Prep time 20 minutes | Cooking time 30 minutes
One day, Brendon The Smiling Chef returned home from a gruelling day at work and university with a craving for fried chicken. He knew he couldn’t, and wouldn’t, touch factory farmed meats (beef, pork, lamb and chicken) as he had promised to refrain from eating them during the period of Lent. This decision was partially influence by his recent discovery of Meat-Free Week (24-30 March, 2014), and a challenge to invent a range of “vegetarian” recipes for his blog.
It didn’t help that he had passed three chicken shops on the way home, and that his mum had prepared chicken schnitzels for dinner that night.
So on this fateful day, the Smiling Chef, decided to transform plain tofu into something magical and whipped up the following number. He understands that while fried foods, or potatoes, may not appear to be the dinner option, they make a perfect one-off treat.
- 200g waxy potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for shallow frying
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 4 tbsp semolina
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 200g firm tofu, sliced into 4cmx3cmx1cm nuggets
- Whole-egg mayonnaise, to serve
For the chips pre-heat an oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray with baking paper. Slice the potatoes into 1cm thick chips using a sharp knife. Place onto the tray and drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Roast in the pre-heated oven for 20-30 minutes until golden and cooked.
For the tofu place the egg and turmeric powder into a small shallow dish and lightly beat with a fork. The turmeric is a little unusual but it adds a great savoury flavour to the base of the “nuggets”. In a similar bowl combine the semolina, sesame seeds, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.
Dip one tofu nugget into the egg mixture and coat. Drain off the excess egg and immediately dunk into the semolina to form a crumb coating. Place on another plate whilst you repeat the process with the remaining tofu pieces.
To shallow fry heat 4tbsp remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the tofu in batches till golden brown. Place onto a cooling rack (the kind you use for baking) whilst you fry the remaining pieces.
Serve the tofu nuggets with the chips, and mayonnaise for dunking!
Happy Cooking and Keep Smiling,