TOFISH WITH COU COU
Ingredients for tofu (tofish)
1 cup (240 ml) water
2 table spoon of olive oil
2 teaspoon of Bajan seasoning (see how to make below)
2 nori sheets, snipped into small pieces
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
1 tsp pink or sea salt
1-pound tofu sliced into 4 slabs
2tbsp of vegan margarine
½ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
15 fresh basil leaves
2tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
3 mild red chilli peppers or 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
½ onion chopped
1 garlic clove
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
½ cup tofish marinade with nori
4 ½ cups (1L) Water
2 teaspoon pink or sea salt
12-15 small okra pods sliced or 2/3 cup frozen
1 ½ cups fine cornmeal
2 tsp Bajan Seasoning
*Chopped fresh parsley optional*
I personally like coconut milk in cou cou so feel free to add to boiling okra, ½ cup of coconut milk.
Bajan seasoning – but not limited to Barbados since most Caribbean islands, if not all, make some sort of seasoning (insert roll eyes emoji) but for the sake of the dish we will call it bajan seasoning since this dish is their national dish of flying fish and cou cou and this is the vegan version of it.
25-30 green onions
3-5 garlic cloves
1 or 2 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
Juice of 2 limes
Handful of fresh thyme
Handful of fresh marjoram sprigs
2 tbsp of coarsely chopped parsley
1/3 cup of distilled white vinegar
1tbsp of black pepper
1tbsp of mild paprika
1 ½-2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1tsp madras curry
1tsp ground cloves.
Chop green onion, onion, garlic and pepper, then place in food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add lime juice, thyme, marjoram and parsley and pulse a few more times. Add the vinegar, black pepper, paprika, salt, curry powder and cloves and process until medium smooth. Transfer to clean jar, seal and refrigerate. This will keep up to a year in the fridge.
To make Tofish
- Whisk the water, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, Bajan seasoning (see above), nori, green onions, scotch bonnet and salt together until thoroughly combined to make a marinade.
- Pour the marinade in a shallow dish. Gently place the tofu in marinade and let it stand for at least 1 hr and up to 3 hrs. The longer it marinates the more flavorful the results.
To Cook the fish
- Heat the remaining oil in large nonstick skillet. Gently transfer the tofish to the skillet and sear for about 3-4 minutes on each side, turning periodically if needed until brown.
To make tofish sauce
- About 15 minutes before you are ready to serve, make the tofish sauce. Put the basil, cilantro, mild chilies, onion and garlic in a food processor.
- Pour in the ½ cup of the marinade and process until fairly smooth, but do not over process as the sauce should have some texture.
- Prepare the sauce, then prepare the cou-cou.
Turn the heat under the tofish down to medium. Pour the sauce over the tofish ensuring it is coated generously. Add the margarine and as it melts. Season the tofish with the black pepper and cook for 5 minutes more, turning periodically.
To make the cou-cou
- Bring the water and salt to a boil in large heavy sauce pan. Add the okra and boil for 6 minutes. Pour half the water, reserving it to add back in later.
- Return the pot to the stove over medium heat. Pour the cornmeal in slowly, in a steady stream, whisking continuously to prevent lumps, and adding a little of the water you reserved in step 1. Work quickly as the mixture will start to clump.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir in a little more of the okra water with a wooden spoon and stir for 3 minutes vigorously until the mixture is lump free or close to it. (add ½ cup of coconut milk) optional.
- Slowly add back in all of the remaining okra water, stirring and pressing the thick mixture continuously. Turn the heat down to low. When all of the lumps are gone, cook the cou cou over medium-low heat for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the bajan seasoning and incorporate it thoroughly into the cou cou. Reduce the heat to low. Remove the pot of cou cou from the stove, and stir vigorously for 2 minutes. At this stage, the mixtures will be difficult to stir but stir through the thickness. (great arm exercise lol)
- Return the pot to the stove and leave cou cou to cook. You should hear the cou cou puffing from the steam. The cou cou should take 25-30 minutes to cook from the time it is added to the okra water. The cou cou is done when the cornmeal taste well cooked and the mixture is smooth without any visible cornmeal grits.
- Grease a bowl with vegan margarine, add about ½ cup of cou cou to the bowl for per serving and shake the bowl until the cou cou is coated with margarine and has formed a ball.
- Turn the cou cou out onto a plate, make and indentation in the top of ball, spoon tofish sauce, then place tofish on top and finish with more sauce. Garnish with parsley (optional) Then enjoy!!