinion (I have recently started to have pineapple as a starter and I find it perfect in this role). Your Asian chilli sauce is the best thing I can imagine served with these tofu snacks.
    The platter is really beautiful… Ideal for food photographs, don’t you think? 😉

    • mj May 13, 2015 at 9:00 pm #

      Thanks so much Sissi! I must give Soni the credit for the coconut crust. It’s pretty amazing! The pineapples this year have been so sweet. I’ve been buying one on each visit to the market so this little appetizer has been a staple this month. 🙂 The platter is ideal for food photography – agreed! 🙂

  4. Vicki Bensinger May 12, 2015 at 8:01 am #

    This is certainly the way to get those who dislike tofu to eat it. I love this recipe and encrusting the tofu is brilliant!

    • mj May 12, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      Thanks so much Vicki!

  5. Katerina May 12, 2015 at 1:06 am #

    Since my son has seen Kung Fu Panda movie he has become a huge fan of tofu haha! He also loves coconut so I think these little bites would make him very happy!

    • mj May 12, 2015 at 11:20 am #

      OK…now I need to watch the Kung Fu Pando movie because I have no idea how this ties into tofu. 🙂 But it does sounds like he might enjoy these. Thanks Katerina!

  6. Shashi at RunninSrilankan May 11, 2015 at 11:42 am #

    MJ – I am so loving this combination of chile sauce spiked tofu crusted with coconut and sweet pineapple! These bites are adorable and so creative!

    • mj May 11, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

      Thanks so much Shashi!

  7. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles May 11, 2015 at 11:35 am #

    What a cool platter! I haven’t come across one like it before — so smart with the dual cold and hot sides not to mention a chic way to present food. Don’t you just love when something is attractive as well as being functional? 😉 Beautiful Thai inspired tofu bites MJ and the pineapple is a great swap for the mango. Way to elevate the taste and texture of tofu in this gorgeous medley of flavors. Funny enough, the boys and I enjoyed Thai takeout for Mother’s Day last night where we also ordered a tofu dish! (I find Thai prepared tofu irresistible) and I think we would all love this delightful appetizer too.

    • mj May 11, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

      It is a cool platter isn’t it and yes, I do love function and beauty. We had Thai takeout this weekend as well and we started it with these bites. 🙂 I totally agree about Thai prepared tofu. One of the dishes we got was a delicious stirfry with eggplant and tofu. Bobby never has a problem with tofu when it’s in Thai food.

  8. Anne@ASaladForAllSeasons May 10, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

    MJ..what a lovely recipe. That fried tofu sounds wonderful (though they remind me of home made marshmallows!). Perfect with the grilled pineapple. LOVE the soapstone platters. What a great review. I once had an Uncommon Goods store here in Maryland. A great place for unique gifts! : )

    • mj May 11, 2015 at 8:32 pm #

      Thanks so much Anne!

  9. Debra May 10, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    I adore uncommon goods! Lovely gift for you, M.J. (Somehow those tofu bites remind me of coconut marshmallows!) 🙂

    • mj May 11, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

      I had never heard of them until recently. Definitely will be checking them out from now on when I need a gift. Didn’t think of coconut marshmallows, but you’re right. They do look like that. 🙂

  10. Angie@Angie's Recipes May 9, 2015 at 10:59 am #

    My husband loves pineapple and coconut..this might trick him to eat some tofu. They look very delicious!

    • mj May 11, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

      It worked for my husband! 🙂

  11. Viviane Bauquet Farre May 8, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    Love the temperature difference — what fun! These sound incredible, MJ. Thanks for sharing your spark of inspiration 🙂

    • mj May 8, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

      Thanks so much Viviane!

  12. Nancy/SpicieFoodie May 7, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    Hi MJ! You always have the most amazing recipes. The combination of sweet and spicy sounds so fantastic. I could totally see this being a huge hit at a party.

    • mj May 8, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

      Thanks so much Nancy! Hope things are well!

  13. Evelyne@cheapethniceatz May 7, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    Why did my mind go straight to pina coladas! Lol Seriously looks like a few, different and delicious appetizer. Might use it for this weekend!

    • mj May 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

      A pina colada sounds really good right now. 🙂 If you do make it, I hope you and your guest enjoy it. Have a marvelous weekend and thanks!

  14. Bam's Kitchen May 7, 2015 at 9:20 am #

    What a fun and interesting party favor treat. I love that platter as well, very nice.

    • mj May 7, 2015 at 9:45 am #

      Thanks Bobbi!

  15. wok with ray May 6, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

    What an interesting idea of coconut flakes or crust on tofu. But I am not surprised because tofu is a adaptable to any other ingredients whether it’s sweet or savory. Really nice presentation. I hope you are having a great week, MJ!

    • mj May 7, 2015 at 9:39 am #

      Thanks Ray! I agree … tofu is so bland itself, that it can stand up to a variety of ingredients and flavors. I can see experimenting with it even more now that I’ve gotten Bobby to eat it. 🙂

  16. Maureen | Orgasmic Chef May 6, 2015 at 4:52 am #

    I have over 1/2 a fresh pineapple that I was trying to decide how to use. What a great idea this is.

    • mj May 7, 2015 at 9:38 am #

      Thanks Maureen! Hope you give it a try.

  17. Minnie@thelady8home May 6, 2015 at 3:19 am #

    Amazing!!! This looks so beautiful and sounds yummy too. Equally beautiful pictures.

    • mj May 7, 2015 at 9:38 am #

      Thanks so much Minnie!

  18. Soni May 5, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    Thanks for the shoutout lovely MJ and these look stunning not to mention absolutely delicious looking!I love the sweet chili sauce and always have it on hand and coconut with pineapple is always a win win combo!I love the stone trays and the idea of hot and cold!Will be checking out uncommon goods for their product range.

    • mj May 7, 2015 at 9:38 am #

      You are most welcome Soni! Once I do get a decent mango, I’m going to give your full recipe a try. Thank you so much for your comments!

  19. John@Kitchen Riffs May 5, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    Really nice serving platter — very attractive. And fun to photograph! And terrific dish — we like tofu, but don’t use it nearly often enough. This is brilliant — thanks.

    • mj May 7, 2015 at 9:37 am #

      Thanks John! It is a cool platter, isn’t it?

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