Aside from their lack of mushy peas, one of my favourite comfort meals in London is the vegan fish and chips at the Coach and Horses pub in Soho. Credit where credit is due: the tofish recipe below is inspired by their version. If you like this vegan fish sandwich, be sure to land yourself at that pub one weekday afternoon at 1pm to
start drinking all day eat some fish and chips. You would never catch me at a pub at one in the afternoon.
While these faux fish fillets are best freshly cooked, any leftovers will also work in a sandwich on day two. Sure, the exterior won’t be crispy any longer, but it will still make for a tasty packed lunch.
Beer Battered Tofish Sandwiches with Homemade Vegan Tartar Sauce
This vegan fish sandwich is easy to whip up and is both filling and tasty. Aside from the tofu preparation it takes very little time, but that’s all worth it as the salt and lemon bath imparts a wonderful subtle flavour to otherwise dull bean curd. The mayo comes together in around ten seconds with my Optimum 9200, but will also work in any blender. The recipe makes a lot of batter and enough tartar for leftovers, so you can easily double the rest of the ingredients for 8 servings. Ditch the bread and serve with mushy peas and chips for an equally delicious meal.
- 400 gram block tofu
- 750 millilitres water
- 45 millilitres (3 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 sheets toasted nori
- 45 millilitres (3 tablespoons) unsweetened soy milk
- ¾ teaspoons mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon caster sugar
- 250 millilitres flavourless vegetable oil
- 15 millilitres (1 tablespoon) apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped cornichons or dill pickles
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion or shallot
- Large pinch or two dried dill
- 150 grams (1 cup) plain flour
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 300 millilitres very cold beer (preferably ale)
- Rocket leaves
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Four rolls or soft baps
- Cut the block of tofu in half and then cut each of those pieces through the centre to form four slabs of tofu approximately ¾ inch thick. Combine the water, lemon juice, and salt in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Gently drop the four slabs of tofu into the solution and simmer for fifteen minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and leave a further fifteen minutes before carefully draining the liquid. Place the tofu on a couple layers of absorbent tea towels and leave to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Once the tofu is cooled, cut two pieces of nori down the centre and wrap each tofu slab in one strip. The moisture from the tofu will glue the seaweed down.
- Combine the soy milk, mustard powder, and sugar in a blender. Whiz quickly to mix, but not enough to heat the ingredients. Have the oil measured and ready before switching the blender on to a low speed. Slowly tip the oil in while the blender is running, until a basic mayonnaise forms (do not blend past the point of thickening or the heat will destroy the mayo). Add the vinegar and sea salt, quickly whizzing through on a low speed for just a second or two. Decant the contents of the blender into a bowl and mix in the capers, pickles, onion, and dill. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.
- Heat at least ½ inch vegetable oil in a saute pan to medium heat. Prepare the batter while the oil is heating.
- Whisk the flour, cornflour, baking powder, and black pepper together in a medium to large bowl. Slowly whisk in the beer, but do not over mix. A few small lumps are okay. Dip each piece of tofu into the batter, ensuring they are well covered, before gently lowering into the oil. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side, or until the batter has crisped to an even golden brown. Remove and drain on kitchen roll or a tempura rack.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of the tartar sauce on each roll and place a piece of tofish and a handful of rocket on each. Eat immediately.
- Author: Kip Dorrell
- Serves: 4
- Cuisine: British