Bacalhau Gomes à is a traditional Portuguese dish made with cod and eggs. It is a staple during Christmas eve and during the lent period when meat is forbidden among Catholics. The saltiness of cod combined with the crunchy meatiness of potatoes and the softness of scrambled eggs makes this recipe a perfect comfort food. The Portuguese believe that there are 365 different ways of making Bacalhau a Bras, one for each day. Today, I will share with you a vegan variant of this dish made with Tofu skins, which is equally delicious and meaty as traditional Bacalhau à Brás.
What is Tofu Skin?
Yuba, although popularly known as tofu skin or bean curd, is actually soybean milk skin. It is made by boiling soy milk and then removing the sheets from the top layer of milk. Tofu skins have a meaty taste and a chewy texture, similar to that of a steak cooked medium-rare. Like tofu, the skins also absorb the flavor of the gravy sauce and hence are an apt substitute for meat-based gravy dishes. The tofu skin gives a cod-fish-like meaty texture and salty taste to this Vegan Bacalhau a Bras. You can shred it into small pieces as they traditionally do, I have kept it whole.
Vegan Bacalhau a bras with Tofu Skins
Tender, chewy tofu skins with crispy potatoes, spiced with nutmeg and pepper, and combined with the creaminess of coconut milk make this vegan Bacalhau a bras a delicious guilt-free indulgence.
- 500 gms potato, diced into small cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil + 1 cup (for frying)
- 400 gms tofu skin
- 2 tbsp coconut butter or roasted sesame oil
- 40 gms gram flour
- 250 ml coconut milk
- 250 ml coconut cream
- 1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 cloves of fennel, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 100 gms vegan mozzarella cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 220º C (430°F)
In a skillet, heat olive oil on medium-high heat and fry the cubed potatoes for 5 to 10 minutes, till golden brown and set aside. (optional you can shred the potatoes into thin slices and fry them into tiny chips.)
Take water in a large saucepan. Place the tofu skin to immerses in the water.
Bring the water to a boil, over high heat. Once the water begins to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes
Once tofu skin is tender, remove them from the water and let it cool. Keep 200 ml of tofu water for further use.
For the Sauce:
Melt coconut butter in a skillet over medium heat. In a container add gram flour into the water to dissolve and pour into skillet, stir continuously till you get a thick smooth sauce.
Add coconut milk and cream and cook. Once the sauce starts bubbling, season with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Mix well and remove from the heat.
Assembling Bacalhau à Brás:
In another skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add minced fennel and bay leaf and saute for two minutes
Add tofu skin and potatoes and saute them for 2 minutes.
Add the coconut bechamel sauce and mix well.
Grease a baking tray with olive oil, and add the tofu skin, potato mix to it. Pour the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle vegan grated mozzarella cheese on top. (or actual mozzarella optional)
Bake at 220°C for 15 to 20 minutes, till cheese is melted and serve hot with rice and salad.