II’m not an expert on tofu, in fact I would go so far as to describe myself as a reformed skeptic, but there are two things I know about it: first, its creamy smoothness is a great contrast to other flavors (see mapo tofu); and second, it transforms, Cinderella style, when frying, with its irresistible soft wobble against the crunch of the dough. Both of these qualities make it an ideal plant-based substitute for whitefish in the classic chippie dinner, offering a similar delicacy of flavor and a satisfying contrast of textures without the annoying saltiness of halloumi or the chewing of banana blossoms. , which are sometimes used as fish -free alternatives instead.
After posting photos of me various Attempts online, I was amazed by the vehemence of the answer, to what I say, no one is forcing you to try it, but you should not reject it until you have done it; After all, while tofu is not without environmental concerns, few would deny that we need to be more mindful of the fish we eat and, almost as importantly, this is damn delicious.
Most recipes call for extra firm tofu, and some simply specify firmness. In this case, once it’s been pressed and battered, it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference, although I prefer the slightly softer texture of the latter. How you treat it is more important: you don’t need to simmer it with salt and lemon to “add firmness,” as the The Vegetarian Society recommends, because white fish is not firmer than tofu and is certainly never chewy. The same goes for the traditional Japanese technique of freezing then thawing tofu before using, so it takes on the texture of a sponge – great if you want it to soak up the maximum flavor from a marinade or develop a crisp exterior, but completely unnecessary if you want it to retain its smooth, milky magnificence inside a crisp, battered jacket. .
However, one idea worth exploring is to cut the tofu into large flakes to mimic the texture of fish. as suggested by Sam Turnbull from the It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken blog, who herself adapted it from Jules The easy vegan, who … well, who came up with it, it’s obvious and very effective. I’m going to combine their methods by not cutting the fish completely and sprinkling seasoning on the cuts, rather than wallowing with toothpicks. (Note that, with extra firm or firm tofu, there is no real need to press it for this recipe.)
In general, tofu is not good at absorbing marinades, unless you have removed most of the water, but that is not a problem here, because white fish does not have a firm taste, so while broth bath Turnbull overnight veggies, lemon juice, white miso paste, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt makes your tofu taste pretty good, it’s nothing like cod or haddock. The same goes for Lemon Juice, White Wine and Caper Brine Version of Bosh. As in the original dish, these spicy flavors are best saved for the side sauce.
That said, fish does taste, well, fishy, and the best way to recreate it with plant-based ingredients is to make use of a plant that grows in the same environment, namely seaweed. It’s common to use a sheet of nori (dried seaweed) to act as the “skin”, which is a good idea even if you’re from the north and shudder at the thought of the skin of battered fish, but Jules’s idea of using scales of seaweed seasoning between the flakes ensures that you get the flavor in every bite.
The cauldron makes a kind of tartar-flavored pasta. with chopped pickles, capers, and flour to spread on top of the tofu, which looks and tastes great, but I’d like to stick with the original as much as possible and save those ingredients for the side.
This is, of course, the same treatment as battered fish, as long as you make sure the beer you use is vegan-friendly, if that worries you. It is not necessary to add seaweed flakes, as Tofoo I recommend itAnd if you’re cooking British-style fish and chips, stay away from the paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and turmeric used by Turnbull and Loubna’s blog of glowing blush – the pleasure here is in the calm flavors, bathed in salt and vinegar. Hey, I don’t make the rules.
Instead, volume is what you need to focus on; baking powder is helpful, as is using a carbonated liquid like cold beer or sparkling water (beer tastes better, so even if you don’t drink, you might want to consider investing in some non-alcoholic things for this dish). The Vegan Recipe Club offers the largest dough recipes, which doesn’t need the second layer of Bosh, because it’s already crisp enough.
Loubna rolls the fish in panko breadcrumbs and bakes it. While it’s perfectly nice, I feel compelled to add tofu batter to the list of things, like donuts and pakoras, that should be fried or nothing; even Turnbull’s shallow fry doesn’t really work, because it takes too long, that is, the batter. cooks unevenly. If frying scares you (and, with due caution and respect for hot oil, it shouldn’t), I’m afraid this isn’t the recipe for you.
Serve with chips (you already have the oil going anyway, so you can also make your own and keep it warm in the oven while you fry the tofu), suitable mushy peas Y vegan tartar sauce. Oh, and lots of salt and vinegar. That is mandatory.
Homework 15 minutes
Cook 4 min
It serves two
140 g firm or extra firm tofu
1 sheet of nori
100 g of all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine salt
140 ml of cold beeror sparkling water
Neutral oil, for frying
Cut the block of tofu into blocks about 2 cm thick and then pat them dry with kitchen paper.
Place a toothpick (or two strands of raw dry spaghetti) on each long side of the tofu, then cut the tofu at a slight angle, being careful not to go all the way through; the chopsticks should help prevent it from doing so.
Mix half the nori sheet to a fine powder in a mini grinder or similar (alternatively use seaweed flakes or seasonings), season well with salt, and then sprinkle on the crevices of the tofu.
To make the batter, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt, then add the beer and combine until thick but still runny.
Cut the remaining nori into pieces the same size as the tofu, then flip the tofu so that the cuts are now on the bottom, and carefully press and glue the seaweed to the uncut side, to mimic the fish skin.
Bring a deep fryer or frying pan with a maximum of one third of neutral oil to 180 ° C and place a wire rack on a plate lined with a kitchen towel.
Dip the tofu into the batter, gently shake off the excess, and then carefully lower it into the hot oil.
Cook, turning once, until golden brown and crisp.
Drain on the rack, season and serve hot.
Tofish: Your favorite plant-based chippie dinner, or would you vote for another fish-free alternative? And where do you recommend that I fry the best vegan offer?
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism