…or is it? One of the last things I gave up before going vegetarian was seafood. Ever since I was a kid, seafood was always preferable to me over beef, chicken,or pork. Really, there was no kind of seafood I didn’t really like – I even dabbled a few times in raw oysters! But now, I think, eww.
Yet it isn’t really me ‘missing’ seafood so much that prompted me to bread tofu in seafood breading. After a quick (nostalgic?) perusal in the ‘breadings section’ of the supermarket recently, I pondered the possibility of dredging tofu and frying it up as if it were fish. Couldn’t be half bad, could it?
Lo, the experiment turned out okay. I drained firm tofu and pressed it to get most of the moisture out. Then I prepared a plate for the seafood breading. Now, here is where some vegan recipes say to add powdered kelp or kombu to the mix to give it that fishy taste, but I skipped that step. It wasn’t so much the fishy flavor I needed as much as the illusion that I was consuming seafood.
I wanted a fish stick effect – so I sliced the firm tofu into ‘fingers’ (as they call ’em in the UK). Rolled and rolled them in the coating, then pan-fried them in vegetable oil. After draining them on a paper towel, but while still hot, I dipped the fingers in both ketchup and malt vinegar (but not at the same time!). And you know what? It was pretty good. Not so much like fried seafood that you would be fooled, but decent enough to give hardcore tofu haters a run for their money.
Would I make it again? Yes, and I think next time I’ll try a breading with Old Bay Seasoning in it just to give it a little oomph.