Vegan ‘fish’ and chips
Vegan ‘fish’ and chipsSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
Try the BOSH! boys' 'tofish' and chips – a crunchy outer and soft middle give the tofu goujons a satisfying bite, and the lemon and tartare sauce add a wonderful sharpness. Add some chunky chips for the ultimate vegan treat. Pass the salt and vinegar!
- 2 x 280g packets extra-firm tofu (we used The Tofoo Co)
- 4 large Maris Piper or other fluffy potatoes (about 1kg), peeled
- 3 sheets of nori seaweed
- vegetable oil, for deep-frying
- sea salt
- ketchup, to serve
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges, to serve
For the marinade
- juice of 1 lemon
- 200ml white wine (use a vegan-friendly wine, if required)
- 1 tbsp caper brine (the liquid from a jar of capers)
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
For the batter
- 180g plain flour
- 40g cornflour
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 240ml ale (use a vegan-friendly ale, if required)
- Press the tofu using a tofu press or put it between 2 clean tea towels, lay it on a plate and put a weight on top. Leave it for at least 30 minutes to drain away any liquid and firm up before you start cooking.
- Once the tofu is pressed, drain away any liquid that has collected. Cut one block lengthways down the middle so that you have 2 long rectangles, then cut across each rectangle to make 8 even-sized blocks. Repeat with the other block, to end up with 16 tofu pieces that are all the same size.
- For the marinade, stir together the lemon juice, white wine, caper brine and salt to combine. Add the tofu, turning to cover it in the marinade. Set aside to marinate, turning occasionally.
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cut the potatoes into 1cm thick chips, add to the pan and bring it back to the boil, then cook for 5 minutes. Drain the chips, spread them out over a clean tea towel and leave to dry.
- To make the batter, put the flour, cornflour, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and stir to mix. Slowly pour in the ale, whisking continuously so that no lumps form. Set aside once you have a smooth batter.
- Use scissors to cut 16 rectangles of nori the same size as the sides of the tofu blocks. Take a piece of tofu out of the marinade and stick one of the nori pieces to it (the wetness of the tofu will help it stick). Hold the nori in place with 2 cocktail sticks. Repeat so that all the tofu pieces have a piece of nori on one side.
- Heat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Pour the vegetable oil into a large deep saucepan so that it is no more than two-thirds full. Put the pan over a medium-high heat and heat the oil to about 140°C (this is a fairly low temperature for deep-frying so if you don’t have a thermometer, put a chip in the pan to test the temperature; when it’s ready the chip should float but take a little while to brown).
- Put half the chips in the hot oil and deep-fry for 3-4 minutes, then take them out with a slotted spoon and spread out on a plate or tray covered with kitchen paper. Put the rest of the chips in the oil and repeat, spreading out on another plate lined with kitchen paper. Turn up the heat and get the oil really hot, around 180°C (this should make a wooden spoon dipped in the oil sizzle around the edges).
- Carefully put the first batch of chips back in the hot oil and fry them for 4-5 minutes until they’re really golden and crispy. Take the chips out of the oil with a slotted spoon and spread them out on a baking tray. Sprinkle the chips with sea salt and put the tray in the oven to keep the chips warm. Bring the GET AHEAD Press the tofu up to 24 hours ahead, keeping it chilled. oil back up to 180°C and tip in the second batch of chips. After 4-5 minutes, remove them and spread them out on another baking tray.
- Get the oil back up to 180°C and line the plates with fresh kitchen paper. Take the tofu blocks and dip them into the batter in batches, turning them carefully so that they’re completely covered. In batches, carefully drop the battered tofu ‘fish’ into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until they’re dark golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper for 30 seconds, then carefully remove the cocktail sticks. Repeat the process again so that all the tofu blocks are double-dipped and fried in 2 coats of batter.
- Take the chips out of the oven and immediately serve on warm plates. Divide the crispy tofu ‘fish’ between the plates and add large spoonfuls of Minted Mushy Peas and Vegan Tartare Sauce (see below). Serve with tomato ketchup and the lemon wedges to squeeze over the tofu ‘fish’.
Recipe adapted from BOSH! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (HQ, £20).
Tip How to make...
Minted mushy peas (serves 4)
Tip 300g frozen garden peas into a pan of boiling water set over a high heat. Cook for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, put 1 tbsp dairy- free spread, 10 mint leaves, juice of ½ lemon and ½ tsp each salt and pepper into a bowl and mix together. Drain the peas, add to the other ingredients and blend lightly with a stick blender, ensuring roughly half of them remain whole. Stir together and serve warm.
Vegan tartare sauce (serves 4)
Finely chop 1 shallot and put it into a bowl. Squeeze over the juice of ½ lemon and add a pinch of salt. Finely chop 15g drained capers, 20g pickled gherkins, and 5g each tarragon, chives and parsley. Add to the bowl and stir in 100g vegan mayonnaise.