UK’s first vegan Fish n Chip shop

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Tonight I got my tea from the UK’s first vegan fish and chip shop! The new takeaway is based in the Fishponds area of Bristol just along from the giant Morrison’s on the main road. They serve Tofish and chips, battered sausage, curry sauce, mushy peas, salad and a host of other things you expect to see in a fish and chip shop but all vegan.

I had a nice chat with Jon, one of the owners of the new venture, who is very excited about the amount of interest the takeaway has attracted, not only from Bristol’s vegan community but from the Bristol Evening Post, prolific blogger Fat Gay Vegan and today, Sea Shepherd sent a ringing endorsement and best wishes via Facebook! I heard that a vegan fried chicken place just opened in Hackney in London but as far as I know, and Jon too, this is the UK’s first vegan fish and chip shop. How lucky are we it’s in Bristol?!

My fella and I bought large fish and chips twice (£6 each) and were kindly given a very nice salad and some tartar sauce to sample. We dashed home and dished up… The tofish is made from battered, marinated tofu with a layer of nori. The batter was really light and crispy – perfect! It was surprisingly fishy, but in a really good way. The portions of chips were very generous and the salad and sauce was very tasty, a good mix of leaves – no iceberg in sight!

They have big plans for the future aiming to offer the healthiest fast food take out possible. Everything from a vegan take on a chip shop, right through to super salad bowls and wraps, using sprouted and krauted seeds, beans and vegetables. Pie, chips and peas, vegan fried cheeken (a take on fried chicken) and gluten-free battered sausage and chips, along with the much loved tofish and chips. Kebab wraps, homemade sauces like chilli, sweet and sour, gravy, curry sauce, garlic mayo. They plan to develop the menu to include other classic takeout wok dishes and even pizza, all made from vegetables from the wholefood shop Jon runs called Matter Wholefoods – always organic and wherever possible local and seasonal. There are plans to include desserts from pineapple, banana and apple fritters through to raw vegan cheesecakes and homemade super chocolate. Their dishes will be aimed at everyone – not just vegans!

What a treat having this just up the road. It’s actually a two minute walk from where my fella works so I can see it becoming a regular thing…

www.facebook.com/Matterfastfoods  

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Choose vegan

I keep seeing the words “Choose vegan” and wincing. Surley you choose to go vegan? But then I thought how fitting it would be to tweak John Hodge’s poem written for the film Trainspotting:

Choose Life. Choose a compassionate job. Choose an ethical career. Choose a kind-hearted family. Choose a fucking big heart, choose cruelty-free washing powder, no leather seats in cars, compact disc players to listen to Morrissey and tin openers for your chick peas. Choose exceptional good health, low cholesterol and less cancer. Choose ethical investments. Choose a forever home suitable for rescued animals. Choose your friends – carefully. Choose leisurewear and matching luggage, no leather, wool or silk. Choose a three-piece suite in a range of fucking cruelty-free fabrics. Choose DIY and knowing who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-expanding, spirit-lifting documentaries, stuffing vegan junk food into your mouth. Choose dancing and laughing to the end of it all, embracing all life in a happy home, more than an inspiration to the angry activists you encouraged to replace yourself.

Choose your planet’s future.

Choose vegan.

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Sticky, Chilli Tofu

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Adapted from a recipe by Bosh. This is really cheap to make! I used half a block of Cauldron Food plain tofu (about 75p’s worth!). The tofu comes out crispy and sweet with a kick of chilli and salty tamari. It’s a bit fiddly but well worth it.

  • 1/2 a block of plain tofu, chopped into little finger-sized sticks
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbs of sweet chilli sauce or chilli jam
  • A large squirt of Sriacha (hot chilli sauce)
  • 3 tbsp tamari (or soya sauce)
  • 1 squirt of tomato puree
  • 1 small sachet of sugar (like you get in cafes)
  • Cornflour
  • Vegetable oil
  • Black onion (nigella) seeds and sesame seeds
  1. Coat the tofu stick in cornflour by sprinkling the flour through a sieve onto the tofu then turning the sticks over until evenly coated.
  2. Put the orange juice, sweet chilli sauce, Sriacha, tamari and sugar in a big flat frying pan (cast iron if you have one) and cook down to  a thick sauce.
  3. Fry the flour-covered tofu sticks in hot vegetable oil until they begin to brown.
  4. Transfer the tofu into the pan containing the sauce and coat the sticks until they are all covered.
  5. Serve with rice and stir-fried vegetables.
  6. Sprinkle black onion and sesame seeds on the tofu.

