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This filet is uber-crispy on the outside, heroes the textures and flavours of the sea inside, and it’s all dressed up with the indulgence of a naughty burger — you really can’t go wrong here!

You will need

Serves 2

'Fish' Filet

  • 2 x 300g blocks silken to medium tofu, frozen and thawed twice (see tip)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon nori flakes
  • 2 teaspoons white miso paste
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) soy milk
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • Neutral frying oil (vegetable, canola) for shallow-frying

Tartare sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegan Japanese mayonnaise
  • 55g dill pickles, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon caper brine

To serve

  • 2 vegan brioche or burger buns
  • 4 butter lettuce leaves
  • 2-4 slices vegan cheddar

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Directions

20 mins to prep

10 mins to cook

Step 1

To prepare the ‘fish’ fillets, use your hands to carefully press out the excess liquid from the tofu. Place the whole blocks in a large bowl.

Step 2

In a separate bowl combine the lemon juice, nori flakes and miso. You may need to massage the miso into the lemon juice to disperse it. Pour this mixture over the tofu and sit for 10 minutes. Then pour the soy milk over the tofu and set aside to thicken as you prepare the sauce.

Step 3

For the tartare sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Step 4

Combine the panko breadcrumbs, salt and pepper in a food processor and process into fine dust. Tip into a shallow bowl.

Step 5

Heat 2 cm (¾ inches) of vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat or preheat an air-fryer to 190°C (375°F).

Step 6

Fish the tofu out of the liquid and coat it in the breadcrumbs, firmly pressing down to adhere as many crumbs as possible before gently shaking off the excess.

Step 7

Test if the oil is ready by inserting a wooden skewer or the handle of a wooden spoon into the hot oil; if it begins to bubble quickly, then you’re ready to go. Fry the crumbed tofu in the oil or air-fryer (spray the tofu with a little oil if using this method) for 6 minutes or until golden and a crispy crust forms. Do not flip or agitate until cooked three-quarters of the way through, as the fillets will be very fragile. Transfer to paper towel to drain. 

Step 8

To build the burgers, slice the brioche buns in half and divide the lettuce between the bottom bun halves. Top with the fried ‘fish’ and a slice of cheese, followed by dollops of tartare sauce. Finish with the bun tops to complete the glow-up from basic forgettable tofu, to a burger everyone will be very impressed by at its high-school reunion.

 

Variation

If to your taste, add a squeeze of wasabi to the tartare sauce for extra kick! 

Hot tip!

Tofu can be made chewier and meatier before you even open the packet. The pockets of water in tofu expand when frozen, making larger ‘pores’ for flavour to seep into.

To achieve this, keep the tofu in its packet (or in water if it’s homemade), then freeze overnight or for longer. Fully thaw the tofu when you’re ready (in boiling water, the microwave, the bench, a long hot bath together, etc), then crack the packet, press out the excess liquid and it’s ready for action. 

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