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Beer Battered Coconut Tofu

Some of my most vivid childhood memories involve family trips to Florida, where we would spend all day at the beach and the rest of the evening sitting on the screened in porches of seaside restaurants where my parents would enjoy a cold beer and we would all share tons of fried food. The flavor of this Beer Battered Coconut Tofu brings those memories right back. I’ve also got the recipe for a Horseradish Marmalade Sauce to dip these little nuggets in, but if you’d rather just buy a sauce instead of making one, go for a sweet chili sauce (probably any kind is good but my favorites are Grama’s Sweet Chili Sauce and Mae Ploy Chili Sauce).

Ingredients:

  • 14 oz extra firm organic tofu, cut into 3/4 inch thick triangles
  • oil to fry in (I like to use peanut oil)

For the beer batter:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour or garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried, granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • pinch ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/3 cup lager or pilsner beer

For the crispy coconut layer:

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup dried, shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl mix together the flour and all of the spices for the beer batter with a fork.  Next, add the beer to the mixture and stir until batter forms.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, salt, and shredded coconut.
  3. Dip each piece of tofu in the beer batter, then roll in the coconut mixture.  Try to keep your fingers as clean as possible, but inevitably your hands are going to get messy.  Just rinse your fingertips as you go, so too much batter doesn’t stick.
  4. Set each piece of battered and coconut-rolled tofu to the side on a sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Once all the pieces are battered, pour oil into a medium sized nonstick or cast iron pan until it’s about 1/2 inch deep.  Heat the oil over medium-medium high heat.
  6. To test and see if the oil is hot enough, put a small piece of batter or coconut in the oil.  If it bubbles and sizzles it’s ready to go, if not wait another minute and try again.
  7. When the oil is hot enough, gently place each piece of battered tofu in the oil using a pair of tongs, being careful not to splash any hot oil.  To avoid crowding the tofu in the pan, split the frying into 2-3 batches.  Fry each one until golden brown on the bottom, then using the tongs again, flip and fry until golden brown on the other side.  This will take 5-10 minutes for each batch.
  8. When you take them out of the pan place on a paper towel-lined rack, to sop up any excess oil.

Serve with a sweet chili sauce or Horseradish Marmalade Dipping Sauce.  Just mix together 1/3 cup orange marmalade, 1 teaspoon prepared vegan horseradish, 2 teaspoon coconut vinegar, rice vinegar, or white vinegar.  Enjoy!

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