Last night I had a going away party (5 days until Texas!), which meant really obnoxious private karaoke with a bunch of friends, far too much beer, and Mario: The Lost Levels until 4am. Mike was passed out on the couch as his best friend and I conquered the game all the way up to level 8:3, which was a heroic feat - two stages from the end! We'd never been that far before, not even sober. But then there was this impossible jump, and I really wanted ramen but all our friend had was vegan chicken that I ate in the morning, and...I digress.
The point of my story is that I've been doing some major-league chilling today, and Mike took care of the entirety of brunch. Which is another way of saying that I'm awesomely spoiled, especially because he made fried tofu po boy sandwiches. Turns out they're perfect post-hootenanny food - lots of carbs (bread!), tofu (deep-fried goodness!), and some vegetables in the form of coleslaw (still counts!).
Mike seasoned the tofu with things like kelp powder and soy sauce to evoke a "fishy" flavor, since po boys are usually a Louisiana seafood thing, and then the 'fu was battered and deep-fried to crispy perfection. These are best enjoyed immediately (the crispness of the batter wears off quickly), and though deep-fried is best, marinated and pan-fried tofu would probably be pretty good here too.
Fried Tofu Po Boy
Makes 4 sandwiches
For the tofu:
1 block extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch to 1-inch squares
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon kelp powder
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 teaspoons paprika
1/2 cup club soda
A little non-dairy milk, for consistency (fairly thick and gloopy)
For the coleslaw:
2 cups coleslaw mix (or shredded green cabbage and carrot equal to 2 cups)
2 large dill pickles, chopped
4 tablespoons vegan mayo (Vegennaise is the best)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon pepper
2 long baguettes, halved and sliced down the middle to make 4 sandwiches
Coleslaw (about 1/2 cup per sandwich)
Fried tofu (6 or 7 pieces per sandwich)
Mustard and hot sauce (like Sriracha), to taste
1. For the tofu: combine the tofu, soy sauce, lemon juice, kelp and Old Bay in a bowl or container, and allow it to marinade for an hour, or overnight if you're forward-thinking.
2. Heat 3 inches of neutral oil in a large pot to around 375 F. While the oil is heating, make the tofu frying batter: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, Old Bay, paprika and salt. Add the club soda and a little milk and stir until smooth. Dredge the tofu in the batter and fry 6-8 tofu pieces at a time for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Set the fried tofu on a paper towel to drain.
3. Make the coleslaw: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
4. To assemble: Spread a layer of coleslaw on the baguette, followed by the fried tofu, mustard and hot sauce.
Check out that fried tofu perfection.
Serve this up with pickles, and if you're feeling really hungry it would be great with a plate of fries or hashbrowns.
Sadly, this marks the last Vegan Sunday Brunch that Mike and I get to enjoy in each other's physical company for a long, long time. Our brunches will continue to live on, though, even if they're enjoyed via Skype. Thanks for that, modern technology!
Hope you've had a great weekend, and I'll see you guys tomorrow on the last day of the year!