Of all the foods in the world that are begging to be veganized, fish, for me, is the hardest. This may be, in part, because before my vegan days I was not a big fish eater so to recall the texture and taste of something I probably ate only a handful of times over 10 years ago is no easy task. But regardless of my own experience, I think many veganizers would agree that finding the perfect vegan fish recipe is the Mount Everest of veganizing.
As you know, I am never one to step down from a challenge and so today I took on Mount Everest in the form of these Beer Battered Vegan Fish Sticks.
These Beer Battered Vegan Fish Sticks are made using heart of palm and seaweed to attempt both the taste and texture that I have been seeking.
If you are unfamiliar with heart of palm, it is a tender and delicate vegetable harvested from the inner core of certain palm trees. The tender texture, as well as the indistinct flavor, makes heart of palm a very popular whole food meat substitute, as seen before on this blog here. You can find heart of palm in the canned vegetable section of a well-stocked grocery store or grab some online.
I add the roasted seaweed and a few spices to give these fish sticks the flavors of the sea. To the best of my memory, at least.
Then theses fish sticks get dipped in a deliciously spiced beer batter and…
voila! You’ve got yourself some vegan fish sticks.
Since these fish sticks are fried, they need to be eaten quickly after preparation. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself with some soggy battered fish sticks and trust me, they don’t taste near as good.
So whipped up a batch of these beer battered vegan fish sticks today along with some vegan tartar sauce and enjoy the flavors of the sea once again.
- 1 can heart of palm, drained and broken into large pieces
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon crumbled roasted seaweed
- 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon chickpea flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup all purspose flour
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/4-1 1/2 cup dark beer
- about 2 cups cooking oil
- 1/2 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 heaping teaspoon sweet pickle relish
- 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Combine the ingredients for the tartar sauce and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a food processor combine ingredients for fish sticks. Pulse a few times until ingredients are broken down and well combined. There should still be large chunks.
- Shape heart of palm mixture into 8-10 fish sticks and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, squeezing out excess water. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To make the beer batter, combine the chickpea flour with water until thick and goopy. Set aside. In a separate bowl combine flour and spices. Mix in chickpea egg. Slowly add beer, about 1/4 cup at a time, while mixing. Batter should be fairly think but thin enough to evenly coat fish sticks. If your fish sticks are falling apart in the batter, thin it with a little more beer.
- Heat oil in a small cast iron skillet, filling enough so that it's about 1" deep.
- Once oil is hot, coat the fish sticks in the batter 2-3 at a time. With a flat utensil, gently place in hot oil and deep fry for about 2 minutes, flipping half way in between if necessary.
- Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to absorb any excess oil.
- Serve immediately with prepared tartar sauce.
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