Vegan fish And Chips: Report


Written by McDonald, T.  |  Date 27th of September 2021 

Abstract 

Fish and chips is a dish that many vegans say they miss, so i decided to make a vegan battered fish that was fun to eat.  In the past I have tried making vegan fish with banana blossom, but did not get overwhelming positive feedback. Even I thought it was lacking in something too!  In response to this, I decided to change the recipe a little and use tofu instead of banana blossom.   I decided to stick with most of the recipe and followed the same method as in the last report.  This worked out fine although the tofu fish, let us call it tofish, was a little thick and would have been better as a thinner slice.  The batter was great though and all things considered it was better than the banana blossom fish.  If I was going to do this again, I would cut a thinner slice of tofu and shape it to look a little bit more like fish. 

Index

  1. Introduction 
  2. Literature search 
  3. Procedure
  4. Results (This has the finished recipe in) 
  5. Conclusion 
  6. Appendices
  7. References 

Introduction

A few days ago I tried my hand at vegan fish and chips using banana blossom and although it turned out good, I felt if I had used tofu, it would have been better. With this in mind I decided to try it again using everything the same except I will use tofu instead of banana blossom. Since I have already written a whole report on this recipe, there is no need to write it out again; I will just replace the banana blossom with tofu. Therefore, if you want to know how I chose the ingredients, please read the report  Pan Fried Katblossom: The ReportSince I have already done a lot of work on the batter, and marinade I will be using the same ingredients as in the last report.

Literature search

Search for oil:

BHF (n.d.) 'Which is the healthiest fat for cooking?'  Available at https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/ask-the-expert/comparing-cooking-fats (Accessed 06/08/21)

NHS Live well (2020) 'Fats the facts' Available at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/different-fats-nutrition/ (Accessed 06/08/21)

British Nutritional Federation (2009) 'Oils and fats in the diet' Available at https://www.nutrition.org.uk/attachments/043_Oils%20and%20fats%20in%20the%20diet.pdf (Accessed 06/08/21)

Oliver, J (2013) 'Is it time to change your cooking oil?' Available at https://www.jamieoliver.com/features/change-to-rapeseed-oil/ (Accessed 10/08/21)

Search results for vegan battered fish:

 The Vegetarian Society (n.d.) 'Battered tofu fish and chips' Available at  https://vegsoc.org/recipes/battered-tofufish/  (Accessed 06/08/21) 

Bosh. (n.d.) 'Vegan "fish" and chips' Available at  https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/vegan-fish-chips (Accessed 10/08/21)

It doesn't taste like chicken (2019) 'Tofish and Chips (vegan fish and chips)' Available at https://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/tofish-and-chips-vegan-fish-and-chips/ (Accessed 11/08/21)

Procedure

First, let us note all assumptions.

  • It is assumed the reader has an in-depth understanding of veganism. 
  • It is assumed the reader already knows how to prepare and press tofu.  
  • It is assumed the reader has a great understanding of health and safety in the kitchen.
  • It is assumed the reader has at least some experience of using a kitchen untended and is competent in doing so. 

Since I have already written a report on vegan fish and chips that included testing and analysing the best batter, I will stick with the recipe.  The object here is to improve upon and already good idea.  Thus, I can list the batter ingredients straight into the results. 

Expected Output And Constraints 

The constraints:

  • Vegan
  • Keep oil to a minimum
  • No alcohol

The expected output: 

A complete vegan recipe for vegan battered fish that is an improvement on the last report.

Stages To The Plan 

1. Outline the problem

Problem to be solved

  • To make the tofu fish fun and interesting with a complete recipe that anyone can follow. 
Why is it a problem? 
  • Tofu is nothing like fish. 

2. Gather any reinvent information

Research process and tools I used:

  • Internet
  • Library 
  • Build a reading list (literature search)

3. Analyse the found recipes for commonalities and likeable ideas

Since this has mainly been done in the last report, i have no need to do it again.  However, making the tofu like fish does need some looking into.  To solve this problem I look at recipes that used tofu as the fish substitute.

4. Testing

This stage for the batter has already been completed in the last report.   Since I feel comfortable preparing tofu and use it on a regular bases in a variety of ways, I will press ahead with the dish leaving the testing to the final stage. I already know what to do with the tofu.

Results

This was diffidently better than using banana blossom like last time.  Although the fish stake was a little too thick, the taste was good and the batter was fantastic. The texture to the fish was not much like fish and was more like that of chicken.  However, the nori did help with the taste.  


Serves 2

Time 1hr 4 minutes

Preparation 1 hr 

Cooking 4 minutes 

Ingredients

  • Tofu x 100g
  • Nori x 1/4 sheet
  • Rapeseed oil x 1 cup

Marinade ingredients 

  • Lemon juice from half a lemon
  • Pickle brine x 1 tbsp
  • Soy sauce x 1 tbsp
  • Teriyaki sauce x 1 tbsp

Dry batter ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of plan flour 
  • Pinch of salt 
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 1/4 tsp of ground black pepper

Batter ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp of gram flour
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt 
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric 
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp of caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sparkling water and pickle brine (the water should make up the most part)

Apparatus 

  • Medium, sized saucepan with a lid. 
  • 2 bowls for the batters.
  • A metal slotted spoon. 
  • Measuring spoons.
  • Small whisk or folk to mix the batter.

