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You can take the po’ boys out of New Orleans but you can’t take New Orleans out of the boys. Broccoli takes centre-stage for this twist on the American classic — demonstrating that you can pretty much deep fry anything to make it spectacular!

You will need

Serves 4

  • 1 broccoli head
  • 300ml fry oil (vegetable, canola)


  • 150g silken tofu
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 3 dash hot sauce like tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Tempura batter

  • 1/2 cup flour (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 150ml ice-cold soda water
  • Pinch salt

To serve

  • 1 French stick or white roll (gluten-free if needed)
  • 2 big tomatoes, roughly diced
  • 1 iceberg lettuce, sliced

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20 mins to prep

  1. Step 1

    To make the mayo place the silken tofu in a blender with the tabasco, salt, and white wine vinegar. Blend until it’s nice and smooth, then taste and season to your liking! Set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Cut the broccoli into manageable bite-size pieces. Trim the end and tough outer edges of the broccoli stem off, and cut that into bite–size pieces.

  3. Step 3

    To prepare the batter, put all the batter ingredients into a bowl and mix; try to get as many lumps out as possible – but don’t stress, any sneaky lumps will create extra crunch. (The ice cold soda water reacting with the hot oil is what makes the end product so crispy, so try not to let this batter sit too long and warm up!)

  4. Step 4

    Put the fry oil in a deep pan or pot and bring it to 180°C (get a cooking thermometer to check this — they are cheap and so useful!). Otherwise test the oil by dropping a little of the batter in: if it starts sizzling and bubbling nicely, it’s ready.

  5. Step 5

    Put the chopped broccoli into the batter and mix to coat all of the pieces. Then, a few at a time, take out of the batter, give a little shake to get rid of the excess batter then place gently into the hot oil. Don’t overcrowd the pot, as that will make the oil temperature drop and make the broccoli soggy and oily.

  6. Step 6

    Fry for about 8 minutes, turning each piece halfway through, then take out and place onto a drying rack or a bowl lined with paper towel. Season with salt and repeat until all of the broccoli has been cooked.

  7. Step 7

    To finish, slice the iceberg into strips, dice up the tomato and pop the bread in the oven for 5 minutes at 180°C or until crisp.

  8. Step 8

    Slice the bread (and perhaps scoop out some of the doughy centre if you want to make more space for filling!) and fill with fried broccoli, lettuce, tomato and your homemade mayo :)

Hot tip!

Serve with a mushroom broth-based French dip for the true American experience — dunking the sandwich in the dip as you go!

Recipe: Simon Toohey

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