Vegan Country Fried Steak w/ Sage Gravy & Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Prep for >1 hour
Cook for 30 minutes
Ready in 1 ½ hours
Serves a perfect dinner for two!
It’s Vegan! ✌🏻
- Soft Tofu (2 bricks)
- Veggie Broth
- Olive Oil
- Dijon Mustard
- Panko Breadcrumbs – Unseasoned
- Seasonings (See Below) + Dill
- Common Mushrooms (2 handfuls)
- Plain Almond Milk
- Veggie Broth
- Sage (one or two handfuls, fresh)
- Olive Oil
- Seasonings (See Below)
Mashed Sweet Potatoes:
- See Recipe: Vegan Instant Pot Southern Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Seasonings (Used Throughout):
- Black Pepper
- Nutritional Yeast
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Lemon Pepper
- First, start your sweet potatoes. For the recipe, please read: Vegan Southern Mashed Sweet Potatoes.
These are made in an Instant Pot (or any other kind of pressure cooker you might prefer!) with everything in it all at once, so start your potatoes first so that they will be done when you are, & can be off your mind.
- Okay, let’s get started on the steaks by draining both of your bricks of tofu as thoroughly as possible. Personally, I don’t have a tofu-draining tool, but if you do, please use it to drain your tofu as much as possible, and then skip to the next step.
If you don’t, like me, then follow these steps to get your tofu ready, even if it seems a little backcountry:
- Place your open tofu bricks in a single layer at the base of a flat colander, after draining what you can as you unpack it.
- Grab a large, clean surface (i.e. cutting board, serving plate, baking sheet, etc.) and place it over the tofu, making sure your tofu is completely and evenly covered by your surface.
- To add extra weight and get most of the liquid to squeeze out of the tofu quickly, place cans of food evenly across the top of the surface that is covering your tofu, ensuring that the cans are evenly placed across the surface so that your tofu drains as much as possible & is drained evenly throughout.
- Make sure that your colander is over a place that will allow for the tofu’s liquids to be expressed without making a mess, and allow your tofu to rest in this set-up, as it will continue to drain for as long as it rests.
The tofu being drained as much as possible will make a huge difference in achieving the right texture!
- Now, create your breading blend using Panko in a separate mixing bowl– this will breading will be the key to your success! Start by pouring about 1 ½ cups of Panko unseasoned breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl.
- Add in a fair amount of Black Pepper, Salt, Paprika, and Lemon Pepper (like seriously– season it up!) & just two dashes or so of Dill Seasoning.
- Incorporate these seasonings into the Panko completely, and taste it to make sure it has enough salt, to taste. Put this blend to the side.
- Check on your tofu!
If it seems to have drained fairly well, proceed to take each brick and apply manual pressure to release any remaining liquid in it, and immediately place each brick onto a doubled paper towel (or another kind of single-use cloth) and then place another doubled paper towel or cloth over that. Lightly press the paper towels against the tofu, and then allow it to rest again, briefly.
This is admittedly a little tedious, especially using soft tofu, but taking these steps will make the difference!
- Once you are pleased with your tofu, place it into a food processor, along with about a ¼ cup of veggie broth and a heavy pour of olive oil.
- Also in the food processor, include at least 2-2 ½ full tablespoons of Dijon Mustard.
- Blend the tofu mix in your food processor on a low/pulse setting until it is just beginning to become smooth.
- Stop to check the consistency, and add about a table spoon of flour or so, and then blend again on a pulse setting, or hand mix.
- Continue to blend, stop, check consistency, add a very small amount of flour, blend again, repeat. Again, this too can be tedious, but you really do want to avoid adding too much flour at once, or it can compromise the texture, which is extremely key!
Stop adding flour and consider your mixture blended enough once it is the same consistency as pudding.
- Add Nutritional Yeast, Onion Powder & Paprika to your tofu blend, to taste.
Give it a try! Consider if it needs a dash more salt or a bit more Dijon Mustard. The taste should be mild, but slightly spiced, much like real processed white meat would be.
