Tofu Cashew Croquettes

Cashews and tofu got mashed with lemon grass, fresh mint and a hint of chili, then fried until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside – no wonder these were gone in mere seconds!


This batch serves 2 people as a snack or a starter – I have a feeling that next time we make these I will be doubling the recipe. The mint flavor came out quite delicate despite the seemingly large amount of mint leaves in the recipe, possibly because our mint was a little bit on the dry side.

The Ingredients:

  • 200 g firm tofu, not pressed
  • 1 dl cashew nuts
  • 1 dl mint leaves, lightly packed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a 5 cm piece of a lemon grass stalk
  • 1 red Thai chili, de-seeded
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water, as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

I placed half of the tofu, cashew nuts, mint leaves, garlic, lemon grass, the chili, and a splash of water in our mini food processor, and started blending into a coarse paste. The paste didn’t end up completely smooth, just so that there were no larger pieces of lemon grass or chili – I think this could easily be achieved with an immersion blender as well.

Now I crumbled the rest of the tofu, and added that to the spicy paste. I seasoned the dough with salt, and it was ready to be fried.

I heated a tin layer of canola oil in a frying pan, formed the dough into 10 balls, and flattened them lightly. I actually battered two of the croquettes with a gram flour and water mixture (the one that is on the right side of the picture being one of those), but I think the un-battered ones were slightly nicer.

I fried the croquets on high to medium high heat until browned on both sides, and then drained them on kitchen towel. I served these right away with an easy dipping sauce made with lime juice, soy sauce, and a pinch of sugar.


  1. Posted February 25, 2009 at 23:20 | Permalink

    I really like how you added cashews, I bet that made it so much better than plain tofu!

  2. Posted February 25, 2009 at 23:27 | Permalink

    Mmm these look so yummy! The mint and lemongrass combo sounds delicious!

  3. Posted February 26, 2009 at 00:46 | Permalink

    You might just be my savior! I’ve been looking for a recipe for tofu with great spongy inner texture and crispy outside and this is going to fit the ticket nicely. And I like how one can play around with the flavors in this a lot :) Great recipe – I’ll definitely be trying this one out soon.

  4. Posted February 26, 2009 at 05:27 | Permalink

    wow, this is so creative! probably an awesome combination too. love it.

  5. Posted February 26, 2009 at 06:31 | Permalink

    I’ll definitely try these! Is there any substitutes to fresh lemon grass if I can’t find any?

  6. Posted February 26, 2009 at 07:58 | Permalink

    Those sound really good. I’m going to have to try them.

  7. Anni
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 09:23 | Permalink

    Thanks for the sweet comments dear people!

    Chris – I don’t really think the inner texture was that spongy, just soft, so I’m afraid you might have to look for another savior! But the spicing is definitely up for tweaking, I think I’ll add some more chili (or the seeds) the next time.

    Elina – you could always use dried lemongrass, but I think that’s also only available in Asian groceries. I think there’s a lemongrass paste in some large supermarkets, a brand called Spice Up or something like that? I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it would do the job just fine, the taste isn’t that pronounced in this recipe anyway!

  8. Posted February 26, 2009 at 12:22 | Permalink

    Wow, I’d totally trade these for a box of panang curry paste!

  9. Aurinkotuuli
    Posted February 28, 2009 at 20:09 | Permalink

    I just love croquettes! I definitely put this recipe on my to-do-list.

  10. Posted March 1, 2009 at 15:00 | Permalink

    these look really good – the flavours remind me of thai fish cakes, only these of course are much better!

  11. Posted March 2, 2009 at 10:38 | Permalink

    Ooh, they sound lovely!

  12. maria yorgakopoulou
    Posted March 3, 2009 at 05:15 | Permalink

    I am so happy to have discovered you-I first found you looking for a vegan crust-
    We would love to visit Finland- We are greek from Sparta, but spent time in Rhodes where many Finnish women have married- I live in US-our priest has roots in Kos- island of Hippokrates-he had a student visiting from Rhodes- her mom was Finnish- they had a Finnish Sat school, and she is now doing doctoral work in Finland- beautiful young lady- strongly favoring the Finnish side-
    I will try your croquettes- we are just begining Great Lent in Orthodox church- today i was lucky to have a Korean vegan dish- i am in graduate school University Mass Amherst & live in graduate housing- we have an International Program on Mondays & we cook- we have a large Chinese contigent-we have meet, but with my prompting, we always have a vegan dish- i started reg attending program one year ago, after ret from greece, & organizd the cooking- now the program organizes itself- we always have volunteers who will cook a dish collectively- it is such spirit- & we have made many vegan converts!
    Do you know if the Finnish Orthodox kee the Lenten – vegan fast?-
    A good lent to all- I was reading how these fasts are very old- cleansing before spring-Maria

  13. Anni
    Posted March 3, 2009 at 09:11 | Permalink

    Hi Maria, welcome to our blog, I’m glad you found us! Sorry to say that I don’t know much about Finnish Orthodox practices. I could guess that usually the lent is not strictly vegan here – more flexible, and also fish is eaten.

  14. maria yorgakopoulou
    Posted March 22, 2009 at 03:06 | Permalink

    Hi Anni
    Here I am in the third week of Lent- considered the hardest- there is a break on the 25th March- Annunciation- where we can eat fish-hard to keep because the Greek American ladies in the churches here host a fundraiser ( usually Sund before and do dairy & egg)- I mught just go to a vegan potluck in evening in Cambridge Mass, near Harvard University- it is orig a Syrian parish, now Pan Orthodox- with Eritreans and convert Chinese-they celebrate Chinese New Year, also a special day for the Chinese martyrs who were Orthodox, because of the Russians-like Finnish Orthodox-but were killed during the Boxer Rebellion- the converts bring things like bagel & the Arabs great breads-
    I tried the croqettes tonight- I substituted almond & a few walnuts-added a lot of crushed garlic, organic watercress
    for the mint- had only dried-
    my first batch fell apart- I am not a good croquette maker- I drained it, added organic tom past & lemon- was great-the remaining, I flowered, and baked on high heat- 550 f- I have no Thai ingredients do to Greek husband-I put a bit of sea salt on top- made a side of pekmez with a splash of lemon- this is a grape must sauce- common in our parts- women make it fall during the wine making season- mine come in a jar from Poland-It held together pretty well- when I fried first batch I think I put ,too much oil-Husband ate the whole thing!- kept asking what it was- told him after first successful bite- He rated it a 6- fair, since it did not come out like yours-
    Your chickpea soup looks good- we make similarthini soups during Lent- will try cabbage pie for Sunday dinner-
    Have been reading more on Finnish Orthodox church- I think there are English services, too in Helsinki-e monastaries seem so lovely- I have heard their chanting- there was a Finnish abbess on Church of Greece radio, who is fluent in Greek-Wishing to come-Thanks for this wonderful blog- it is on my bookmark bar!-
    I shall try this recipe with proper ingredients!

  15. Anni
    Posted March 23, 2009 at 09:05 | Permalink

    Maria – It’s so nice to hear how our recipes have turned out for you! I didn’t have any problems with these croquettes falling apart, somehow the mashed tofu and ground cashews just stuck together very well. But luckily it sounds like yours tasted good anyway!

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