Split pea tofu at home
One of my favourite dishes at my one of favourite restaurants is split pea tofu. It’s a little weird, because even plain, the pea-ness of it is moresome and delicious. The coating is great at keeping flavour on the tofu, and it’s also easy – just toss the tofu in the coating. No dipping in egg first (although that’d probably be pretty tasty too), or dealing with messy batter. Our deep fryer is sitting sadly on the counter waiting to be cleaned, so I shallow fried mine, and the results were still lovely, if a little powdery on the palate (I think this could be solved by frying all the edges, but I got kinda hungry). One of the first things Will said when eating dinner was “I like the tofu.” Which, given most people’s apathy regarding tofu, and given there were my famous roast potatoes on the plate…it’s a big deal.
Not the best photo, but the smell of the crispy tofu was too delicious to spend a second longer behind the lens. I threw the tofu together with roasted romanesco cauliflower from Grown, and some salad greens (miner’s lettuce & sorrel, which you could sub spinach and add lemon juice to the dressing). I used a fruity salad dressing of pomegranate molasses, salt and olive oil on the greens, and the tofu picked up a little, which was a great offset. Weirdly the dressing went quite well with the roast potatoes we had on the side.
This has all got me quite excited, because there are so many flavour possibilities with the split pea coating – you could add very finely chopped spring onion/chives and turn the coating into a batter perhaps, or you could add spices to the split pea flour. Or the coating could just be a sponge for whatever dressing you’re using, ensuring no tofu escapes deliciousness. I’ll be sharing the best forays, mark my words.
EDIT: I’ve also tried making a tempura like “batter” and it is even better than batter made with flour! Just beat an egg, beat in some split pea flour, and some water to thin it out to the consistency of double cream. Add plenty of salt and pepper. You can use it on tofu but the tofu makes it go soggy quickly so I’d suggest using it like a tempura batter (good for GF people too!). I added a bit of soy sauce and garlic powder for richness the second time and the batter was much more reminiscent of the flavour of chicken nuggets. Not sure if this is a good thing :D The batter lasts in the fridge, covered, for a few days if you don’t use it all.
Shallow fried split pea tofu
- Tofu, cut no thicker than 1cm. I used stuff that’s bordering on silken, but regular stuff will do. Just don’t use the super firm rubbery stuff.
- About half the volume of tofu in yellow split pea flour (check Chinese and Indian supermarkets, or health food stores. I got mine at Sun Mart)
- fine sea salt, and/or whatever spices you want
- plenty of canola oil or whatever you like for frying