Crispy battered tofu with the best chips and vegan tartare sauce

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Serves 4 


For the tofu:
2 x 200g packets of firm tofu
Juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp seaweed flakes, optional (adds a taste of the sea!)
Salt and black pepper
For the tartare sauce:
100g vegan mayo
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 gherkins, finely chopped
1 tsp capers, chopped
Small handful of parsley, chopped


For the chips:
1kg of Rooster or Maris Piper potatoes
Vegetable oil, for deep frying


For the batter:
150g plain flour
100g cornflour
40g baking powder
1 small bottle of sparkling water
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp salt


To serve:
Lemon wedges
Rocket


  1. Place a clean tea towel on a plate and add the tofu. Place a second towel over the tofu, then add a weight on top (a heavy-based pan works well). Set aside for at least half an hour to drain and firm up.
  2. Meanwhile, stir together all of the ingredients for the tartare sauce and set aside.
  3. Once the tofu is pressed, drain away any liquid that has collected on the plate. Cut the blocks lengthways down the middle, then slice across each rectangle to make eight evenly-sized pieces in total.
  4. Make the marinade by combining the lemon juice, soy sauce, seaweed flakes (if using) and some and salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Add the tofu, turning to cover it in the marinade. Set aside to marinate, turning the tofu occasionally.
  5. Fill the large saucepan with cold water, peel the potatoes and cut them into 1cm-thick chips. Tip them into the cold water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Drain the potatoes, spread them out over a clean tea towel and leave them to dry. Crispy battered tofu with the best chips and vegan tartare sauce
  6. To make the batter, put the flour, cornflour, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Slowly pour in 150ml of sparkling water, whisking continuously so that no lumps form. Gradually add more sparkling water until you have a smooth batter with a thick pouring consistency. Set aside.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4. Line two plates with kitchen paper.
  8. Pour the vegetable oil into a deep saucepan so that it comes no more than two-thirds up the side. Put the pan on medium-high and heat to about 140˚C (this is a 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).
  9. Gently add half of the chips to the hot oil and deep-fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and spread them out on one of the plates lined with kitchen paper for a few minutes to cool slightly. Put the rest of the chips into the oil and repeat, spreading them over the other plate of kitchen paper to cool.
  10. Turn up the heat and get the oil really hot, around 180˚C (this temperature should make a wooden spoon dipped in the oil sizzle around the edges).
  11. Carefully return the first batch of chips to the hot oil and fry for 4-5 minutes,until very golden and crisp. Remove using a slotted spoon and spread them over a large baking tray. Sprinkle the chips with sea salt and place in the oven to keep warm. Bring the oil back up to 180°C and repeat with the second batch of chips, spreading them over a second baking tray and placing in the oven.
  12.  Allow the oil to come back up to 180°C and line the plates with fresh kitchen paper.
  13. Working in small batches, dip the tofu pieces into the batter, turning them carefully so that they’re completely covered. Carefully drop the battered tofu ‘fish’ into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes until golden brown all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper for 30 seconds.
  14. Take the chips out of the oven and pile onto warm plates. Divide the crispy tofu ‘fish’ pieces between the plates. Serve with the tartare sauce, some rocket and a few lemon wedges.

Per serving:813kcals, 40.1g fat (6.7g saturated), 99.6g carbs
(7.8g sugars), 18.7g protein, 10.3g fibre, 0.769g sodium