- Grab your seasoned Panko blend, and in a mixing bowl (possibly the one you already created the Panko blend in, if it is large enough) fold in all of your tofu mixture with all of your Panko mixture, ideally using a large flat mixing spatula. It will quickly become a very thick mixture, and the breading should be fully incorporated. Set this mix aside.
- Place a large frying pan onto one of your burners & fill it with frying oil (I used olive oil) until you have a coating of oil that is about ½” deep, and turn the burner up to medium heat. Leave this alone for just a few minutes while the oil begins to heat up, and make sure to cover it if the oil begins to pop!
- Go back to your completed tofu & Panko mix, and fold the mix just a few times with your hands to ensure that everything is evenly distributed & it feels thick enough. At this point, it should be the consistency of Play-Dough, with a crunchy texture from the Panko blend, and you will be able to easily separate out two evenly-sized steaks.
If it is not thick enough, you can take a moment to add slightly more Panko or flour, and re-season.
- Place these two steaks into the hot oil you have in your frying pan, and use a flat spatula to firmly press them down and flatten them until they are condensed into two oblong shapes about 2” thick each, with at least an inch between them.
- Turn your burner with the steaks on it up just slightly, to just one notch over medium heat, and cover.
Congratulations, the hard part is over!
- On a separate burner, place a small sauce pan onto low heat, just above the very lowest heat setting.
- In this sauce pan, pour in about 2 ½ cups of Almond Milk, ¼ cup of Olive Oil, and ⅓ cup of veggie broth. Cover the pan, and allow it to sit on low heat for a few minutes alone, stirring occasionally.
- Now, check on your steaks and flip them, if they appear to be cooking well. Turn up the heat a few notches to about a 7, and cover again.
Check on your steaks often once you have turned the heat up this high, and flip each steak frequently as to ensure none of the sides overcook.
Watch the steaks as they cook, and they will appear done when they are an even medium-to-dark brown, well-cooked, and ideally even slightly charred.
- Return to your sauce pan, uncover, and add in a very liberal amount of fresh sage, which you can just pick off the stem and throw in. Personally, I put several grams of sage into my gravy, and I do suggest at least 10-15 full leaves.
- Once the sage has been included, turn up the heat to just below medium, and cover the pan again.
- Check your steaks & flip them! Remember, look for them to appear medium-to-dark brown, well-cooked, and slightly charred.
- Return to your sauce pan with the Almond Milk mixture and take a moment to quickly slice about two handfuls of common mushrooms, and include them into your sauce pan.
- At this point, you may want to pull your steaks from direct heat, if they seem to be almost entirely cooked, and turn the burner back down to medium heat. Place the frying pan back onto the burner once it has cooled after a minute or two. You are in the home stretch!
- Begin to add flour into your sauce pan with the creamy sage mixture, just barely a spoonful at a time, while stirring constantly, ideally with a whisk or metal fork.
- Turn the heat up on your gravy to just above medium.
- Once your sauce begins to feel like thick gravy and there is no longer any flour clumped together, start to include heavy amounts of Black Pepper, a teaspoon or two of Lemon Pepper, and just a few dashes of Garlic Powder and Salt, to taste, and continue to stir.
- Pull your steaks, as well as your gravy, off of direct heat and keep them both covered as they settle.
You are almost done!
- Check on your sweet potatoes and plate them!
- Put one steak on each plate as well, and then cover the steaks completely in your gravy, with only a small amount included atop the potatoes.
- If you’d like, you can top with a little extra salt & pepper, a dash of paprika, and a few pinches of sage!
- This will be the best dinner you’ve had in a long time, so enjoy it!
~ Jessica G.
p.s. – I got the idea for this flavor pairing from another awesome blog called that’s got the hook-up for an equally delicious & healthier alt. vegan chicken fillets with gravy, and they also sell the coveted tofu strainer, so check it out @ Exceedingly Vegan 🙂