Replica Recipe: Trader Joe’s Tofu Edamame Nuggets (Gluten-Free)

A while back, a friend of mine posted on Facebook, lamenting the discontinuation of a food they were very fond of – Trader Joe’s Tofu Edamame Nuggets. One of my “big autistic superpowers” is being able to accurately replicate commercially produced food products (See: a big chunk of the recipes in “More Than Poutine!), so I wanted to help.

Problem 1: I’d never tried the source material.

Problem 2: The source material was no longer available… and my friend lived very far away!

I DO love a challenge though, so I offered to give it a go anyway. My husband is borderline vegetarian himself, and is always up for fun new treats.

First level research was easy: Finding the ingredient listing, nutritional data, and product images online – both commercially photographed, and photos from customers who bought them.

This gave me a good idea of what I’d need for my recipe – minus a few unnecessary commercial ingredients.

The next step was to fill in the missing pieces, the information that’s not as easily obtained through an ingredient list.

This is where thorough questioning came in. Lucky for me (and them, and all of you!), my friend is as good at answering questions as I am at asking them. Within a few minutes, I had a long list of very detailed information about the textures, mouth feel, ingredient sizing and proportions, and much more.

My lovely friend is also autistic, which was absolutely a blessing – NO ONE notice, catalogs, and clearly and efficiently relay fine details about things like an autistic!

Between the nutritional data and my friend’s detailed notes, I was able to put together a fantastic recipe. Aside from the “leave out unnecessary commercial ingredients” adjustment, I also developed this recipe to be gluten-free, as my friend has wheat issues.

I’m basically an obligate carnivore, and I’ve got to say – these are really tasty. REALLY tasty!

I’ve done up the directions so that you can cook and eat these fresh, OR be more true to the source material and par-cook them before freezing, so they’re available as a “throw it in the oven” convenience food, later on.

If you were a fan of the source material, be sure to try these and let me know what you think!

  1. I had been missing the Trader Joe’s version like everyone else and so I tried these , well the best I could do anyway since I had no corn starch, or masa or rice flour. I used regular all purpose flour, no nutritional yeast, but everything else except I used TJ’s Soycutash instead of plain edamame. I used half the water so had a thick lumpy batter but feared, it would be too thin otherwise. As it turned out I forgot to dip a few in the batter before frying and I think they may have turned out better.. the batter dipped ones came out looking like fritters. Probably cause I left batter too thick. They needed more salt, and I would recommend more other seasonings, maybe more garlic and onion powder, pepper, etc. I think maybe they would be better baked with crunchy breadcrumbs. Pretty close to original though. Especially with sweet chili sauce..

    1. Hi Karen,

      Like all of my recipes, this was developed from the ground up, with the ingredients all working together. As with most recipes, AP flour doesn’t work as a 1:1 substitute for other flours, as it has a different relationship with water – among other things.

      The salt and seasoning amounts were based on the recipe as developed, which did include the other flours (more flavour than AP), and the use of nutritional yeast.

      I’d definitely encourage you to try the recipe again, with the ingredients and instructions provided here – it makes a big difference!

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