Tofu 'prawn' cocktail


This vegan take on a retro prawn cocktail starter switches out the prawns for smokey paprika and seaweed-dusted crispy tofu. If you're considering a more plant-based Christmas this year, this is the starter for you.

First published in 2021





Oven-dried cherry tomatoes

Marie rose sauce


  • Spice grinder



Begin with the oven-dried tomatoes. Preheat an oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Mix the chopped rosemary into the oil and season with salt and pepper


Halve the cherry tomatoes and place cut-side up on a baking tray. Drizzle the oil over and place in the oven for 30–35 minutes. When ready, the tomatoes will have dried out a little and intensified in flavour. Set aside


Toast the nori sheet in a hot dry pan for a few seconds until it starts to change colour and crisp up. Snap into pieces then blitz into a powder using a spice grinder or blender


Tip the nori powder into a bowl and mix with the cornflour, smoked paprika and salt 


Dice the tofu into 2cm cubes and place in a bowl. Toss in a little lemon juice then set aside


To make the Marie Rose sauce, mix the mayonnaise, ketchup and soy sauce together, then season to taste with a few drops of Tabasco, lemon juice, salt and pepper


Wash and chop the baby gem and dice the avocado. Place in a bowl with some dill sprigs and dress with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Divide between 4 bowls


Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add a generous amount of olive oil – you want the base to be completely covered in oil. Working in batches, dust the tofu in the cornflour mixture, then fry until crisp on all sides

  • olive oil, for frying

Lift out the tofu using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, then season with salt


Leave the tofu to cool a little – you want it to be warm rather than hot so it doesn't wilt the leaves. Top the bowls with a handful of tofu and some tomatoes, then dress with spoonfuls of the sauce 


Finish with extra dill sprigs and a light dusting of smoked paprika

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