I have a couple of well kept secrets, until now. One is that I love deep fried foods. However, it's an an unrequited love affair, so I don’t eat them that often. Two, is I love foods that resemble meat dishes my mum used to make, like home-made chicken nuggets. So in essence, this recipe is the tale of two colliding past loves. Romance aside, these tofu nuggets are set to convert even the most stoic of carnivore. I even made sure there was 11 herbs and spices, if you get my proverbial drift.
To fulfil a functional food profile I had to add a fermented food. I believe that every meal should compile of protein, rainbows, good fats and probiotics. As a naturopathic foodie, specialising in gastrointestinal diseases, I believe food is medicine, and a fermented component is the corner-stone of nearly every one of my meals, from miso to vinegars to pickles to kefir. It’s not hard to implement, just ask my fermenting hero Sandor Katz (who just recently graced us with a visit here in Melbourne!)
When we are mentoring a fermenting novice in the store, we often recommend that they add fermented veggies to salad dressings, allowing their taste buds to acclimatise to the new flavours. This Kim Chi coleslaw made from Pat’s Veg raw traditionally fermented Kim Chi is an excellent addition to any newby's repertoire.
(On a soap-box side note, please buy organic Australian tofu, it’s really accessible from healthfood shops and even Asian grocers. There really are some beautiful producers like Earnest Bean, right here in Melbourne.)
For the Five Spiced Kentucky Fried Tofu
350g of firm organic tofu, drained for 5 mins on paper towel
1/3 cup of organic flour or a gluten free plain flour
1/3 cup of almond meal
1 tsp of all spice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of turmeric
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp of coconut sugar (or agave/brown sugar/ palm sugar)
2 cloves of micro-planed garlic
1/2 tsp of the following oregano, thyme, Tabasco (I use Hunted and Gathered organic chilli sauce) and sumac
1-2 cups (enough to deep fry with) + 3 tbsp of rice bran or coconut oil (melted)
1/3 – 1/2 cup water (until it’s the consistency of pancake batter)
For the Kim Chi Coleslaw
1/2 a small red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 cup of Kim Chi (bought or homemade, preferably a raw ferment and MSG free i.e Pat’s Veg), chopped if needed
For the dressing
2 tbsp of rice bran/ olive/ macadamia oil
1 tbsp of roasted sesame seed oil
2 tsp of coconut/ palm/ brown sugar
Juice of 1/2 a lime
For the topping
1 handful of cashew pieces
1 handful of black sesame seeds
For Kim Chi Coleslaw
Combine the dressing ingredients and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Toast the cashews and black sesame seeds in a dry pan, and allow to cool. Combine all of the coleslaw ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
To make the Five Spiced Kentucky Tofu
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add the oil and the water, you might need to whisk out any lumps. Now tear the tofu up into bite-sized pieces and add to the batter.
Heat the oil in a saucepan or wok. Test the oil with a drop of batter when it rises to the top the oil is ready for frying. Drop a well coated piece of tofu into the oil one piece at a time. Do not over crowd the oil or you’ll end up with soggy tofu. When the tofu is golden brown, with a slotted spoon remove the tofu from the oil and allow to drain. Serve with the coleslaw immediately.
HUGE THANKS to Catie for this delicious recipe incorporating amazing fermented Kim Chi! Do check out Catie's website and instagram for more of her nutrition philosophies, wit and wisdom (and a healthy dose of Ryan Gosling, from time to time!).