Tofu is an excellent source of amino acids, calcium, iron and loads of other good stuff. But who gives a crap, sometimes you just want something deep fried and delicious. Popcorn tofu – all of the taste, none of the campylobacter!
There are various tofu popcorn recipes knocking around, but I didn’t peek! This recipe is all my own – although I guess the concept is pretty basic 🙂
This recipe comes as three parts: the tofu, the “egg” wash and the coating. It looks like a lot of ingredients but its well worth it. The result is lovely, slightly tongue tingling pieces of tofu which are soft in the middle but wonderfully crunchy on the outside.
- 250g Tofu – firm, not the silken variety.
- 1/3 x cup non-dairy milk (40ml)
- 1/3 x cup Aqua faba (40ml)
- 1 x tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 x cup plain white flour (125g)
- 2 x tsp ground black pepper
- 1 x tsp ground coriander
- ½ x tsp ground ginger
- 1 x tsp salt
- ½ x tsp smoked paprika
- ½ x tsp ground cumin
- ½ x tsp garlic powder
- ¼ x tsp tumeric
- ¼ x tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 x tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you’re a hot head!)
- 1 x tsp dried sage
- 1 x tsp dried parsley
- 2 x cloves (ground)
- 1. Drain and press the tofu in advance. Once prepared, cut into 1inch cubes. (Tip: For an even more authentic texture, freeze and defrost first. Shaking a few drops of liquid smoke over the cubes adds even more taste.)
- Whisk up the aqua faba, dairy-free milk and cornstarch until white and fluffy. Pour into a bowl along with the tofu cubes and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, create the coating by mixing together the flour, herbs and spices.
- Roll each cube of tofu in the flour mixture until coated and set aside for a few minutes. You will see the coating turn a yellowish colour as the turmeric soaks up the moisture.
- Add all of the coated tofu cubes into the remaining flour mixture and give them a gentle toss to make sure that they are fully coated. The coating might look a little lumpy but this is good as it gives a nice authentic texture when fried.
- Deep fry at 190oC for 3 – 4 minutes. The tofu will float when cooked and should be a nice golden colour.
- Drain on some kitchen roll before enjoying!
Tip: It is best not to overcrowd the fryer. So unless you have a very large fryer I would recommend cooking in two batches. You can keep the first batch hot and crispy by spreading out across a baking try and putting in a warm oven.
There’s not much that I’ve really missed since turning vegan. After the first month all my cheese, milk and most of my meat cravings had completely subsided. I did miss BBQ ribs, but I created a vegan version pretty early on. The other thing I really missed was calamari!
The other day I was eating some pasta that I had made using oyster mushrooms I’d bought cheap at the supermarket. I’d over-cooked them and turned them chewy… which is when the idea of using them to create calamari came to me.
You’re only an easy recipe away from crispy, delicious yumminess! Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out a way to make rings, but the taste and texture is totally there!
Ingredients (makes 2 portions):
- 2 x tbsp. gram flour
- 2 x tbsp. cold water
- 0.5 x tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 0.5 x tsp apple cider vinegar
- 60 g oyster mushrooms (bigger the better)
- 200 x ml cold water
- 2 x tsp salt
- 1 x tsp kelp powder
- 1 x tbsp. flour
- 2 x tbsp. breadcrumbs
- Pre-heat a deep fat fryer to 190oC.
- Whisk together the gram flour, 2 tbsp. water, bicarb and apple cider vinegar to make a thick batter. Leave to one side.
- Slice the oyster mushrooms into approx. ½ cm wide strips.
- Put the 200 ml of water into a small pan with the kelp powder and salt. Add the mushrooms and heat over the hob. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes (This makes the mushrooms a bit chewier so they have more of a bite).
- Drain the mushrooms using a sieve. Once cool enough to handle, it’s best to pick the mushrooms out of the sieve and lay on a piece of kitchen roll a) to drain them and b) so they don’t end up coated in too much mushy kelp powder. Bleurgh!
- Coat the mushrooms in the plain flour before dipping in the batter until evenly coated. Then roll in the breadcrumbs until again evenly coated.
- Deep fry at 190oC for 5 minutes or until golden brown.
- Scoop out, drain and put on a bit of kitchen roll to absorb some of the oil.
I mixed together some fresh lemon juice with a squirt of vegan mayo to make a tasty dip.
On Thursday night I met up with some good buds and met some fab new folks too. We went to a vegetation Indian restaurant in Withington (http://www.sanskrutirestaurant.co.uk/) and I couldn’t write a blog entry without mentioning how amazing the food was! I was especially bowled over by the choice of vegan ice cream for pudding. I went for the wild blueberry, yum! (http://lovefoodheaven.com/).