Don’t you just love vacations? I do!
It’s been a traditon in my family to do a “three generation” trip once a year during the summer. The three generations are my grandma, my mom, and me. Last year, we took this incredible culinary tour of the Baltic. We went to Russia, Finland, Denmark, and Swedan to name a few. But since my mom is undergoing chemotherepy, we obviously must put our world travels on hold this year.
So, I’ve been thinking about our trips. For the first one, we toured Ireland and reunited with some long lost relatives. I was pretty young, but I had a thrid cousin who was exactly my age!
The entire trip was absolutley incredible, but when of the things that stick out in my mind the most is the food.
When you think of an Irish pub, you may think of a bunch of short redheads dressed in green dancing around with pots of gold and Budweisers in their hands. I think the only accurate part of that statement are the Budweisers. They are definitly there.
But since I was certainly not of a drinking age then, (or now,) I lived on fish and chips. I kid you not.
They were everywhere. The pubs served them perfectly, and there was even this one place that only sold fish and chips. Then we took our food and ate it in a tall-grassed field with my third cousin, Erin. But that’s beside the point.
The point is that I miss those fish and chips sometimes. But even if I did go back to Ireland this summer, I would probably avoid eating deep fried beer battered fish and potatoes. Sad, I know.
But then I picked up this incredible book called The Part Time Vegan, and when I saw a beer battered tofu recipe, I just had to try it!
Being who I am, I tweaked the recipe around a bit, but I was really, really happy with the results. This recipe calls for a pound block of tofu, and I ate almost the entire batch! I just couldn’t help myself.
If any of you have been to Ireland, try this recipe and tell me it doesn’t give that pub fare a run for its money.
Beer Battered Tofu
Be prepared to lick your fingers.
Adapted from The Part Time Vegan
2t garlic powder (I used bottled minced garlic because I was out of the powder, but I wouldn’t reccomen it.)
2t onion powder
pinch of pepper
A 1 pound block of extra firm tofu, cut into strips (see picture below)
1/2 cup light beer
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2T Earth Balance
Wrap the tofu in a layer of paper towels.
Put your paper towel wrapped tofu on a plate, top with another plate, and put a heavy object or two on top (i.e. heavy cans, heavy jars, a brick, you know, whatever.) Now let that hang out for a bit. (At least 20 minutes, but the more the better.)
Behold your pressed tofu.
Combine garlic powder, salt, paprika, and pepper in a small bowl.
Cut tofu into strips and dredge well into spice mixture.
In a seperate medium bowl, mix together beer and flour until well combined.
Dip the tofu strips into the beer/flour mixture so all the sides are coated. Place the strips into a baking dish lined with nonstick tin foil and sprayed really well with nonstick spray. You do not want these to stick. I’m serious.
Pour the melted Earth Balance over the tofu strips and pop it in the broiler for about 10-12 minutes. I was not timing it very closely, though, so if it’s done in seven minutes, don’t be surprised, If it’s not even close to being done by 12 minutes, don’t be surprised either. Just keep watching it. Confusing, I know. But so worth it. Trust me.
This was such a great amount of batter. Look at how little was left after everything was dunked!
DO NOT use a an 8×8 pan or you will end up with surplus (shown above.) So luckily, I decided to do an experiment. I “fried” them up in about half a tablespoon of earth balance. They tasted good (hence the reason there are no “after” pictures) but the batter hopelessly stuck to the pan, and what did manage to hang on to the tofu stuck on in clumps. The broiler version was definetly the winner.
Ta da! If you don’t think they look like much, do not be fooled. These are amazing. Just whip up some of Ashley’s beer soaked fries, and you’ll be in that Irish pub in not time!