 

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Mushroom soup

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This recipe is adapted from the Sea Shepherd book Cooking up a Storm. The authors says, when weather calms down, a nice big bowl of piping hot soup is the perfect way to warm up a fellow crew member who has spent a long day zigzagging around the ice, harassing whale poachers.

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups (about 30) button mushrooms, finely diced
  • 2 ½ tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 cups of water or stock made with vegan Boullion
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup vegan cream
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onion, garlic until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for 10-15mins then add the water/stock, wine and season to taste. Cook for a further 10 minutes then blend. Serve with a swirl of vegan cream and some flat leaf parsley.

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Vegan Fish Fingers

So Quorn have increased their vegan range to include ‘Fishless Fingers’. My lovely vegan friends who live in the next street to me picked some up and gave me a packet! They are quite fishy (although for me it’s been a while) and a bit denser than Vbites fish fingers. Nice in a sandwich with ketchup or with mash and peas. Well done Quorn, I’m hoping you’ll drop the eggyness from all your foods now.

 

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Sloe gin for Christmas

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broccoli2016Day 30 in the 2016 VeganMoFo: Food Gifts – Do you like to give food as a gift? Or receive? Show/tell us!

Every year my fella makes sloe gin for  friends for Christmas..

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If there is any left by the summer,it makes a great cocktail mixed with elderflower champagne!

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Vegan Turkey for Christmas!

Day 29 in the VeganMoFo: Holiday Test Run – It’s always good to practice – show off your hits and misses.

I made Miyoko Schinner’s UnTurkey! It has to be the strangest thing I have ever cooked and I’m not sure I’ll do it again for a while but unless my good friends are liars… (I am sure they are not as they don’t usually hold back if they don’t like something) it was a real hit! One of them peered into the oven and shouted “Oh my God! It’s even got an arse!”.

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Seasoning mix

  • 2 cups Nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp marjoram
  • 2 tsp tarragon
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 4 tsp sage
  • 4 tsp celery seeds
  • 4 tsp thyme
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  1. Blend to a fine seasoning powder.

For the turkey mix:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 tbs soya sauce
  • ¼ cup gram flour
  • ¼ cup seasoning mix
  • 4 cups vital wheat gluten flour
  1. Mix well BEFORE adding water
  2. Add water and mix with a spoon then by hand
  3. Put on a greased baking tray and pre-bake for 30 mins at 180°
  4. Simmer for one hour in large pan with water plus ½ cup seasoning and ⅓ cup soya sauce
  5. Taste broth to check it is seasoned enough
  6. This is the ‘boiled’ turkey

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For the stuffing:

  • ½ cup rapeseed/olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • Pinch of salt
  • Medium bowl of chunky breadcrumbs (toasted ciabatta)
  • 1 tbs sage
  • 1 tbs thyme
  • 1 tbs rosemary
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  1. Sauté the veg for a few minutes
  2. Combine with breadcrumbs in a large bowl
  3. Add herbs and mix well
  4. Add 2-3 cups of the broth from the turkey
  5. Stir and keep adding stock until breadcrumbs are moist
  6. You can add cranberries/ chestnuts… whatever you want
  7. Take the turkey out and cool
  8. Cut a section off the fattest side and slice through it then fan it out to form the base of the turkey
  9. Slice through the middle of the remaining bit – not cutting all the way – then open like a roof on a house and place on the base – this will be the final shape of it

For the turkey skin:

  • Yuba
  • ¼ cup of seasoning mix
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup rapeseed oil
  1. Put sheets of yuba in a tray of water and soak for a few minutes to soften
  2. Combine the seasoning mix, wine and oil in a bowl to make a basting liquid
  3. Squeeze out the yuba and place in basting liquid
  4. Take ‘skin’ and lay out in baking dish
  5. Place turkey base on skin
  6. Cover in stuffing – build it up high!
  7. Take the turkey body and place on top of the stuffing
  8. Gather up yuba and cover, baste with the basting liquid
  9. Use second piece of yuba to enrobe the whole turkey ( I had to tie it all up with cotton string as the skin was quite thick and would ‘enrobe’ my turkey!
  10. You can freeze this for up to 6 months
  11. Bake for 30-45 minutes

For the gravy:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2-3 tbsp flour
  • Hot broth that the seitan was cooked in
  • Splash white wine
  • Dash of soya sauce
  • Seasoning mix to taste
  1. Make a roux
  2. Add broth
  3. Add wine and soya sauce
  4. Taste and add seasoning mix to taste

There you go, a cruelty-free Christmas turkey for all! Cheerio VeganMoFo 2016! xx

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