Who knew #Veganuary and #TacoTuesdays were so meant to be! This recipe was taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes.

Crisp, golden, batter-coated tofu, a summery pea crema and a zingy salsa with a corn tortilla – what’s not to like? If you’re using fresh peas, don’t forget to save the pea pods; they make a flavoursome light vegetable stock.

Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year

 

Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

165g/5¾oz/scant 1¼ cups plain/all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
300ml/10½fl oz/1¼ cups light ale
4 tsp chipotle powder
4 tsp ground cumin
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
550g/1lb 4oz block of firm tofu, drained cut into 2cm/¾in wide x 1cm/½in thick fingers
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

PEA CREMA
1 large avocado, stone removed and flesh scooped out
55g/2oz/⅓ cup cooked peas
4 tbsp crème fraîche
1 large garlic clove, peeled
juice of 1 lime
1 green jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped

TOMATO AND CORIANDER SALSA
4 vine tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1 handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, chopped
½ small red onion, diced
1 green jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped
juice of ½ lime

TO SERVE
8 corn tacos
2 Little Gem/Bibb lettuces, shredded
chilli sauce (optional)

Method

To make the batter, sift the flour and cornflour/cornstarch into a large mixing bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Make a well in the middle and gradually whisk in the ale to make a smooth, fairly thick batter. Set aside to rest. Mix together the chipotle powder and cumin on a plate.

Blend together all the ingredients for the pea crema in a blender or mini food processor (or mash with a fork if you like a chunky mix), then season. Taste and add more lime, if needed.

Mix together all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl, then season.

Place the tacos on a baking sheet and warm in the oven preheated to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

To prepare the tofu, heat enough oil to half-fill a deep heavy saucepan to 176°C/350°F (or until a cube of bread turns golden and crisp in 40 seconds). Pat dry the tofu slices with paper towels, making sure you get rid of as  much moisture as possible, then dust in the chipotle mix until coated all over. Dunk the tofu, one slice at a time, into the batter until well coated, then lower it into the hot oil. Cook 3 slices of tofu at a time for 11/2–2 minutes until light golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels and keep warm in a low oven. Repeat until you have cooked all the tofu.

To assemble, place some lettuce in a taco shell, top with 2–3 slices of tofu and a good spoonful of the salsa, followed by the pea crema. Finish with a dash of chilli sauce, if you like, and serve with extra wedges of lime on the side.

#Veganuary2021 is going strong with this glorious recipe! Nicola does offer a part-time variation to mix things up – swap out the tofu for white fish fillets! Cut them into bite-sized chunks, coat in the spiced flour and batter, then deep fry until crispy and golden brown. Delicious!

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