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Vegan Sabzi Polo Mahi (Persian Tofish with Garlic & Herb Rice)

Vegan Sabzi Polo Mahi (Persian Tofish with Garlic & Herb Rice)
Vegan Sabzi Polo Mahi (Persian Tofish with Garlic & Herb Rice)

We invited Mana Shamshiri, The Iranian Vegan, to the studio, and what a day it was! This plant-based 'fish' is marinated in a delicious array of flavours and served with a fragrant herby rice, for a really tasty and special lunch or dinner.


Before you start

Tofu press or flat heavy object | Food processor | Airtight container | Large pot


For the tofish

  • Sesame oil for frying
  • 450g extra firm tofu (for 4 pieces)

For the marinade

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 2 sushi nori seaweed sheets, ripped into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup of hot water
  • 6 tbsp toasted sesame oil

For the rice

  • 3 cups long-grain basmati rice
  • Large bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • Large bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • One bunch of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • ½ a bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt


  1. 1.

    Prepare the tofish | Press your tofu beforehand if the tofu is unpressed (this will allow it to absorb more flavour) | Slice the block of tofu into 4 pieces lengthways (each piece should be at least an inch thick) | With a sharp knife, diagonally score the tofu pieces (leave around a centimetre between your incision and the bottom and make the incisions as close together as possible)

  2. 2.

    Prepare the marinade | Add all the marinade ingredients to a food processor and blitz | Place the tofu pieces and the marinade in an airtight container with the sliced side facing up | Leave to rest for at least 24 hours in the fridge

  3. 3.

    Half cook the rice | Wash the rice under warm water and drain a few times until the water is no longer cloudy | Bring a large pot of water to boil with salt | Let the rice boil for 6-7 minutes until it’s half cooked | The rice should be tender on the outside but still firm to the bite on the inside

  4. 4.

    Finish making the rice | Drain the rice and wash quickly with cold water | Mix with the finely chopped green herbs and the minced garlic | Lay the rice in an oiled pot | Use the handle of a spoon to poke several holes in rice to let steam escape | Pour over 3-4 tablespoons of oil evenly | Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until you start to see steam rising, then, covering the lid with a dishcloth, cover the pot with the lid | Cook on low heat for 45 minutes

  5. 5.

    Cook the marinated tofish | Fry for 5-10 minutes on either side on medium heat in sesame oil until well browned, golden, and crispy on each side | Squeeze over the juice of one lemon

  6. 6.

    Time to serve | Plate up your rice and place the tofish on top | Enjoy!