Tofu and sesame fritters

We’re not veggie in our house, although we go for weeks sometimes without eating meat. When we’re having a vegetarian week (or month), I can’t help but think these tofu fritters are just what we need. Protein? Thank you tofu. Calcium? Thank you sesame seeds.

They’re a bit like the less-than-vegetarian steak-au-poivre that I feel like I just need every now and then. Or, perhaps not. Either way, I can’t really claim it’s for nutritional reasons that we make these. (They’re shallow-fried in rapeseed oil, so half sinful.) We just like the golden crispy crust and the smoky sweet inside.

They can be made vegan without the egg (and yogurt sauce). Or go gluten free, without the breadcrumbs. Both hold together nearly as well and there is no compromise on taste.  The tofu I use is from the Engine Shed in Edinburgh, which is scrumptious!

If anyone has a better yogurty sauce suggestion, please let me know. This one is ok, but the rest of the family prefers ketchup and I’d like to convert them.

Tofu and sesame fritters with yogurt sauce

  • 2 medium carrots, gratted
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds
  • 350 grams smoked tofu
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 generous tablespoons of tahini
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped coriander
  • 5 tablespoons of sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons of rapeseed (canola) oil plus extra for frying

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a heavy frying pan. Once the oil starts to ‘smoke’, add the cumin seeds. Allow them to pop and fizzle. Once the seeds are quiet, add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook over medium heat until soft. Set aside.

In a food processor, or in a bowl with a stick blender, add the tofu, eggs, lemon juice, tahini and herbs. Blitz. Stir in the breadcrumbs and the fried vegetables.

Pour the sesame seeds into a shallow dish. Form the mixture into small patties roughly two inches across. Drop these gently into the sesame seeds and flip over.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. (I use a little mix dropped in the pan to check if it’s sizzling and hot enough yet.) Cook 3 or 4 fritters at a time, depending on the size of your pan. You want to leave lots of space so that the oil stays hot and they cook quickly. They’ll need 3 or 4 minutes a side, or until dark golden in colour.

Makes about 12 fritters.

Serve with yogurt sauce made by whisking together:

  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 of a teaspoon dried mint
  • salt and pepper

sesame and tofu fritters

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