No need to feel left out on a Friday night when everyone else is tucking into fish and chips. Vegans take note, this beer battered tofish is really very good and you don’t have to deep fry it either. Try it once and you’ll want to make it again and again. Enjoy it with chips, peas and vegan tartar sauce. Fry days have never been such fun.
What is Tofish?
If you’ve not heard of tofish before, you’re missing a trick. It’s a great vegan meal to indulge in when you fancy some comforting fried food or just feel like you’re missing out on fish and chips.
It’s basically slices of tofu which you fry in a light batter. A layer of nori seaweed replicates fish skin and gives a certain ocean flavour.
I like to cut my tofu pieces at a slight angle, so they have more of a battered fish shape when they’re cooked. I also marinade my tofu pieces in a little miso and lemon juice which adds flavour, but doesn’t take over. When it comes to the batter, I like to go with beer and I add a pinch of ground turmeric to give that tell-tale golden glow.
I’ve never really been a fan of fish, but CT loves it. He reckons my beer battered tofish is perfectly satisfying and I haven’t yet noticed him heading for the local chippy instead.
How to Press Tofu
For best results, you’ll need to press the tofu first. This removes excess water and enables the tofu to soak up any marinade. It also makes the tofu firmer so it’s less likely to break up as you handle it. Having said that, some brands may come already pressed, so check the packaging before going through this step.
Make sure you’re using firm tofu for this beer battered tofish recipe. Silken tofu is not suitable and if you use it, it will just disintegrate.
Before you start slicing, place the block of tofu on a plate. Cover it with another plate, then pile on something heavy such as a cast iron pan or a few tins of tomatoes. Leave it for twenty minutes, but discard any liquid that’s accumulated on the plate after the first ten minutes and again at the end.
Pat dry with a paper towel and proceed with the recipe.
Beer Battered Tofish
If you think you have to deep fry batter, think again. I’m not comfortable with deep fat frying, for all sorts of reasons. I don’t think I’m alone. The thing is, you can produce this delectable beer battered tofish with just a little oil in a frying pan.
There’s very little waste with my recipe. I make enough batter so that it’s easy to dip the tofu slices into it, but not so much that you end up with a large bowl of leftover raw batter.
It’s inevitable, however, that some will be left behind. So I add a teaspoon of sugar to any leftover batter and fry spoonfuls as sweet fritters for pudding. It works well for us.
If you find you have bits of leftover nori seaweed, just crumble them up and add to your tartar sauce.
Marinade The Tofu
To start, you’ll first need to marinade the tofu. In a large flat bottomed bowl, mix some miso with lemon juice. Cut the tofu into four fish shaped slices, about one and a half centimetres thick.
Place the slices in the marinade and leave for ten minutes. Carefully turn the tofu over and leave it to soak up the remaining marinade. Don’t worry if your tofu breaks up a little, the batter will hold it all together later.
Once you’e turned the tofu, cut the nori into four similar sized pieces to your tofu slices. Place a piece on each slice and press down slightly so that it sticks.
Whilst you’re waiting for the tofu to marinade, you can get on with preparing the beer batter. This bit can get a bit messy.
Beer makes a most excellent batter. It results in a beautifully light textured crisp golden batter that’s full of flavour. Moreover, you get to drink the leftovers with your tofish and chips. Works for us.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a suitably sized bowl. Make a well in the middle, then pour in the beer, whisking as you go until the you have a smooth and lump free batter. It needs to be runny enough so that you can dip your batter into it, but thick enough to stick to the tofu slices.
Place a large heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan over a moderately high heat. Add the oil and as soon as it’s hot, carefully dip the tofu slices in the batter, making sure they’re coated all over. Place in the pan and fry for two to three minutes or as soon as the batter is nicely crisp and golden. Turn over and fry for the same amount of time on the other side.
Serve hot with homemade chips, peas and vegan tartar sauce. You’ll find the recipe for the latter a bit further down.
