Nashville-Style Hot Tofu Sliders

Nashville-Style Hot Tofu Sliders

Nashville hot chicken is seasoned with a bold dose of ground cayenne and hot sauce, deep fried then brushed with a final coat of spicy oil. In these vegetarian sliders, hot butter imparts mild tofu with an extra-spicy kick reminiscent of the chicken that inspired them. Tofu has a high water content, but a quick dredge in rice flour and a dip in batter creates a barrier that prevents excess splattering during frying. The carbonation in seltzer keeps the batter light and airy, perfect for delicate tofu. (This is also a great trick for frying vegetables and shrimp.) The result is a golden sandwich filling with a crispy exterior and soft center. For larger sandwiches, stuff standard hamburger buns with two pieces of the fried tofu and finish with the toppings.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Make the hot butter: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  2. Step 2

    Make the tofu: With a hand on top of the tofu, cut parallel to the cutting board so that you have two equal rectangles. Quarter each of those rectangles, so you have eight pieces. Arrange sliced tofu on a paper towel-lined plate and top with another layer of paper towels; press to remove excess water.
  3. Step 3

    Place milk and rice flour in 2 separate shallow bowls. In a medium bowl whisk all-purpose flour, cornstarch and baking powder, and season with salt; add seltzer and gently whisk just to combine. Do not overmix; a few lumps in the batter are OK.
  4. Step 4

    Heat 1/2 inch of oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium to 375 degrees. Working with 4 pieces of tofu at a time, dredge in milk, then in the rice flour, pressing all sides of tofu into the rice flour. (The tofu should be completely coated with flour.) Dip in the batter, allowing excess to drip off, and add to oil. Fry undisturbed until batter sets, about 2 minutes. Continue to fry, turning gently, until golden and crisp, about 3 minutes longer, adjusting heat as necessary to stay close to 375 degrees. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, and season with salt. Repeat dredging and frying with the remaining tofu.
  5. Step 5

    Spread mayonnaise on the insides of buns. (If using sliced bread, cut into quarters for slider-size portions.) Arrange lettuce on bottom buns. Gently turn each piece of tofu in the hot butter to evenly coat, then place on top of lettuce. Drizzle with more hot butter, top with pickles and finish with bun tops. Serve warm.