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Split pea tofu at home

August 10, 2011

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

a guide

  • 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
Mix split pea flour and salt on a plate, then coat the tofu pieces in it. Let sit while you prep other stuff. The split pea flour will become wetter as the tofu releases water.
Coat the bottom of a frypan  in oil (it should be large enough so the tofu pieces can be placed in the pan without touching). Let the oil come to a medium heat, which should cause water to sizzle when flicked into the pan. Toss the tofu in the remaining split pea flour right before you add each piece of tofu to the pan, making sure they don’t touch each other. Let cook until golden on the underside, the flip over. Turn one or two more times so each side is a little browned in the oil.
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You could let them sit on paper towels (I re-use clean paper bags), but really I just chuck it straight into my prepped things. The Bodhi Tree serve it in a salad, and also as its own dish with a tomato garlic sauce (this downplays the pea flavour, but I like the pea flavour. It’s not beany, or boringly floury, but slightly nutty and rich).
PS. Have been too busy to follow enough blogs for currently clickalicious…but I promise it’s to bring you more foodie excitement. Hint: Check out the starred things in my pages bar under my header.
9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2011 11:40 pm

    That’s a great tip to let the tofu rest after coating it in the split pea flour. Thanks for posting!

  2. August 11, 2011 7:59 am

    Fabulous. I normally coat my tofu in cornstarch, but this sounds even better!

  3. August 11, 2011 10:21 am

    I love tofu very very much so this is perfect for me :-).

    Ciao
    Alessandra

  4. August 14, 2011 1:15 pm

    T: It just gets a thicker coating, but you could easily not let it sit and just chuck it straight in the oil.

    H: Yes same, it’s nice and crisp with cornflour but I like the flavour of the pea flour…it’s more crunchy than crispy though.

    A: Thought you might :D Hope you like it! Let me know if you find any particularly yummy variations.

  5. August 15, 2011 8:29 pm

    I DO enjoy your blog. Thanks Rosie

  6. typefashion permalink
    August 17, 2011 12:40 pm

    Whenever I make tofu it somehow just crumbles !

    PS: I am an amateur !

    http://typefashion.wordpress.com/

  7. August 18, 2011 6:16 pm

    R: Thanks!

    T: It’s ok, it happens. If you’re using soft tofu it’ll always crumble a little, so the best kind to use is a firm type.

  8. October 12, 2012 12:47 pm

    We love The Bodhi Tree too – amazing flavours and lovely staff/owners. The atmosphere isn’t quite the same since they’ve relocated, but it’s great to see that they’re thriving after what our city has been through over the last couple of years.

    I’ll definitely be giving the split pea tofu a go… if I could only find a source of fermented tea leaves I’d be VERY happy!

  9. October 12, 2012 12:53 pm

    Astrid: I miss the tea salad soo much! This split pea tofu isn’t quite as amazing as theirs but it’s a pretty good lazy fill-in if you don’t have a deep fryer. Thanks for dropping by :)

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