We all need comfort foods sometimes, and as I’ve recently veganised this recipe from a few years ago, comfort food is what I’m craving right now!
For this recipe I have to thank my lovely Czech friend Hana. I worked on Hana’s sustainable farm for a week in the mountains of Perak in Malaysia and day in, day out, amid the breathtaking scenery and the crazy antics, she fed me a variety of fantastic foods, accommodating my vegetarianism and getting me addicted to a chocolate cake that will appear on here one day soon. I also got obsessed with these, and willingly imported the recipe back home. Hooray for Hana!
300g firm tofu, grated
4 cloves garlic, grated / crushed
1 carrot or a handful of cabbage, both grated
1 tablespoon tahini + 1 tablespoon reserve
about 3 slices of bread turned into breadcrumbs
juice of 1/2 a lime
oil of your choice
Mix all the grated ingredients together in a bowl
Stir in 1 tablespoon tahini into the grated mix
Add a splash of soy sauce and the lime juice
Put the remaining tahini into a small bowl and the breadcrumbs on a plate
Grab enough mixture to form a small ball and squeeze it tightly in your hand. Liquid should come out and the mixture should stay together. If not, it is either too dry or too wet; add more tahini or some breadcrumbs accordingly.
If it seems a good consistency, roll the mixture into a small ball
Roll the ball in the tahini, then in the breadcrumbs. Ensure it is covered
Set aside on a plate
Continue forming the balls and covering them until all the mixture is used up
[If possible, put the formed balls into the fridge for an hour or more. This will encourage them to stay together when cooked.]
When ready, heat a few centimeters of oil in a pan
When the oil is hot (but not too hot – be careful as spitting oil stings like a bitch!) place a few balls into it – as many as you can without them touching
Keep turning them until all sides are golden brown and crispy
To minimize the residual oil, hang in a strainer for a minute or place between 2 sheets of kitchen paper
Serve up with your chosen side and some dips; home-made hummus and sweet chili sauce are great!
Yes, these are deep fried, but these are about the only things that I do deep fry; as I said before, everything in moderation. I’d be much more worried about my cake intake than the odd deep-fried tofu ball, to be honest.
If it bothers you though, you can shallow fry them, but it takes longer to get them cooked through and they tend to fall apart a bit more.
This goes fantastically with a fresh salad or some roasted vegetables, or a fantastic spinach dish. My favourite combination is hummus, steamed greens, tofu balls and wedges though