Recipe by Aimee Ryan, taken from Great British Vegan: Simple, plant-based recipes to cook the nation’s favourite dishes.
Not only does this beer-battered tofu look like the real deal, but it also has added fish flavour, thanks to the nori sheet. Served with probably the best chips you’ll ever make – which take a bit of effort but are totally worth it – and super-simple minted mushy peas, this firm favourite is sure to put a smile on your face.
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus cooling
Cooking time: 30 minutes
For the tofish
1 x 390g/13¾oz block of extra firm tofu, drained and patted dry
1 sheet of nori
Juice of 1 lemon
80g/2¾oz (scant ²⁄3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
50g/1¾oz (½ cup) corn flour (corn starch)
150ml/5fl oz (scant ²⁄3 cup) vegan-friendly pale ale
For the chips
1kg/2lb 4oz King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into chunky chips
750ml/26fl oz (3¼ cups) vegetable oil, for frying
For the mushy peas
1 tbsp dairy-free butter
200g/7oz (1½ cups) frozen petit pois
A handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp white (distilled) vinegar
Sea salt and ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1. Rinse the chips in cold water to remove excess starch. Add them to a large saucepan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes until just softened. Drain, pat dry and arrange on a baking tray. Refrigerate for at least an hour or, covered, overnight.
2. Make the mushy peas. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add the mint and vinegar and, using a potato masher, crush the peas until mushy. Season then place a lid on the pan to keep them warm.
3. To cook the chips, heat the oil to approximately 180ºC/350ºF and carefully lower half of the potatoes into the oil. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the chips from the oil and drain on some paper towel. Repeat with the remaining potatoes. Season generously with salt.
4. Whilst the chips are cooking, prepare the tofish. Cut the block in half horizontally, then create fillet shapes, triangles or just rectangles. Using scissors, cut the nori sheet into matching shapes, so that it sits neatly on top of the tofu. This will resemble fish skin and also adds a fish flavour. Squeeze half a lemon over the tofu pieces then pat the nori shapes on top, so they’re fairly secure.
5. Use the same pot of oil as you used to fry the chips, and reheat it until it’s reached approximately 160ºC/315ºF. Make the batter by whisking together the flour, cornflour and ale, then season. Dip the tofu shapes into the batter and then carefully transfer them to the hot oil. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon.
6. Sprinkle the tofish with salt and vinegar and serve with the chips, peas, lemon wedges and mayonnaise.