Being vegetarian, (or vegan) in all honesty, do you sometimes feel like you’re missing out? I didn’t become vegetarian because I don’t like the flavour of meat. Nope I was never a fan of red meat or bacon. And yes I know that’s the thing all meat eaters can’t wrap their head round – the idea of living without bacon. But I did enjoy chicken and fish. I just didn’t enjoy that meaning a living, sentient being had to lose their life because I liked how they tasted.
So there are some dishes/recipes I just expected never to get to taste again. And I’m very ok with that. But there are some flavours I genuinely miss and I thought there was no way to replace that inherently British thing of salty fish covered in crispy batter. But after reading all about vegan sushi and how nori sheets give it that ‘fishy’ taste I started to wonder if there was a way to take this flavour and make it into something wonderful.
Now tofu is NEVER going to replace the texture of fish, but the wonderful thing that is nori gives it all the flavours of the sea that you could ever wish for!
The beer batter is made from another wonderful thing called FitBeer – a true alcohol free artisan beer. And it’s flipping lovely, with rich complex flavours that come from just 4 ingredients – water, hops, malted barley and yeast. All of which are sourced from within 200km of their 500 year old Bavarian brewery.
They also have an amazing story to tell that you can read about here – how to enjoy the delicious taste of beer even if you don’t want alcohol!
Beer Battered Vegan Fish and Chips
Yield 2 servings
- 4 large white potatoes
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme - leaves only
- 1 tsp cornflour
- Salt and pepper
- 4 slices firm packed tofu
- 1-2 sheets nori
- 1 tblsp plain flour
- good pinch of salt
- 2 pinches nutritional yeast (see note)
- 1 tblsp cornflour
- 1/2 cup FitBeer
- 1-2 tblsp oil for shallow frying
- Petit pois peas
- Marinara sauce (perfect for chip dunking!)
- Preheat your oven to 210 Fan / 230 C / 450 F / Gas 8 and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silcon mat
- Scrub the potatoes if the skin is ok or peel them if too dirty. Stir together with a drizzle of olive oil, the rosemary, thyme leaves, cornflour and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper
- Tip onto the baking tray and cook for 35 minutes until crisp and golden outside but soft and fluffy inside (stir the chips half way through cooking)
- After around 20 minutes of cooking the chips start to prepare the 'fish'. Cut 4 thick slices from the block of tofu (you can make them fish fillet shaped or whatever shape you choose!)
- Cut the sheet of nori to fit flat across the top of one side of the tofu. Repeat for each piece of tofu, pressing the nori down onto the tofu
- In a shallow tray or dish stir together the flour, salt and nutritional yeast then coat the nori covered tofu pieces on all sides
- Add the cornflour to the flour mixture and whisk in the beer to make a thick batter.
- Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan over a gentle heat. Dip each nori piece into the batter, coating completely then place into the frying pan
- Give your hands a wash then sizzle each piece of tofu for around 5 minutes until golden and crisp then carefully flip over and repeat on the other side
- Serve with the crispy chips, warmed marinara sauce (or just ketchup!) and petit pois.
- Dig in!
The nutritional yeast isn't essential but it does add a rounded flavour! If you don't have it or can't get hold of it easily don't let it put you off making this amazing comfort food!