mc rae's filet-0-tofu sandwich
swimmer of my happy meal
sleeps in whole wheat bun
i've been toying with the idea of a faux filet-o-fish sandwich for some time now and had pretty much decided to try a beer batter coating and deep frying pressed slices of firm tofu as a filet substitute. then i came across a recipe for tofu fish sticks from the vegan lunch box. it immediately appealed to me because there was no deep frying involved. deep frying really bums me out cause it makes such a mess and because at least one of those little high velocity fire-bombs of boiling oil always manage to hit me right in the center of my rather prominent forehead.
the only major alteration i made from the original recipe was to press the tofu (i only had medium, not firm tofu) and to omit the nuts. oh, and i didn't have any soy milk for dreding the tofu in but since it was already pretty moist i figured the topping would adhere without the additional liquid, which it did. i did not have any kelp powder, which i believe is quite pricey, but did have a big bag of kombu taking up real estate in my cupboards. so i threw it into the dry container of my vitamix (i suppose a food processer or blender would also work) and voila, instant kelp powder! this might be a good substitute for you if you can't find the already powdered stuff or if you want to save some money. you can buy strips of thick, leathery kombu seaweed pretty inexpensively in a chinese market...it'll probably run you a little more for the same thing in a japanese market.
and how did it turn out? well, with a little homemade tartar sauce, some sliced dill pickle, onion, lettuce and a toasted whole wheat bun, it tasted pretty damn good. a nice little crunch on the outside of the tofu from the cornmeal, a little sweet and tart from the tartar sauce, and some heat from the onion. but to be honest, the tofu tasted better on its own. the subtle fishy flavor and contrasting textures of the interior vs the exterior of the tofu got a little lost beneath that big, pillowy wheaty bun. don't get me wrong, it tasted great in the sandwich, but the tofu is good enough to stand on its own little kelp constructed fins. with maybe a little dipping sauce on the side.
1 lb. package firm tofu, drained
2/3 cup fine cornmeal
2/3 cup almonds (optional)
2 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoon kelp granules
2 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dill weed
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2/3 cup plain, unsweetened soymilk
1 lemon for garnishing
place all the dry ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until the nuts are very fine. if not using nuts you may omit this step. set dry ingredients aside. cut tofu into even slices just under ½-inch wide, then into fish stick sized slices. if making sandwiches, cut each block of tofu into four horizontal slices. dip into soymilk (or not), then press into the dry mixture. lightly oil or pan spray a baking sheet with olive oil and lay tofu slices. bake at 400 for about 15 minutes each side.
serve on a toasted whole wheat bun with pickles, onions, lettuce and homemade tartar sauce (vegannaise mixed with chopped dill pickle, onion, lemon and maybe a squirt of ketchup). squeeze alittle lemon juice over the top if you're eating them plain.