Sunday, November 24, 2013

Smoky tofu fritters (a work in progress)

Technically, I should make these fritters again before posting them. Whilst they tasted great, the texture needs refining - in my version, they struggled to hold together and were a challenge to keep as discrete fritters (as opposed to a messy scramble)! However, I have no idea when I might get to making them again, and they seem too good to skip over altogether. Thus, I post them with ideas for modifications, and a warning as to their messiness in this version. I'm not giving a printable version of the recipe either, to encourage you to make changes if you choose to try them out.

Messy fritters!

These are a bit like potato cakes, a bit like egg-containing fritters, and a bit like veggie burgers. They have an impromptu mix of seasonings (I'm not sure I've ever combined smoked paprika and garam masala before!) and a hint of heat that is offset by the lime and potato. Given their appearance, I didn't have very high hopes for their taste - but they overcame my doubts with the first few bites.

These require a little advance preparation in that you need pre-cooked and cooled potato, but otherwise they are very quick to put together and to cook.

Smoky tofu fritters
These need some refining in terms of texture, but give a very tasty lunch or dinner.
Makes 10 fritters; serves 2 with a side salad.

1 large white potato, peeled, steamed, cooled and mashed
1 tsp flax seed (linseed) soaked in 1/3 cup water for at least 15 minutes (see note below)
200g medium firm tofu (i.e., not silken and not extra firm)
1/3 cup quinoa flakes (or oats, or a flour of choice)
2 tbsp flour (see note below)
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1/2 small bell pepper, finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garam masala
Dash hot chilli flakes
Pinch salt

Oil spray, for cooking

Combine the cooled mashed potato, soaked flax seed, and tofu in a bowl. Mash roughly until the tofu and potato are well mixed. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.

Allow the mixture to sit in the refrigerator for 15 - 30 minutes.

Heat a non-stick pan over high heat and spray with cooking oil. Spoon heaped dessert spoons of the mixture onto the pan and cook for several minutes on each side, until browned. 

Serve with a side salad.

Next time, I would use a full tablespoon of flax seed, soaked in the same amount of water. I'd also increase the flour to at least 1/4 cup.

If you feel like making tofu fritters, hopefully you can draw some inspiration from the flavours here and go a step further than me to create a version that holds together well!

What have you eaten recently that tasted great but looked, well, not so great?


  1. there is something about potato and tofu that just seems the perfect palate for so many flavours - sounds great to me - but then I seem to do a few work in progress pieces recently because they are halfway there and I often wont make them again but they might contribute towards future recipes I make (tonight I did a WIP post for exactly that reason)

    1. I've always liked your stance about your blog being a place to record things that didn't quite work as well as things that did. If I didn't post these 'not quite there' recipes, I would forget about them and likely never progress them myself!

  2. The ingredients definitely look like a winning combination. I usually find chickpea flour a pretty good binder, and maybe if the veggies were a little smaller the fritters would hold together better?
    Or you could just call it smoky tofu hash!!

    1. The veggies definitely should have been smaller! And chickpea flour is a great idea too - thanks :-)

      I will confess to nearly abandoning the fritter shapes and turning this into hash during the cooking was my stubbornness at wanting fritters that won out!

  3. haha i love it that you've just gone ahead and posted them anyway to allow us to experiment! i tend to re-try things 8 times before I bother to post!!!!!!!
    I'm all for anything that is tofu like this :-)

    1. Wow, I don't think I have made any dish 8 times!!

  4. Well...they certainly sound like they'd be very tasty. I've made potato fritters before but never with so many flavours. I love how you've added some interesting spices. And I love garam masala. I cook with it quite often when making Indian food xx

    1. I don't think I use garam masala enough, but I'm growing very fond of it through my occasional random use!

  5. I love all the ingredients in these fritters so I have no doubt I'll like it even if they don't look the part ;). Even though we eat with our eyes first, many "unattractive" foods have rocked my world in the past. I'm glad you shared this recipe even though it's a "working progress." ^_^

    1. Thank you so much Min! I appreciate that a lot :-)

  6. Awwww, I love your spontaneity, Kari!

    It is great to see the story behind a project/food recipe - the origin and how it developed.

    I have not eaten and cooked tofu for quiet a while now! It is usually what I order in restaurants when I have a craving for vegetarian dish. I'll have to show this recipe to my daughter (J) so we can cook it together.

    1. Thanks Joanna! I hope you and your daughter enjoy them - and have more success with binding them! - if you do give them a try :-)

    2. I'll share it with you i.e. our version inspired by your recipe as soon as we have cooked it, Kari!

      I plan to do it during the holidays with oldest daughter; we'll be collecting vegetarian/vegan recipes and cook together in their school break.

    3. That is such a lovely idea!

  7. Ahhhh don't you just hate it when your food doesn't hold together well??!!! It happens to me quite (too) often and when it does I cry internally. haha. And garam masala powder is awesome! I love how unique it tastes.

    1. Thank goodness it isn't me! Falling apart food is never fun :P

  8. this is such a creative idea for tofu!

    1. Creative, and a bit hit and miss ;) Thanks!


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