sweet potato + tofu cakes


You can make these into any size cakes you’d like. For an easy appetizer, make bite-sized cakes. For serving in a hamburger roll, form into a larger size. We love these formed about two inches in diameter, served with cilantro pesto and fresh garden greens. 

1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste with a knife
2 scallions (white and light green parts), finely chopped
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs

Cilantro pesto
1 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Vegetable (or canola) oil for frying

  1. Place tofu on a small baking sheet. Top with another small baking sheet, and top that with a heavy can (adding weight to pan). Press tofu, draining as much liquid as you can from it. Discard liquid every 15 minutes or so for 1 hour. 
  2. In a large saucepan, add sweet potatoes. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are fork tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled, transfer sweet potatoes to a large bowl and mash (you’ll want some pieces left a bit bigger). 
  4. Drain tofu and, using your hands, crumble into small pieces into bowl of sweet potatoes. Add garlic, scallions, cilantro, and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Add more breadcrumbs, if necessary, until mixture holds together. Using your 1/4 cup measuring cup, form mixture into 18 cakes. Place cakes on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  5. Make pesto. In a food processor, add cilantro, garlic, and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Season with salt and pepper. Pulse a few times until mixture is finely chopped. Slowly stream in olive oil and process until mixture is combined. Set aside.
  6. In a large nonstick pan, add enough oil to lightly coat bottom and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook cakes until nicely browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove and continue until all cakes are cooked.

Makes approximately 18.