Portuguese Mains

Spiritual Tofu

Bacalhau espiritual‘ is a famous and traditional Portuguese dish, made off course, with cod fish. It appears to have been invented in the 18th century by a Portuguese countess that wanted to mimic a famous French dish called ‘brandade de morue‘. This vegan version is relatively easy to make and, despite the fact that there are so random ingredients mixed together, I’d say it is a very delicate dish and one to impress guests! Give it a go, you’ll be surprise on how delicious it is!

Time: 40 minutes

Type: main dish

Difficulty: 2 pans

Makes: 3 to 4 servings

What you need:

400g firm tofu, crumbled

500g potatoes, peeled and chopped

1/4 tsp nutmeg


150g soft bread

100ml unsweetened soya or oat milk

150ml plant cream

1 nori sheet

1 small onion, finely sliced

1 tsp garlic powder

1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 bay leaf

1 large carrot, peeled and shredded

70g shredded vegan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp chopped fresh parsley

olives to decorate


knife and chopping board

mixing spoons

2 pans

food processor

baking tray

potato masher


Boil potatoes until tender – once ready, drain water, add a little salt, pepper and nutmeg – mash it all until smooth;

In a food processor, add soya milk, cream, bread and nori sheet – let it soak for a few minutes and then blend – reserve;

In a large pan, fry onion, garlic powder and bay leaf in olive oil for 3 minutes over low heat;

Add crumbled tofu and shredded carrot, mix well and cook for another 3 minutes;

Add bread mix, shredded cheese and potato mash and mix well (add a little more cream if necessary);

Adjust seasoning and add chopped parsley;

Tip content to a large baking tray, smoothing the surface; add a little more cheese on top (optional) and a few olives;

Bake at 180C until golden on top (about 25 minutes);

Serve while hot with some roasted veggies or a salad.


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