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Shannon Martinez

Shannon Martinez is the brains behind Smith & Daughters, the place to chow down on adventurous plant-based food in Melbourne. With some serious imagination and a huge dollop of chutzpah, she’s changed the way people think about vegan food for good.

Shannon’s Kung Pao Tofu will floor you with its flavour. Nice ‘n’ spicy with crispy tofu that’s quite frankly to die for, we’ll be making a big bowl of this to cuddle up with on the couch.

Then just to take that comfort eating to the next level, Shannon shows us how to whip up some puffy, golden apple fritters, dunked in a Nova whisky glaze that’ll have you drooling.

Apple Fritters & Whisky Glaze


1 1⁄2 c flour
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp mixed spice
1⁄2 tsp ground ginger
2⁄3 cup milk of your choice
1⁄2 tsp vegg + 4 tsp no-egg mixed with 60 ml cold water
2 tablespoon butter / Nuttelex, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3c apples, peeled and diced into
1cm cubes (approx 3 large apples, 400g)
Vegetable oil for frying 

2 cups icing sugar
2 tbs Starward Nova whisky
2 tbs milk of your choice
1⁄2 tsp mixed spice
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Flaked sea salt for sprinkling 


1. In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour and baking powder. Add the brown sugar, salt, mixed spice and ginger and mix to combine. 
2. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the milk, egg mixture, melted butter and vanilla. 
3. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour and stir until just combined. 
4. Add in the apples and fold through. 
5. In a large saucepan, heat approx 7cm of veg oil to approx 170 degrees. 
6. Using 2 dessert spoons, drop a heaped tbs of mixture into the oil and fry for approx 3-4 minutes, turning often until golden. 
7. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. 
8. To make the glaze, sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl then whisk in the remaining ingredients. 
9. Place a piece of greaseproof paper onto a tray or chopping board and place a cooling rack over. 
10. While the fritters are still warm, dip the fritters into the glaze and roll around to evenly coat. Place the fritters onto the cooling rack and allow the excess to drip off. 
11. Let the glaze set before removing. 

Perfectly Paired With Ginger Marmalade Sour


45ml Starward Nova
20ml Lemon juice
Spoonful ginger marmalade
10ml Sugar syrup 
1 dash Angostura bitters
10ml - 15ml Aquafaba


Shake all ingredients in a shaker without ice to whip, add ice and shake again.
Strain over ice in a short glass and garnish with an orange slice and cherry garnish.

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1 Block Extra Firm Tofu (approx 450g)
2 tbs Vegetable Oil
3 tbs Corn Flour
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Onion Powder
½ tsp Garlic Powder
¼ cup Vegan Chicken Stock
1 tbs Light Soy Sauce
1 tbs Doubanjiang
1 tbs Chinese Black Vinegar
1 tsp Caster Sugar
1 tsp Corn Flour
4 Spring Onions, finely sliced (whites and greens kept separate)
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 piece Fresh Ginger (grated)
8 dried Red Chillies (whole)
¼ cup Vegetable Oil
1 Leek (white and light green parts only - sliced approx 1 cm)
2 stalks Celery (cut into 1 inch sticks)
1 small Carrot (cut into 1 inch sticks)
5 Garlic Shoots (cut into 1 inch pieces)
2 tbs Sichuan Chilli Oil
1/2 cup Roasted Peanuts

Cooked Jasmine Rice - to serve.



Drain the tofu and cut through the centre length ways so you end up with 2 large but thin pieces of tofu. Place between paper towel and weigh it down with cans (or similar). Allow the tofu to drain for approx ½ hr.

Once dry, cut the tofu into 2cm x 2 cm cubes.

Preheat your oven to 200 degress.

Place the tofu into a large bowl and pour over oil. Toss to coat, then scatter over the cornflour, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Toss again, ensuring all the tofu is coated, then lay out on a lined baking tray in a single layer.

Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the tofu cubes over and bake for a further 15 minutes or until golden and crispy.

In a jug, combine the stock, soy sauce, doubanjiang, vinegar, sugar, and corn flour. Set aside.

Place the whites of the spring onions, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat a wok over a high heat until smoking, then add vegetable oil. Add leeks, celery, garlic shoots and carrot - stir and toss, until vegetables are lightly charred. After approx 1 min, push the veg to one side of the wok and add the spring onion, ginger and garlic mixture. Cook and stir until fragrant, then add peanuts, dried chilies, and crispy tofu.

Give the sauce mixture a quick stir, then pour it into the wok. Cook and toss quickly until tofu is fully coated. Add spring onion greens and ground sichuan peppercorns, tossing to combine. Serve immediately with jasmine rice.


Perfectly Paired With Two-Fold & Agave Collins


40ml Starward Two Fold 
15ml Lemon juice
10ml Agave syrup
Lemon and orange slices
Top with soda 


Start by pouring 40mL of Starward TwoFold into a highball glass, followed by 15mL of Lemon Juice and 10mL of Agave Syrup (or Honey).
Thinly slice an orange and place a few slices inside your glass
Add ice and top with soda water
Stir and enjoy!

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