I am so happy right now my friends: I have finally managed to create a vegan fish fillet, or better a vegan no-fish fillet. Or veg-fish. How shall we call it? Anyway, this is a fun and very tasty recipe for those of you transitioning to veganism, or veteran vegans like myself that are sometimes missing the ocean taste but not the cruelty that comes with it.
Well I have good news for you! Guess what, jackfruit is not just for vegan pulled pork. I have been thinking of what kind of ingredients would have helped to recreate the texture and the flavours of what I recall being amongst my favourite. My dream come true has been to today recreating a vegan fried cod fillet with a nice hollandaise sauce, parsley and freshly squeezed lemon. Well there you go: jackfruit is the answer! Along with other few tasty ingredients.
I made 4 vegan fish fillets with the ingredients quantities listed in my recipe below. Firstly I wasn’t sure of the results as I entirely made this up from scratch and didn’t want to waste ingredients in case this would turn into a disaster. Well I can surely confirm I am going to make these again, for the joy of my vegan boyfriend which really loved the vegan fish fillet too! He said this was surely the catch of the day 🙂
I am completely happy with this vegan fish fillet recipe and I hope you will let me have your feedback once you have tried. I think the only two ingredients you need to look for this recipe out of your ordinary shopping list are: a tin of young jackfruit in brine and some kelp granules. If you are in Auckland: I found both in some asian stores in my city (Auckland) but they are both easily found online.
You will also need 1 sheet of nori, the one commonly used for sushi, 50 grams of arborio rice, 50 grams of rolled oats and other simple ingredients.
Let me explain you what I did to create the vegan fish fillet recipe.
The first thing you will do is boil the arborio rice in a pan with salted water, a teaspoon of kelp, and two small pieces of nori cut out with a pair of scissors. I also added half veggie stock cube. Let cook and stir every now and then. I drained it and removed the nori. I saved the vegan no-fish stock left out of the boiling freezing it as ‘vegan fish broth’ for future recipes. (I don’t like wasting food).
As the rice cooks take care of the jackfruit. This step is extremely important so please follow carefully to obtain the best results for this vegan cod fillet recipe. Drain the content of the young jackfruit in brine (please note you cannot use the one in syrup for this dish) into a colander.
Now rinse very well first with hot water from the tap, then with cold water for a couple of minutes, then use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid off the jackfruit as you can as if it was a sponge. You will notice it will change its consistency from compact pieces to stringy like in this picture.
Now get your blender and add : half of the squeezed jackfruit (leave the other half to incorporate after blending), a small stick of celery, half cup of rolled oats, the previously boiled and drained rice, 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of kelp powder, 1 clove of garlic, 2 tablespoons of rice flour, 1 tablespoon of cornflour, 1 tablespoon of tapioca flour, a dash of sushi rice vinegar, a tablespooon of coconut oil, dash of ground white pepper, salt to taste (be careful not to overdo with salt). You will need to add a little water in order to blend everything until obtaining a nice smooth paste that is also quite firm and pour into a bowl.
Add the remaining squeezed jackfruit to the mixture and form 4 vegan cod fish patties about 2 cm thick. Cut out for small pieces off the nori sheet and cover them on one side. It will look like this:
Now you can prepare the batter to coat each fillet of vegan cod, prior to coating with breadcrumbs or panko crumbs. I had a batter that had the consistency of double cream by mixing: 50 ml of water, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, 1 tablespoon rice flour, 1 tablespoon of chickpea flour, dash of gound tumeric for colour. I added a pinch of kelp powder and white ground pepper in the batter as well.
Coat gently with fine breadcrumbs and fry in a non stick pan with olive oil. The vegan fish fillets cook quickly and they are delicious with a lemony – parsley sauce, baked or fried chips, or a simple salad and freshly squeezed lemon juice.
I think the jackfruit add that light, fluffy texture required to recreate the vegan non fish fillets and the kelp is the perfect addition to bring a savoury ocean taste to this dish.