By Jen Inglis
Seeing everyone coming out to enjoy the sunshine on snow has been an absolute delight after the miserable storms of the last few weeks. Doesn't matter how old you are, I reckon everyone still gets that flicker of excitement when it starts snowing, so this week's recipe share is one to appeal to all ages. Coming in after sledging or digging out paths or just enjoying the crunch of a walk in the snow calls for comfort food.
Comfort food isn't always synonymous with junk food but in this case, I've dived right in with this super crispy, deep fried and indulgent panko ginger and chilli tofu burger with cucumber pickle, vegan mayo and peanut sauce. Besides, if you make it from scratch it can't be unhealthy right?? I'm addicted to this celeriac slaw. It’s a herby, refreshing, wintry revelation! And while I love broccoli fleurettes it's also really nice to have a recipe that makes the best of broccoli stems which often get forgotten about. There are more elements and fiddly bits than I usually do on these recipes but everything is very straightforward and some parts like the tofu marinade, burger buns, peanut sauce and dressings can be done ahead of time and stored in the fridge till you need them.
All of the trimmings to this burger would work equally well if you're keen to do a meat version but you'll need to adjust cooking times. This would also make a killer homemade fish finger sandwich. And while it's totally ok to pick and choose the bits you want to use from this recipe, the combination of everything together is what makes this tofu burger incredible!
Panko Ginger & Chilli Tofu Burger
with peanut sauce, quick pickled cucumber, mayo, sesame, celeriac and broccoli slaw, & fries
500g plain flour
225ml soya milk
120g spread substitute (I used flora)
7g instant yeast
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
Soya milk for washing before baking
Sesame seeds to top (optional)
Heat soya milk and spread till just melted then whisk in yeast and leave to react for 10 mins then add to other ingredients. Knead for 10 mins till you end up with a nice soft but stretchy dough. Add more milk or flour as needed so not too dry or sticky. Cover with cling film or a tea towel and leave somewhere warm till doubled in size. You can do this the night before at same time as tofu marinade and leave in the fridge overnight.
Divide risen dough into 6 and roll into tight smooth round balls. Place evenly spaced apart on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and gently flatten slightly. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise again for 45mins.
Gently wash the tops with soya milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 180 degrees for 15 mins (should be shiny and golden) then allow cool on a wire rack.
Tofu Burger and Marinade
Block of firm Tofu (I used Cauldron as that’s all I could get but recommend Tofoo if you're a tofu newbie as it's ready to go straight from the packet no need for pressing).
2 tbsps oil for pan frying (you may need to add more as tofu cooks)
20g grated ginger
1 clove garlic crushed
1 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp maple syrup or brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp water
1tsp ground coriander
½ tsp salt
For Panko breadcrumb coating
Plain flour to coat
Aquafaba to coat (you could also use a plant based milk but aquafaba is thicker and more gloopy so adheres better)
200g panko breadcrumbs (bread never lasts long enough in my house to make my own)
1tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch cracked black pepper
Oil for Deep Frying
2 spring onions (sliced)
Juice of ½ lime
1 tsp sesame oil
Sprinkle chilli flakes
Picked leaves of coriander
Mix all ingredients except cucumber then use a veg peeler to slice nice ribbons of cucumber and add to pickle. Mix gently.
80g peanut butter
2 tbsp soy sauce
Juice 1 lime
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp siracha
10g fresh ginger grated
100ml cold water
Blitz all ingredients together. Add as much extra water as you need for a nice pouring sauce consistency.
Broccoli and Celeriac sesame slaw
1 stem from head of broccoli
1 shallot fine diced
½ clove garlic crushed
½ red chilli finely chopped
Juice 1 lime
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
5g chopped mint
5g chopped coriander
Crushed salted peanuts to top
Cut broccoli stem and celeriac into matchstick size pieces. Mix dressing together and add to the prepped veg.
Vegan mayo to serve on bun
Frozen fries to be cooked after burgers (optional)
Bowls for mixing
Containers for marinade and dressings
Heavy bottomed frying pan or deep fryer or air fryer (I haven't tried an air fryer but seems there's lots of them about so if you're trying it let us know how it goes!)
Prep brioche buns.
Slice tofu into slices of a size you’d like for your burger. Recommend a thickness of at least a centimetre so not too crispy and dry unless that’s how you like it. Shallow fry tofu slices in oil on all sides until crisp and golden. Mix together all marinade ingredients in a shallow container then add fried tofu and make sure it's fully covered by marinade. Leave 24 hours in the fridge if possible.
Prepping to Fry Burgers
Mix spices and salt and pepper with breadcrumbs. Toss tofu lightly in flour then dip in aquafaba. Lastly, roll in breadcrumb mix. Then chill burgers in fridge for 30 mins
In the meantime, prep pickle, peanut sauce and slaw.
If you've got a deep fryer now is the time to crack it out but if not be extremely careful deep frying at home particularly if you are cooking over gas. Do not overfill with oil or leave the pan unattended at any time. Add a few centimetres of frying oil to a deep-frying pan or chip pan. You can tell if the oil is ready by putting the end of a wooden spoon below the surface. If bubbles form steadily then your oil is ready but if it bubbles vigorously it's better to reduce the heat and wait a little.
Deep fry tofu burgers for a few mins till golden, turning to get even colour. Remove from oil with slotted spoon. Drain on kitchen roll or clean cloth. If going to trouble of deep frying you might as well do some chips now too! As you can see, I went for curly fries. Cook till a beautiful golden colour.
Assemble burger with vegan mayo, tofu, peanut sauce and pickle then serve with chips and slaw.