Herb Crusted Tofu with Lemon Mustard Sauce, Boiled Potatoes, and Peas

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In Germany, there's a very popular frozen fish dish called "gourmet filet à la Bordelaise" – what exactly is that supposed to be? This is the question I kept asking myself when I saw the dish appear on your wish list several times (we on and off ask you on Instagram which recipes you'd like to see on our blog). And to be honest: I never ate this fish dish myself, so I was a bit lost at first when I tried to make a vegan version of it. What helped? Doing some research on the internet and recruit friends that actually ate the 'gourmet filet'.

Hearing "à la bordelaise", you might think that this fish filet has something to do with French cuisine and Bordeaux, but far from it. "Sauce bordelaise" is a sauce with red wine, shallots, and herbs, which is mainly served with meat and vegetables. So maybe it's rather about the French garnish "à la bordelaise" that gave this fish filet its name? Nope. The light white wine sauce is served with fish but has nothing to do with the breading of this special frozen dish. According to the list of ingredients, it consists of:

"Water, breadcrumbs (wheat flour, water, yeast, salt, dextrose), canola oil, onions, quark (quark, yogurt made from skimmed milk), parsley, starch, salt, lemon juice from lemon juice concentrate, egg powder, spices (onion powder, paprika, garlic powder), sea salt."

So it must have been a clever marketing genius to come up with this product name that really has nothing to do with the French "à la bordelaise". Together with friends who've actually eaten the 'gourmet filet', I worked on this recipe and optimized. Of course, tofu doesn't taste like fish, but I was rather interested in getting close to the breading on top of it and to create a proper Sunday dinner with sides as potatoes, peas, and a creamy lemon-mustard sauce. You could also serve the baked tofu with simple crispy toasted bread.

As a little twist, the nori sheet actually helps to create a fish-like taste. If you want to invest more time, you can also marinate the tofu a day ahead, as seen in our recipe for vegan fish fingers.

Herb Crusted Tofu with Lemon Mustard Sauce, Boiled Potatoes, and Peas

2 servings
45 minutes

Ingredients

For the tofu:

  • 200 g (7 oz) tofu
  • 1 nori sheet

For the breading:

  • 1 onion
  • 50 g (0.5 stick) vegan butter
  • 50 g (2 oz) (panko) breadcrumbs
  • 5 g (0.33 oz) parsley
  • 2 tsp paprika (divided)
  • 0.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 0.25 lemon (juice)
  • 2 tbsp plant-based yogurt
  • salt
  • pepper

For the sauce:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 5 g (0.33 oz) dill
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 75 ml (0.33 cup) water
  • 125 ml (0.5 cup) vegan heavy cream
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 0.5 lemon (zest and juice)
  • salt
  • pepper

For serving:

  • potatoes
  • peas

Instructions

  1. For the breading, peel and finely dice an onion. Melt vegan butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Start by frying diced onion until translucent. Add panko (or other breadcrumbs), mix, and fry until golden brown. Remove the frying pan from heat.

  2. Finely chop the parsley and add it along with 1 tsp paprika, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to the breading, then mix.

  3. Set aside approx. 2 tbsp of the crispy breading. Add vegan yogurt and 1 tsp paprika to the remaining breading in the frying pan, then mix. The texture should now rather be an orange-reddish paste.

  4. Preheat oven to 220°C/430°F. Halve tofu horizontally, so you have two „flat“ pieces of tofu. Transfer both to a greased baking dish. Cut a nori sheet to make it fit on top of the tofu. Place the nori sheets on top of the tofu and carefully press down to make them stick. Spread the paste equally on top of the nori sheets – no worries, we want a thick layer of the paste. Finish by sprinkling half of the crispy breading on top of each paste, lightly press down to make it stick.

  5. Bake tofu at 220°C/430°F for approx. 15 minutes. Afterward, keep warm in the turned-off oven until the side dishes are ready.

  6. While the tofu bakes, add potatoes to a pot, cover with water, and season with salt. Boil for approx. 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Either add frozen peas to the pot of potatoes approx. 5 minutes before the potatoes are done or blanch them in a separate pot.

  7. While the potatoes boil, prepare the lemon-mustard sauce. Peel and finely chop onion and garlic, also finely chop the dill and set aside. Melt vegan butter in a small pot or a frying pan. Fry onions and garlic until translucent. Dust with flour and keep frying for approx. 2 minutes. Carefully add water little by little, constantly stirring to avoid lumping. Add vegan heavy cream, mustard, and lemon juice, then stir to combine. Add lemon zest and chopped dill. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. If you like the lemony taste, add some more lemon zest. Keep the sauce warm until the potatoes and the baked tofu is done. In case the sauce thickens too much, add some water.

  8. Serve baked tofu with boiled potatoes, peas, and lemon-mustard sauce.

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