Lemon Caper Tofu (Tofu Piccata)

Piccata is traditionally made with chicken, but translates perfectly with tofu.  I have been working on this dish for a while and hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Extra-firm tofu is dredged in seasoned chickpea flour, and then served with a lemon, white wine caper sauce.  It is perfection.  It is a great dish for spring and summer served with a side of fresh greens, asparagus and mashed cauliflower.  

Preparing the Tofu

As I’ve mentioned before, the type of tofu you choose and how you prepare it can make the difference in how much you think you like tofu. To get the best texture for this dish, I like to freeze my tofu prior to preparing it.  If you opt to freeze it, place it in the freezer in its original packaging for at least 24 hours. To defrost, take it out of the freezer and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.

Whether you freeze it or not, you will then want to press the tofu.  Click here for a demonstration, but it simply means removing it from the package, draining the water and wrapping it in a towel or paper towel. Then place a cutting board or plate on top of the wrapped tofu and set a couple of heavy cans on top, setting it aside for at least 30 minutes.

For this recipe I like to cut the tofu in larger-fillet sized pieces, by taking the block, cutting it in half and then slicing each half into 5 pieces.

Cooking the Tofu

You can dredge the tofu in any flour you like, but for me you can not beat the crispiness that chickpea flour adds to this, not to mention the way that it helps thicken the sauce at the end.

The other great thing about this recipe is that it’s has this bright, lemony sauce that you make up in the same pan, thus limiting the dishes you need to wash afterward.

Making this into a Meal

This piccata is a great main dish to pair with fresh summer produce, such as asparagus, mashed cauliflower, sautéed greens, or herbed quinoa. However, the freshness of the lemon on the tofu makes it an amazing side to something heavier, or richer like polenta and crispy coated eggplant.

Breaded Eggplant, Polenta and Sautéd Greens


Roasted Baby Potatoes and Green Beans

Mushroom and Herb Quinoa and Lemon Roasted Asparagus


Lemon Caper Tofu (Tofu Piccata)
  1. In a pie plate stir together the chickpea flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Dredge both sides of each slice of tofu in the chickpea mixture and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
  4. Arrange the tofu slices in the heated pan and cook 3-5 minutes on each side, until they are golden brown.
  5. When the tofu is browned, place back on the baking sheet while you make the sauce.
  6. Add the remaining oil in the pan and toss in the onion. Sautee for 2 mintues then add in the garlic. Stir and cook for 30 more seconds.
  7. Deglaze the pan with the wine (this just means add the wine and scrape any brown bits that have stuck to the pan to start a pan sauce). Simmer on medium heat until the wine reduces by half.
  8. Add in the broth and continue to simmer 2 minutes longer.
  9. Stir in the capers, lemon juice and lemon zest and then arrange the tofu back into the pan. Let the tofu slices simmer for about 1 minute on each side. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
  10. Optionally, you can stir in 1 additional tbsp of olive oil or vegan margarine, to give the sauce a slightly thicker, finish. Sometimes I do this sometimes I don't--it kind of depends how thick the sauce has become from simmering and the chickpea flour.

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