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It’s summer. And summer means bright, colorful fruits and vegetables. It also seems like a good time for a fish fry… or at least a faux fish fry. I’m not usually a fan of fried foods, at least I could take ’em or leave ’em. Lately, though, I’ve been having bad cravings for fried… well… anything. These tofu fish tacos really hit the spot.
To cover our colorful-fruits-and-vegetable bases, these tacos are topped with a spicy mango salsa with jalapenos, bell pepper, lime, and cilantro. The salsa gives the tofu fish a nice sweet taste to round out the fishiness. Want to know the secret to getting a fishy flavor? Old Bay Seasonings and nori. But don’t worry! It doesn’t transform your tofu into an exact fish replica – it just makes it taste good in a faux seafood kinda way.
Start by slicing the tofu widthwise into 10 or so even pieces. The first time I made this, I only cut it into 6 pieces but I think it’s really better if you cut them a bit more thinly. Lay the pieces flat on a towel – if you’re as cool as me you can acquire a bunch of ugly blue surgical towels. They’re hideous, but they work.
Cover the tofu with a towel and place a flat surface on top such as a cutting board. Stack a few cans on top to press the tofu and leave it for at least 15 minutes. You want to press as much water out of the tofu as possible to create crunchier fish sticks.
Now comes the fun (and kinda slimy) part. For each slice of tofu, dip it in the vegan beer, the coat it with the flour mixture. Dip it back into the beer – this is where it gets slimy – and then cover it with breadcrumbs. Don’t neglect the ends of your tofu!
Here’s a beautiful before and after photo of the “raw” and fried tofu. I let the oil heat to about 375 degrees according to my candy thermometer. I don’t have an actual fryer so I used an average sized pot. You may need to fry your tofu in batches. I only fried 1-2 at a time. It goes quick though – they only stay in the oil for about 1 minute.
These vegan faux fish tacos are made with tofu and use Old Bay Seasonings and nori to create that fish stick taste.
- Extra Firm Tofu, 14 0z
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
- 1 Sheet of Nori
- 1 Tbs Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 Cup Vegan Beer (I used Blue Moon Belgian White)
- Oil for Frying
- 6 - 8 Corn Tortillas
- Purple Lettuce of Cabbage
- 2 Mangos
- 1 Red Bell Pepper
- 1 Jalapeno
- 1 Bunch Cilantro
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Slice the tofu width wise into 3/4" pieces. Lay them out flat and press for at least 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, chop, crumble, or grind the nori into very fine pieces. I recommend tearing it into small pieces then running them through a coffee grinder.
- Mix the flour, nori, and Old Bay Seasonings in one bowl. Pour the beer into a second bowl, and the breadcrumbs into a third bowl.
- Start heating your oil. You want enough oil to cover the tofu by several inches.
- Once the tofu has been pressed for at least 15 minutes, dip each piece into beer, then into the flour, making sure to coat the tofu entirely. Dip it back into the beer, then into the breadcrumbs, again making sure to coat entirely.
- Once you have prepared all of the slices and your oil is hot, drop in the tofu and fry for 1-2 minutes. Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to work in batches. I only fried 3 slices at a time.
- De-seed your jalapeno.
- Chop all of the ingredients except the cilantro and toss together in a bowl.
- Add the lime juice and stir to combine.
- Add as much or as little cilantro as you want. I prefer to add a few leaves to the individual tacos rather than adding it to the salsa.
- Place 1-2 pieces of tofu on a corn tortilla.
- Add a scoop of salsa.