Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tofu "Fish" Sticks or "Fish" Sandwich (Vegan and GF)

Okay, confession time. I don't crave burgers at all anymore, but I do crave those cheap, disgusting fish sandwiches from that place with the golden arches.  I don't know why, but I've always loved those.  Maybe it's from all those Fridays growing up in a Catholic home?  I can't explain it.  I just love it.

I have been a good girl and have avoided the fish sandwich for over a year now. But I saw a commercial for it and it looked kind of good.  So I started searching for the vegan-tweaked version.  I found 3-4 recipes that all used kelp in them to help give the breading a "fishy" flavor.  I didn't have any kelp, so I had to make do with what I had in the pantry--Nori. 

Nori sheets are those green seaweed sheets used in sushi.  My family loves to make veggie sushi rolls and so I always have Nori in the house. You can usually buy it at the larger grocery stores in with other Asian style foods.  If not, feel free to try the kelp.  The Nori gave the breading just a hint of something "from the sea" flavor. It was not overwhelming, but it really did make them taste like fish sticks.

So anyway, I looked up a few recipes and then decided just to wing it with my own recipe. I've had pecan crusted fish before, so I decided to try it with nuts in the batter for flavor.  I used walnuts, but I think you could use pecans or almonds if you like. The final product was good and was pretty similar to a crispy style fish stick that you can purchase from the store.  I cut the tofu into sticks and also into "patties" for sandwiches.  Both cooked up just fine. 

The breading is GF and vegan, baked not fried. This recipe made enough to bread one brick of extra-firm tofu.

1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. walnuts (or pecans or almonds)
1 Nori sheet
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. dill weed
Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all these ingredients in food processor and process until nuts are mostly incorporated into the meal. (I liked the crunch of the nuts a little chunkier.)  Place breading on a plate.

1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into sticks or patties
1/2 c. unsweetened soy milk
olive oil or olive oil spray

Spray a cookie sheet with olive oil.  Dip tofu sticks in soy milk and then in breading and lay on prepared pan. Spray tops of sticks with a little olive oil before cooking.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, turning halfway through cook time.  Breading should be golden brown and crispy when done.

Serve with a lemon wedge and vegan tartar sauce (pickle relish stirred together with vegan mayo).

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