Cod it’s good!
What to Use Instead of Beer
If you’d rather not use beer to make your batter, you can use sparkling water or soda water instead. Ultimately it’s the bubbles you need to make your batter as light as possible. The batter won’t taste the same or have the same colour, but it’ll still be light and delicious.
Beer Battered Tofish Top Tips
- Depending on the type of tofu you use, you may need to press it before you slice and marinade. See the second section in the post on how to do this.
- Handle the tofu slices as gently as you can, they may be somewhat fragile. If they break up at all, however, try and hold them together when you dip them in the batter and place them in the pan. Once they start cooking, the batter will keep them in one piece.
- You can buy sheets of nori seaweed in most supermarkets these days. If you can’t get hold of them though, try sprinkling the tofish pieces with some toasted black sesame seeds before you coat with the batter.
- The best beers to use for the batter are light ales and lagers.
- You can swap the flour for gluten-free flour if needed and just make sure your beer is a gluten-free one too.
- If you’re happy with deep frying, feel free to deep fry the beer battered tofish instead of shallow frying as I do.
- As soon as you’ve fried the tofu, transfer the pieces to a plate lined with kitchen paper. This will soak up any excess fat, leaving your tofish lighter and less greasy.
Vegan Tartar Sauce
My tartar sauce may not be the most authentic, but it’s a quick way to make a good approximation. I just chop up half a teaspoon of capers and add them to two tablespoons of my vegan mayonnaise along with a teaspoon of juice from a jar of pickles.
The pickle juice adds flavour and thins the sauce a little so it’s a better consistency for dipping your chips into. If you don’t have any pickle juice, add a good squeeze of lemon instead.
If I have gherkins in the house, I’ll chop one of those up and use the juice from the gherkin jar. A little chopped dill or parsley helps if you have either of those to hand.
Stir it all together and you have a very nice cheat’s version of tartar sauce to accompany your tofish and chips.
Other Tofu Recipes You Might Like
- Easy one pot ramen with tofu and vegetables
- Miso marinated tofu with pasta, veggie tomato sauce
- Rice bowl with maple tofu and smoked tomato sauce
- Scrambled tofu for breakfast
- Simple laksa noodle soup with tofu
- Teriyaki rice bowl with tofu & brussels sprouts
- Tofu, lettuce, tomato sandwich
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make this beer battered tofish, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more vegan recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Beer Battered Tofish. PIN IT.
Beer Battered Tofish – The Recipe
Beer Battered Tofish
- 200 g firm tofu – pressed if necessary
- ½ lemon – juiced
- 1 tsp white miso
- 1 nori sheet
- 60 g plain flour
- 15 g cornflour
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch ground turmeric
- good grinding of black pepper
- 75 ml beer
- 4 tbsp sunflower oil
- Mix the lemon juice and miso together in a large bowl with a flat bottom.
- Cut the tofu into four fish shaped slices about 1 ½ cm deep and place into the bowl.
- Leave to marinade for ten minutes, then carefully turn the tofu slices over and leave to marinade for another ten minutes.
- Cut four tofu sized pieces from the nori sheet and place on top of a marinaded side. Press it on gently so that it sticks.
- Whilst the tofu is marinading, get on with making the batter.
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Make a well in the middle, then pour in the beer, whisking as you go until you have a smooth and lump free batter.
- Place a good non-stick frying pan over a moderately high heat and add the oil. I use a cast iron pan for this. As soon as the oil is hot, carefully dip the tofu pieces in the batter, making sure each piece is covered, then place them in the pan. Fry until the batter is crisp and golden, two to three minutes. Then flip the tofish over and fry for a similar amount of time on the other side.
- Transfer to some kitchen paper which will soak up any excess fat.
- Serve straight away with chips, peas and vegan tartare sauce.
I’m sharing this recipe for beer battered tofish with Sew White for #CookBlogShare.