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Vegan “Chicken” and Cashew (Vegan Poul Ak Nwa)

A vegan take on Haitian Chicken and Cashew (Vegan Poul Ak Nwa) using Tofu. Tofu marinated in Epis and cooked in a tomato-based sauce with cashews, peppers and onions.


Epis is a Haitian seasoning mix that’s used extensively in Haitian cuisine. It’s made with herbs, onions, peppers and garlic. In this recipe it’s used as a marinade before being cooked however, epis can be used in various ways from marinades to a flavour base added to sauces or even rice dishes. Because of the oil and lime juice in the recipe, it will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge and is great to have when you want to add more flavour to dishes. 

Serving Vegan Poul Ak Nwa

Vegan Poul Ak Nwa is great served with white rice and some pikliz. Pikliz is a Haitian spicy pickled slaw that’s very popular in Haiti. It adds a crunch and heat to dishes and is well worth making. We have an easy recipe for Pikliz you can find here.

A spicy pickled slaw that’s popular in Haiti.
Check out this recipe

Vegan “Chicken” and Cashew (Poul Ak Nwa)

Tofu marinated in a epis and cooked in a tomato based sauce with cashews, peppers and onions.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Marinating Time 1 hour
Course Main
Cuisine Haitian
Servings 4


Epis Marinade

  • 10 g fresh parsley
  • 5 g fresh thyme leaves only
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli seeds removed
  • 1 stick celery
  • 4 spring onions
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime

Poul Ak Nwa

  • 300 g Tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Scotch bonnet
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper sliced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • Parsley chopped


Epis Marinade

  • This recipe makes double the needed epis. You can half the ingredients if your blender or food processor is small enough. If you are making double then the remaining epis can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  • Roughly chop all ingredients then add them to a food processor or blender. Blend into a smooth even consistency.


  • Drain then press the tofu for at least 10 minutes to remove excess water. Once pressed, cut into bite-sized cubes.
  • Place the tofu in a container and season with salt before covering with half the epis. Marinade for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Poul Ak Nwa

  • Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot add the marinated tofu. Try and add as little of the marinade as possible at this step. Fry the tofu on all sides until lightly golden, watching not to burn any of the epis. This will take around 6 minutes.
  • Add the remaining epis with a pinch of salt and cook until the oil has separated from the epis and the pan is nice and fragrant, around 6 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and continue to cook, stirring the paste into the tofu and epis for around 2 minutes.
  • Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, cashews and ½ cup of water. Also finely chop the Scotch bonnet and add, if you want less heat remove the seeds.
  • Cover the pan and bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning. We added ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper at this stage.
  • Add the sliced onion and bell peppers and gently mix into the sauce before covering the pan again and continuing to cook until the onions and peppers are soft, around 20 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning again then serve with a garnish of fresh parsley.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mikeronm or tag #theveganplanetkitchen!

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