Method 

Step 1 - Marinade the tofu overnight in the fridge.

  1. Press the tofu and place in a suitable sized bowl or container. See appendix B for more about pressing tofu.
  2. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together.  Allow tofu to soak in the marinade overnight, see figure 1. 
Figure 1, Tofu in marinade.

Step 2 - Make the batter.

  1. Yes, make the wet batter first so it has time to rest.  This will make it so much better.  
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients for the wet batter in a suitable sized bowl. 
  3. Add the sparkling water and pickle brine (1/2 cup in total) to the mix and stir with a fork until it has no lumps. You should have a yellow-coloured batter.
  4. Leave in the fridge to rest for 1/2 hour.
Figure 2, batter resting

Figure 3, nori cut to size.

Step 3 - Get the dry mix ready and heat the oil

  1. Mix all the dry batter ingredients together in a suitable sized bowl. 
  2. Heat the rapeseed oil in a medium sized saucepan with a lid.
  3. Coat the tofu in the dry mix. 
  4. Cut the nori to fit the tofu and stick it on using a bit of wet batter, see figure 3.
  5. Coat tofu in the wet batter so it is completely covered.
  6. Test the oil is hot enough by dripping a tiny bit of batter into the oil.  If it sizzles good, it is hot enough. 
  7. Fry the battered tofu in the oil for about 3 - 4 minutes or until golden brown all over.  Flip carefully halfway through.



Discussion

One of the problems I had to face was how to make the tofu more like fish.  This proved to be difficult and I failed to get a really good result in this area.  However, the batter was great as expected and there was not much I would change about the finished dish.

Making the tofu more like fish

One of the problems with the last recipe was the marinade.  Although it was good, it still needed something extra.  This led to me adding more soya sauce and some teriyaki sauce to the marinade.  I chose teriyaki sauce because it is used in Japanese cooking as a marinade for fish, which is something I already knew.  One thing that did seem to work well in the last recipe was the use of nori.  Subsequently, I kept this idea and pasted one side of the tofu filet with the nori, so it looked like fish skin.  Nonetheless, for all my efforts, the tofu was more like chicken in texture even if the nori did add a bit of fishiness to the taste.  Changing the texture may be difficult in future attempts, but using a thinner slice of tofu will diffidently help. 

Why I used rapeseed oil

For a while, I have noticed reports from charities saying that rapeseed oil is a better oil to use.  Subsequently, I decided to check this out and sure enough I found charities such as BHF (n.d.) saying this, 'Oils with more monounsaturated fats, such as rapeseed and olive, are also less susceptible to heat. Rapeseed oil (often sold as generic vegetable oil) and inexpensive olive oil are therefore the best choices for cooking.' This sentiment was echoed by Jamie Olive (2013) on his website, which states '...high in mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats omega 3, 6 and 9, so can help you maintain healthy cholesterol level...' Furthermore the NHS states on its website: 'Monounsaturated fats help protect your heart by maintaining levels of "good" HDL cholesterol while reducing levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol in your blood.' and that rapeseed oil is one such oil: 'Monounsaturated fats are found in: olive oil, rapeseed oil and spreads made from these oils...'  All of this makes uses rapeseed oil a great choice.

What went well?

Making the batter was easy because I had already worked this out in the last report, so I just stuck to the recipe for that part not changing anything.  Frying the battered tofu worker well in the shallow oil bath.  The batter was a little darker than some batters, but still did its job of keeping the moisture in the tofu.  The batter was crisp but not flaky.  Prior knowledge made this easy.

What would I change?

Using a thinner slice of tofu and shaping it to look more like fish would have made a difference to the way it looked and to the taste.  In addition, although the batter was great, I would use shloer, a fizzy wine substitute, next time to lighten it a bit.

Conclusion 

Although this time the vegan fish was a lot better, I could still make some minor improvements to the substitute fish both in taste and texture.  Nonetheless, the recipe is easy to follow and uses common ingredients, so nothing is difficult to find.  The batter was great and did not really need changing although perhaps using some sparkling water or shloer could improve it a little.  All in all, this dish does make a good substitute battered fish and chips and is likely to go down well with most vegans, but it will never fool a non vegan.

Appendix 

Appendix A - shopping list.

  • Tofu
  • Nori
  • Plan flour
  • Gram flour or cornflour
  • Sea salt 
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Turmeric 
  • Baking powder
  • Caster sugar
  • Rapeseed oil 

Appendix B - how to prepare tofu

Press the tofu in a tofu press such as the one below in the image. 

Tofu press

  1.  For best results, unpack the tofu and place in a container and freeze over night. 
  2. Thaw completely in the fridge the next day and then press in the tofu press over night. 
  3. Marinade tofu for no less than 2 hours. 

For more about preparing tofu click here

References 

Oliver, J (2013) 'Is it time to change your cooking oil?' Available at https://www.jamieoliver.com/features/change-to-rapeseed-oil/ (Accessed 10/08/21)

NHS Live well (2020) 'Fats the facts' Available at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/different-fats-nutrition/ (Accessed 06/08/21)

 


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