Beer Battered Tofu Fish and Chips

David and Charlotte Bailey

Beer batter tofu fish with chips, peas and tartar

…with tartare sauce and mushy peas.

Oh, this is a lovely treat! We’re suckers for anything battered once in a while and this really hits the spot. The tofu is a wonderful substitute in this classic British dish and the nori really adds the taste of the sea. Served with chunky chips, piquant tartare sauce to liven it up and a healthy dose of mushy peas, this is a dish to treasure. Serve, of course, with cheap malt vinegar.

  1. 180g/6oz/1½ cups plain (all-purpose) flour
  2. 1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch), plus extra to dust
  3. 1½ tsp onion powder
  4. ½ tsp garlic powder
  5. 1 tsp chilli powder
  6. 325ml/11fl oz/1¹⁄³ cups) pale ale (make sure you get a vegan one)
  7. 350g/12oz/1 block fresh firm tofu, drained and cut into 8–10 slices
  8. 1 sheet nori, cut into pieces to match the tofu slices
  9. Salt and pepper
  10. 1 lemon, cut into wedges to serve
  11. For the chips:
  12. 4–5 King Edward potatoes, peeled and cut into chunky chip shapes and left to dry out on a tea towel
  13. 750ml/26fl oz/3¼ cups vegetable oil
  14. For the mushy peas:
  15. 200g/7oz/1¼ cups fresh or frozen peas
  16. 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  17. A handful of fresh mint, finely chopped
  18. For the Tartare Sauce:
  19. ½ jar vegan mayonnaise
  20. 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  21. 1 gherkin, chopped
  22. ½ shallot, chopped
  23. 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  24. a twist of lemon

Serves 2

  1. To make the chips, heat the oil to about 160˚C/320˚F. When a cube of bread browns in about 40 seconds, put half the chips in – you’re going to cook them in two batches – and fry for about 10 minutes until the insides are soft. Keep the temperature constant. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on a baking sheet covered with kitchen paper (paper towels).
  2. While the chips are draining, make the beer batter by combining the flour, cornflour, onion, garlic and chilli powders with the ale, mixing thoroughly. In a pan, heat the oil to 170˚C/340˚F. Check the temperature by putting a couple of drops of batter in the oil and seeing if it crisps up.
  3. Dust the tofu and nori slices with a little cornflour, then coat with the batter mixture and add to the hot oil in batches. They should take about 3–4 minutes to get really crisp. Flip them over midway so that they get nice and golden on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, place on some kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil and season to taste.
  4. When you’re ready to eat, heat the oil to 190˚C/375˚F, put the chips back in and cook until they’re golden and crispy. This should take about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, put the peas in boiling water with a little salt, bring to the boil, then cook for a couple of minutes until they’re slightly overdone. Strain, put them back in the pan, then crush with a potato masher, adding a little water if necessary to make them soft. Add the apple cider vinegar and chopped mint. Season with salt and pepper and slowly heat while mixing for a couple of minutes.
  5.  Put everything together on a (big!) plate with a generous wedge of lemon and a dollop of Tartare Sauce* and enjoy.

* Tartare Sauce: Simply mix all the ingredients together and chill until ready to serve. The sauce can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

 

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