Vegan tofu Kievs

  • Preparation Time 15 Minutes
  • Cooking Time 20 Minutes
  • Serves 4

Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy- free and egg-free


 

I was having one of those weeks, feeling unwell, and sorry for myself, we all have those days when the world just seems too much to cope with and hibernation seems like a great idea. Well, I started hankering after childhood comfort food. I find it truly amazing how just the scent of a certain food aroma can evoke such strong emotions and memories. It is one of the things that I love about food. For me, it’s mixing up a bowl of sage and onion stuffing that brings back special memories of my mum at Christmas. The emotions are still strong even though or maybe more so as I lost her 25 years ago.

I decided to try, and recreate some gluten-free and vegan recipes of the favourites from my younger years. Maybe bring them up to date a little bit.

Chicken Kiev had always been one of my favourite dinner’s, when I was younger it felt like the height of sophistication, served with chips, peas and mushrooms plus some crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

I am so glad that I created this one a while back. At the time there were no vegan kievs in the shops unlike now., although most of those available are not gluten-free.

  • Buttery
  • Garlicky
  • Delicious
  • Herby
  • Crisply coated

In fact, everything you need in a good kiev. I hope you like this version.

Freezing the tofu

In my opinion, freezing the tofu beforehand makes for a better tofu experience. Magically it alters the texture of the tofu, it becomes spongier, firmer and chewier. Ice crystals form in the tofu and create small holes in it. This makes it much more absorbent and soaks up more of the flavours, especially if you are marinading tofu. Once you have tried this trick you will never look back. Frozen tofu has to be defrosted and drained. Either defrost wrapped in paper towels in the microwave for a couple of minutes or left overnight.

Pressing tofu

I have said pressed tofu in the ingredients, as that’s what it needs to be. Either by using a tofu press or by a tofu press.


 I have tried the first one and now own no.2, which I love. Before that I used the balancing act consisting of wrapping the tofu in kitchen paper and then press them between heavy items such as of books, saucepans or tins.

If you want a chewier sponge texture tofu then you could freeze the tofu, then defrost and press. after it has defrosted.

You see the difference between pressed and unpressed in the image above. I hope you like this version.


Ingredients

  • 1 280g block of extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • a handful of freshly chopped basil & flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 50 g dairy-free butter, the block one such as vegan flora is a nice one to use
  • 25 g vegan parmesan (optional)
  • 125 g dry breadcrumbs (gluten-free or vegan, or both)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 280 ml non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 3 tbsp cornflour

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 220c

1. Drain the tofu, then wrap in a thick layer of absorbent kitchen paper, place on a chopping board with a heavy weight on top. Leave for 30 minutes, or if you remember, do it the night before. If you have a tofu press then all the better. I have the Tofuture tofu press. It seems to work well. Once pressed cut the block into 4 pieces and then slice each piece in half through the centre. You will end up with 8 pieces or do 4 larger pieces. Score one side of each piece of tofu with a sharp knife, do not cut too far down.

2. To make up the lovely herbed butter, place in a bowl the butter, nutritional yeast, crushed garlic, vegan parmesan, finely chopped herbs and seasoning, thoroughly combine and place into the fridge for 15 minutes while you prepare the breadcrumbs and dip.

3.Place the breadcrumbs into a bowl with the dried thyme, garlic salt and pepper.

Mix in a separate bowl the milk and the ground flax seeds. Give them 5 minutes to thicken slightly.

4. Remove the garlic butter from the fridge and spread it thickly onto half of the pieces and then sandwich them together with the other piece. Normally now I give them 5 minutes only in the freezer, just to make them easier to work with but it is not necessary.

5. Put the cornflour on a plate, then lightly press each side of the tofu steak, before dipping. This helps the breadcrumbs stick to the steak better.

6. Immerse each piece at a time in the milky liquid, so you cover the whole area. Then place into the breadcrumbs, making sure you press down well and cover all surfaces well with them. Very important, especially along the seam. This is where good firm tofu is needed. One that does not crumble. I have tried many but for me, I tend to use Dragonfly firm block.

7. Once all four are covered then place on a non-stick baking tray or one lined with baking parchment, spray all over with oil and cook for 20 minutes. Spray again halfway through cooking time to ensure you get a golden crunchy crust Eat while lovely and hot.


I also found a lovely way to use any leftovers, they are lovely cut into slices and used in a wrap.

These keep in the fridge for five days. Nowadays I tend to freeze my tofu as It makes the texture much chewier my freezer made up so I will update on the weekend once I cook and try them.

For children, doing them in finger form is a great idea. Much less daunting.

If you make this, don’t forget to tag me on Twitter as @veganalchemist1 or my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/thegfveganalchemist I love seeing your versions of the recipes. I would love to hear your comments too

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